Support 911Blogger


Tom Wilshire

Who is Rich Blee?

Today, Secrecy Kills.com released part 1 of their audio documentary, 'Who Is Rich Blee?'

The podcast can be found at the Secrecy Kills website.

The investigative work was originally to be released on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but the creators of the documentary were threatened with federal prosecution by the CIA because they had unearthed the names of two CIA agents involved in the withholding of key information from the FBI and Whitehouse.

Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy released a statement in response to the CIA threat that is also available on their website.

[This is an outstanding piece of journalism that has taken Ray and John several years to bring to us. The work of people like Paul Thompson and Kevin Fenton has been a tremendous help to the 9/11 truth, justice, and accountability movement for many years now. I urge everyone that is interested in the truth of 9/11 to disseminate this as widely as you can. Part 2 will become available on October 11, 2011. -zbh]

Deconstructing the 9/11 Dot Disconnection: a book review by Erik Larson

Disconnecting the Dots: How CIA and FBI officials enabled 9/11 and evaded government investigations, by Kevin Fenton. Waltersville, OR: Trine Day, 2011. 416 pages.

“Enabling 9/11 was a job done at the office, with memos” (15).

It is a non-controversial fact that the NSA, CIA and FBI missed a number of opportunities to disrupt the 9/11 plot. Many, but not all, of these failures were documented by the four main investigations that dealt with pre-9/11 intelligence failures: those by the Congressional Joint Inquiry, the 9/11 Commission, the Department of Justice Inspector General and the CIA Inspector General. The best-known investigation, the 9/11 Commission, ultimately concluded that 9/11 was preceded by “four kinds of failures: in imagination, policy, capabilities, and management” (339). This is the narrative largely held to by mainstream politicians and media, but these explanations do not credibly account for what happened at the NSA, CIA and FBI in the years, months and weeks leading up to 9/11. This has been demonstrated by a number of researchers, but Kevin Fenton’s* book, Disconnecting the Dots, has the most comprehensive documentation and in-depth analysis to date. Primarily using the official reports, the available source records and some reporting by mainstream media and journalists, Fenton documents how specific CIA and FBI officials engaged in deliberate efforts to protect the 9/11 plot from discovery and disruption by FBI investigators, and that the most probable explanation is that this was done in order to enable the 9/11 attacks.

One of Fenton’s major strengths is that he limits himself to his area of expertise; Disconnecting the Dots is narrowly focused on the pre-9/11 intelligence failures and the official investigations of these failures. The book is a complex and dense compilation of interrelated names, dates, bits of information and sequences of events, a situation that is unavoidable due to the complex nature of the subject. Fortunately for the reader, Fenton’s style and presentation are simple and lucid, which helps make the complicated and often unclear nature of the subject more easily understood. Whenever possible, he names those responsible for the decisions and actions being examined, though this is sometimes impossible due to the limited amount of information that has been made public. Whenever a particularly complex set of issues or series of events have been examined in a chapter, Fenton provides a summary at the end of that chapter, and at a number of points in the book he summarizes what can be understood from the pattern of facts presented up to that point. His analysis considers the full range of available evidence, assesses the quality of individual pieces and does not go beyond the evidence. When he does draw conclusions they are generally conservative and understated, and he is careful to address other possible explanations for the evidence.

Questions and Answers with Kevin Fenton (interview by Jon Gold)

I was introduced to Kevin Fenton sometime in 2006. We met on 911blogger.com where he was a contributor for many years. I respected his keen insight and appreciated the fact that he used mainstream media accounts and Government documents for his postings there. Kevin is a contributor to the Complete 9/11 Timeline available at www.historycommons.org, along with people like Paul Thompson.

Eventually, Kevin signed up on my site, and started posting his information there. In September 2007, I started work on something I called the Who Is? Archives that was based on the material of the timeline. Kevin was kind enough to write several of the introductions for people mentioned.

Writing Blind or Turning a Blind Eye? The Confused World of Amy Zegart

I recently had the misfortune to read Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 by Amy Zegart. I have to say it is the very worst book I have ever read abut 9/11. It was even worse than this+one, which, as you can appreciate, is difficult, and it was way, way worse than this+one, this+one and this FBI press release. I haven’t read this one yet, and I anticipate it will be a lot, lot worse even than Zegart’s attempt, but you never know.

Basically, Zegart takes the 9/11 Commission’s no-fault thesis to the nth degree by claiming the whole thing was systemic failure and holding no individual accountable for his or her failures.

The Sabol-Corsi Consultation: FBI General Counsel’s Take

One of the documents Erik found at the National Archives and posted to the 9/11 Document Archive contains additional information about the failure to find alleged Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi. The document, a memo of a 9/11 Commission interview of former FBI General Counsel Larry Parkinson drafted by commission staffer Barbara+Grewe, concerns a consultation+on+August+28,+2001 between Dina+Corsi, an FBI headquarters agent, and Sherry+Sabol, an attorney at the FBI’s National Security Law Unit.

Reaction to Coleen Rowley on Real News Network: Where’s Wilshire?

The Real News Network recently carried an interview of former FBI lawyer Coleen+Rowley by Paul Jay (part+1, part+2 and part+3), dealing with what it called the “unanswered questions about the lead up to 9/11.” Rowley was stationed at the bureau’s Minneapolis office during the Zacarias+Moussaoui case in August and September 2001, but later became a whistleblower and left the organisation.

While many aspects of the interview are good and interesting, it leaves out what is probably the most important known fact about the Moussaoui case: the identity of the most senior FBI headquarters official fully involved in the case.

Newly Discovered Document: CIA Station in Yemen Knew of Khallad Identification

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.

Photo of Tom Wilshire Found

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.

Former 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Makes Bizarre Comments about Intelligence Failures before Attacks

Former 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton recently made some bizarre comments about the Zacarias Moussaoui case in an interview for Vanity Fair. The interview was used for a wide-ranging and very interesting oral history of the Bush White House. Hamilton’s comments appear to show complete ignorance of a key aspect of the investigation of which he was vice chair.

Moussaoui was arrested on an immigration violation due to suspicious he was planning to hijack an aircraft by the Minneapolis FBI on 16 August 2001, nearly four weeks before 9/11. His personal effects contained evidence linking him to eleven of the nineteen alleged hijackers and the local FBI suspected that he was part of a wider plot. It correctly assumed a search of the effects would uncover his links to the other conspirators. However, due to obstruction by FBI headquarters, no warrant was ever granted to search Moussaoui’s belongings. Middle managers at headquarters also failed to properly inform their superiors of the case.

Here are Hamilton’s comments on the Moussaoui case:

Mixed Reaction to James Bamford’s Spy Factory – Precious Truths Surrounded by a Body of Secrets

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.

(snip)

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.

Response to Peter Dale Scott: Alec Station Must Have Known

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”.

”Errors”

The Co-Conspirators of Tom Wilshire

It was recently revealed that Tom Wilshire, a deputy chief of Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, conspired with other officials at the CIA to withhold information from the FBI about Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, who attended al-Qaeda's Malaysia summit and went on to hijack with plane that hit the Pentagon. Previously, it was claimed that Wilshire had acted in good faith, but he was only able to come up with a dog-ate-my-homework excuse to cover his blocking of the information for the FBI. As two of his co-conspirators, Doug Miller and Marc Rossini, have confessed, we now know Wilshire was not acting in good faith. Had it not been for this conspiracy, it is highly likely the FBI would have arrested some of the hijackers before 9/11 and thwarted the plot.

A number of other officials connected to Wilshire withheld similar information from the FBI and came up with similar dog-ate-my-homework excuses for not doing so. Given the recent revelations, it is highly likely that they were involved in the same conspiracy as Wilshire, Rossini and Miller. They are:

Continued here.

FBI Prevents Agents from Telling 'Truth' About 9/11 on PBS

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.

Continued here.

Who Is Margaret Gillespie?

Jon Gold has been kind enough to let me write an introduction to one of his Who Is? series. It deals with Margaret Gillespie, the FBI agent who discovered that two of the 9/11 hijackers were in the US shortly before the attacks:

Margaret Gillespie was an FBI agent who, while detailed to Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, was involved in the search for Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in the summer of 2001. She attended the stormy 11 June meeting between the CIA and FBI and, at the suggestion of CIA manager Tom Wilshire, performed a low-key review of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit, where the CIA let two of the 9/11 hijackers slip through their fingers in early 2000. Because Wilshire only told her to perform the review in her “free time,” she did not find and realise the significance of CIA cables indicating Almihdhar and Alhazmi had entered the US until 21 August 2001 – even though the review started in May. However, she immediately called the FBI, alerting them they should look for the two, and had Almihdhar, Alhazmi, an alias for their associate Khallad bin Attash, and an Iraqi named Ahmad Hikmat Shakir watchlisted on 23 August.