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When the Kean Commission--a.k.a. the 9-11 Commission--came to New York City in May, members of the NY 9-11 TRUTH movement came out to try to make the bureaucrats squirm. Family members of 9-11 victims--including Ellen Mariani, the 9-11 widow who has refused to file a claim with the official compensation fund so that she can sue the federal government for failing to stop the attack--were on hand at the New School auditorium where the public hearings were held, periodically holding up signs reading "LIES" during testimony.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took the opportunity to grandstand about how his Office of Emergency Management--whose bunker on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center was ironically destroyed on 9-11--rose to the crisis. The Spring 2003 edition of Lower Manhattan's venerable anarchist sporadical The Shadow, which hit the streets just after the hearings, ran a story on the spectacle by Nicolas Levis, "9/11 Truth Movement Calls Out Kean Commission." Writes Levis:

"Even Giuliani blanched at the obsequiousness... One after the next, the commissioners took turns praising Giuliani's leadership and lobbing softballs. When Giuliani for the umpteenth time mentioned how well his agencies had communicated amongst themselves, the families' section broke out in chants 'talk about the radios!' They were referring to the well-known technical failures of the Fire Department's radio system."

One activist was escorted from the premises by security after standing up to demand the panel investigate whether emergency fuel for Giuliani's bunker below WTC 7 ignited, causing the building to collapse. Others stood up to demand answers on why the metal from Ground Zero was shipped straight to Asian scrappers. But Levis writes: "As soon as the hall had quieted down, Giuliani and the commission returned to the script, acting as though nothing had happened. The 'testimony' by former Mayor Giuliani was more of a testimonial to the Giuliani myth than testimony."

Mainstream coverage was hardly more reassuring, if one took time to read between the lines. A June 1 report in Newsday, "Details from the disaster," portrayed the hearings as shedding light--for instance, on the question of why no helicopter rescue was attempted of people trapped in the upper stories of the towers, above the destroyed floors. The article noted that about a dozen were evacuated from the roof by air following the 1993 bombing. But on 9-11--when there was no other conceivable means out for those above the flames--the doors to the roof were locked. Officer James Ciccone of the NYPD Aviation Unit told the Commission: "The heat actually made it difficult for us to hold the helicopters because it would interfere with the rotor system." Giuliani told the Commission that he asked Fire Chief of Department Peter Ganci (who would be killed in the collapse of the south tower) whether a helicopter rescue was feasible. Said Giuliani: "And Pete pointed to a big flame that was shooting out of the north tower at the time. And he said to me, 'My guys can save everybody below the fire. But I can't put a helicopter above the fire." Yet a photo accompanying the piece actually shows a police helicopter hovering directly over the smoking north tower on the morning of 9-11!

If Giuliani got a free ride from the Commission, some observers fear that the same may be true of Bush and the bin Laden family. In a June 1 New York Times editorial, Craig Unger, author of "House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties," writes:

"Americans who think the 9/11 commission is going to answer all the crucial questions about the terrorist attacks are likely to be sorely disappointed--especially if they're interested in the secret evacuation of Saudis by plane that began just after Sept. 11. We knew that 15 out of 19 hijackers were Saudis. We knew that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, was behind 9/11. Yet we did not conduct a police-style investigation of the departing Saudis, of whom two dozen were members. of the bin Laden family. That is not to say that they were complicit in the attacks. Unfortunately, though, we may never know the real story. The investigative panel has already concluded that there is 'no credible evidence that any chartered flights of Saudi Arabian nationals departed the United States before the reopening of national airspace.' But the real point is that there were still some restrictions on American airspace when the Saudi flights began.

"In addition, new evidence shows that the evacuation involved more than the departure of 142 Saudis on six charter flights that the commission is investigating. According to newly released documents, 160 Saudis left the United States on 55 flights immediately after 9/11--making a total of about 300 people who left with the apparent approval of the Bush administration, far more than has been reported before. The records were released by the Department of Homeland Security in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative, nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington. The vast majority of the newly disclosed flights were commercial airline flights, not charters, often carrying just two or three Saudi passengers. They originated from more than 20 cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Houston....

"The passengers should have been questioned about any links to Osama bin Laden, or his financing. We have long known that some faction of the Saudi elite has helped funnel money to Islamist terrorists -inadvertently at least. Prince Ahmed bin Salman, who has been accused of being an intermediary between Al Qaeda and the House of Saud, boarded one of the evacuation planes in Kentucky. Was he interrogated by the F.B.I. before he left?"

While Unger himself makes no such claims, his work and that of other researchers are pointed to by a growing legion of conspiracy theorists who uphold a paradigm for understanding the 9-11 attacks that they call "LIHOP." One conspiracy-watch web site, Library of Alexandria, explains it thusly: "The basic idea is that LIHOP stands for 'Let It Happen On Purpose.' In essence, we're dealing here with a theory that suggests the United States federal government -- and very importantly, high level members of the Bush Administration in particular -- were sufficiently forewarned about the 9-11-2001 attacks that these attacks could have been prevented. Furthermore these forewarnings were intentionally ignored, and allowed to happen, in order to have an attack on the order of Pearl Harbor."

But activists who are obsessed with calling the federal government out on its apparent 9-11 intelligence lapses should beware of playing into the very hands of the Bush Administration--which is demanding a yet greater unleashing of both global and domestic spying powers in the name of fighting terrorism. The Shadow's front-page story by researcher Frank Morales, "The CIA Comes Home to Roost," notes that the Joint Terrorism Task Force Enhancement Act of 2003 (HR 3439), sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), contains a provision that would allow the deployment of CIA agents to local police precincts nationwide--an historic change to the 1947 National Security Act which established the CIA and provided that agency "shall have no police...or internal-security functions." Contacted by members of the New York activist group Demilitarize the Police, Maloney's office asserted that the most recent version of the bill "will not include the CIA detail" to local police departments. Morales, however, writes that the new language "accomplishes the same goal by sanctioning CIA domestic operations anyway, only this time at the behest of the FBI."

This is particularly ominous in light of FBI director Robert Mueller's credo that "there is a continuum between those who would express dissent and those who would do a terrorist act." (San Jose Mercury News, Oct. 19, 2002)

And the distinction in the new Maloney bill may become entirely academic if Bush goes ahead with his proposal to merge the FBI and CIA into a single super-agency--a scheme already taking embryonic form. As a May 10 article on the website of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation notes approvingly:

"The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) directorate, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), and the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) were all established in the wake of 9/11 to help 'connect dots' and 'take down walls'... In his January 28, 2003, State of the Union address, President Bush announced the creation of the TTIC as the single source for the collection and analysis of all terrorism intelligence. The TTIC began operation in May 2003 and was designed to close seams in the terrorist threat-related intelligence process and to provide one organization to gather, assess, and disseminate intelligence information. The TTIC is an interagency organization that reports directly to the Director of Central Intelligence. Another recently established initiative is the TSC, an interagency staff responsible for consolidating, deconflicting, and dispensing terrorist watch list information garnered from numerous databases across a variety of agencies. Overseen by the Director of the FBI, the TSC is also an interagency group that works in conjunction with the TTIC. In addition, the TTIC, the FBI and CIA counterterrorism units, and the FBI's National Joint Terrorism Task Force--but not IAIP--are being collocated in one facility."

For more information...

On the Kean Commission:
See WW3 REPORT #93

On Ellen Mariani
See WW3 REPORT #95

On Giuliani's bunker:
See WW3 REPORT #13

On the FDNY radio snafu:
See WW3 REPORT #51

On the recycling of Ground Zero metal:
See WW 3 REPORT #s:

On CIA-NYPD connections:
See WW3 REPORT #s:

On the Terrorist Threat Integration Center:

(Bill Weinberg)


Special to WORLD WAR 3 REPORT, June 5, 2004
Reprinting permissible with attribution

Reprinting permissible with attribution.