THE MEDIA AND 9-11
Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
Two books recently have been published which have gained a great deal of media attention, STATE OF DENIAL by Bob Woodward and IN THE LINE OF FIRE by Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf. Concerning Woodward's book, the media expressed great surprise at the "revelation" that CIA director George Tenet on July 10, 2001, warned National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice of an impending attack by Al Qaeda. However, if they had just read page 55 of my book, SEPTEMBER 11 PRIOR KNOWLEDGE (published just 9 months after 9/11), they would have seen that 2 weeks BEFORE July 10, Tenet on June 28, 2001, wrote to Rice that "it is highly likely that a significant Al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks." YEARS BEFORE 9/11, in my book SECRET RECORDS REVEALED, I had also warned of a possible terrorist attack.
In responding to the Woodward "news" about a July 10, 2001, meeting between Tenet and Rice, the Associated Press (AP) interviewed former Attorney-General John Ashcroft, who said on October 2, 2006, that he should have been notified of any such report dealing with a pending attack upon the United States. But if the AP and Ashcroft had bothered to read page 47 of my SEPTEMBER 11 PRIOR KNOWLEDGE, they would have seen that 6 weeks BEFORE 9/11, attorney David Schippers (chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment process) had tried to warn Ashcroft that he had received information from some of Ashcroft's own FBI agents and others that a terrorist attack was being planned for lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, lower level Justice Department officials blocked Schippers from getting the information to Ashcroft. And on September 6, 2002, Schippers wrote a personal letter to me saying: "I have read and thoroughly enjoyed your book (SEPTEMBER 11 PRIOR KNOWLEDGE)....Your indictment of the intelligence community in general and the FBI in particular is right on the money....I intend to make it required reading for my children and grandchildren."
The media also demonstrated great surprise at Woodward's "revelation" that our government's intelligence regarding Iraq portended a worse scenario than President Bush related to the American people. However, if they had just read my COVER-UP: GOVERNMENT SPIN OR TRUTH? (written BEFORE the Iraq war began), they would have read on page 78 what Saddam Hussein's secret strategy was going to be, for which American forces were not prepared. Also, one of the top aides of Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provision Authority in Iraq, called me before going to Iraq and asked what to expect. I warned him to watch especially for sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunnis, and I put this in a later NewsWithViews.com column. Apparently, the national media missed that as well, even though I faxed the analysis to a number of prominent reporters with major newspapers and network programs. Also, one month before Saddam Hussein was captured, I wrote in a column distributed by Knight-Ridder News Service that he would soon be found.
Regarding Musharraf's book, the media was astounded to learn that Secretary of State Colin Powell's right-hand man, Richard Armitage, immediately after 9/11 threatened Pakistan with being bombed back to the Stone Age if they did not cooperate with us against the Taliban. President Bush was described as being "taken aback" when hearing of this in Musharraf's interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" about his new book. Where have these people been? All they had to do was read the LA WEEKLY article "Unholy Ends" written shortly after 9/11 by Ali Ahmed Rind, who reported that Armitage told Pakistan intelligence (ISI) chief Gen. Mahmood Ahmad that "the choice is up to you. Help us and breathe in the 21st century along with the international community or be prepared to live in the Stone Age."
Then there was the recent ABC miniseries, "The Path to 9/11," which is perhaps more important for what it didn't than did reveal. It didn't reveal that in April 2000, Pakistani-British Niaz Khan walked into the FBI office in Newark, NJ, and passed 2 polygraph tests as he told them he was trained by Al-Qaeda in Lahore, Pakistan, for an upcoming hijacking of passenger planes in the U.S. It didn't reveal a June 2001 Reuters report that it was a race between the U.S. and Osama bin Laden as to who would attack first. It didn't reveal a July 2001 "Backgrounder" on Northwest Airlines flight attendants' website about an Al Qaeda plot to hijack airliners and fly them into the World Trade Center (WTC) and Pentagon. And it didn't reveal that after President Bush was briefed on August 6, 2001, that Al Qaeda wanted to strike inside the U.S., the attacks on 9/11 on the WTC were easily preventable by having an Apache Longbow helicopter with its rockets and missile on standby alert at one of New York City's forts.
However, most important about what the miniseries didn't reveal are the following. In June 2001, a federal 31-month probe (Operation Diamondback) ended with the arrest of 2 arms brokers working for the Pakistani ISI, who were caught finalizing a deal to sell missiles, nuclear components and other weaponry to terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden. This was about the same time as ISI chief Gen. Mahmood Ahmad visited the U.S.
Caught on tape July 14, 1999, at New York's Tribeca Grill during the probe was a Pakistani operative, R. G. Abbas, working for the ISI and Taliban and pointing to the WTC saying, "Those towers are coming down." FBI informant Randy Glass on August 6, 2001, told THE SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL he was with Abbas at the grill because Glass "was told by federal agents that the case had become a matter of national security with, potentially, thousands of lives at risk."
The ISI created bin Laden's protector, the Taliban, and not long after Gen. Ahmad's visit to the U.S., the General had $100,000 wired to 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta. Gen. Ahmad shortly thereafter returned to the U.S. on September 4, 2001, as though he had new information he needed to share with U.S. officials.
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman in Brooklyn was behind the 1993 WTC bombing, and two days after Gen. Ahmad's arrival here on September 4, 2001, a high school freshman in Brooklyn who had recently immigrated from Pakistan told his class the WTC "won't be standing there next week." On September 13, 2001, federal agents interviewed the boy and his brother, whose father was returning that day from Pakistan. The father chastised the agents for "harassing his children," and then returned to Pakistan.
On Sept. 10, a Pakistani newspaper, THE NEWS, reported that Gen. Ahmad's "weeklong presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council." I filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request with the Department of Defense and was told there was a document regarding one of the high-level Pentagon officials (Paul Wolfowitz) about whom I inquired that said "here's information on your upcoming meeting with Gen. Ahmad."
On this same day, Sept. 10, according to NEWSWEEK (Sept. 13 and 24), "a particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks" and "a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns." That same night, San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, who was to fly to New York City the morning of 9/11, received a call around 10pm warning him and all Americans about air travel. Most people, including Mayor Brown, thought this was just a routine FAA warning. However, I filed a FOI request with the FAA and was informed they issued no warnings from Sept. 2 to Sept. 11, 2001.
So what happened? Is it possible the CIA, which works closely with the ISI, asked Gen. Ahmad to infiltrate Al Qaeda, which he did and the $100,000 was to gain their trust? Is it possible he learned of a non-date-specific attack for the week of 9/11 involving hijacked planes and came to warn us? Is it possible he warned some top Pentagon officials who, the night of Sept. 10, received confirmation of an impending attack that week, canceled their travel plans for 9/11, and caused a few others (e.g., Mayor Brown) to be warned? Is it possible these Pentagon officials would have warned the general public if they knew the specific date of the attacks, but not knowing this or that the planes would be crashed, didn't want to cause a nationwide panic for the whole week of 9/11?
What bothers me is that the press and media, including "The Path to 9/11," have not seemed interested in finding out if the above scenario or something worse is actually what happened. They also haven't seemed interested in finding out why the July 7, 2005, London bombing ringleader Haroon Rashid Aswat fled to Pakistan the day before the bombing, but was released within 24 hours of his arrest there!
And finally, although former long-term Middle East CIA agent Robert Baer has been featured on all 3 major television networks, they haven't seemed interested in exploring the following statement at the end of the Preface for his book SEE NO EVIL (2002): "The other day a reporter friend told me that one of the highest-ranking CIA officials had said to him, off the record, that when the dust finally clears, Americans will see that September 11 was a triumph for the intelligence community, not a failure." How could anyone say the loss of about 3000 lives was the result of a "triumph"?!
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Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
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Caught on tape July 14, 1999, at New York's Tribeca Grill during the probe was a Pakistani operative, R. G. Abbas, working for the ISI and Taliban and pointing to the WTC saying, "Those towers are coming down."