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The Ghosts of 9/11

The U.S. CIA and the Saudi Arabian monarchy conspired to keep secret the details of the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and other targets in the United States on September 11, 2001, according to The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark, a new book by journalists John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski.

The authors reveal an astonishing interview with Richard Clarke, antiterrorist advisor of the White House during the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, whose publication enraged the CIA, especially its director, George Tenet, who had hidden crucial information about the plans and movements of Al-Qaeda, including the arrival in the United States of the future participating kidnappers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi.

The CIA and the NSA, with Saudi complicity, articulated a false cartoon to cover up the U.S. government’s involvement in the affair.

But for hundreds of family members and an increasing number of former FBI agents, this year’s September 11 ceremony fanned a calmed, but not extinguished, rage over the   conspiracy of silence maintained by senior former U.S. and Saudi Arabian officials.

For many former national security officials, the unanswered questions about the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks overshadow those of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, because September 11 changed the whole world. Not only did it lead to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the fracture of the Middle East and the advance of Islamic militancy, but it also brought the United States closer to its virtual conversion into a repressive national security state. This is manifested, according to the authors of the book, in that U.S. foreign policy has endowed itself with a strategy for the extermination of popular movements in Latin America.

According to the new book, Mark Rossini, one of the two FBI agents assigned to the CIA’s “Osama bin Laden” unit, said he was sad and depressed because the agency’s managers mysteriously prevented them in 2000 from informing their headquarters about the presence in the United States of the future Al Qaeda conspirators who would execute the great terrorist act, and again in the summer of 2001. “It is clear that the attacks did not need to occur and that there has been no justice,” Rossini said, according to the book.

In 2002, Tenet swore to Congress that he was not aware of the imminent threat because that information came on an unmarked urgent cable and “nobody read it. But five years later he learned the truth when Senators Ron Wyden and Kit Bond forced him to disappear an executive summary of the CIA’s 9/11 investigation, which stated that no fewer than 50 people read one or more of the Agency’s six communications containing travel information related to these terrorists.

Until then, Clarke had trusted Tenet, his close colleague and friend. Claiming desperation for not having the means to spread the astounding revelation, in 2009 the former anti-terrorist aide wrote a book he titled, Your Government Failed You, which was largely ignored.

Clarke says he long believed that it was a small group of low-level officials who obtained this information and did not realize its importance. But it turned out that more than fifty CIA officials knew, including Tenet. Tenet and two of his “anti-terrorist” aides, Rich Blee and Cofer Black, issued a statement calling Clarke’s theory “reckless and deeply wrong.

But now Clarke is not alone. Duffy and Nowosielski found other former agents and key FBI officials who have developed deep doubts about Tenet’s history. The only element on which they disagree is what officials were responsible for the alleged subterfuge.

John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski’s book relates many other aspects that add gravity to their denunciation: Saudi complicity with kidnappers; Saudi government support for al-Qaeda in recent years; the discovery of the role of monarchy agents surreptitiously funding public relations efforts to derail a congressional bill that would allow a group of family members to sue the kingdom for 9/11 damages; that officials from the Saudi kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs were actively helping kidnappers settle in California.

The ghost of September 11, 2001 continues to haunt the White House as one of its greatest historical excesses. 

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

 

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Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

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