11.9.01

Archive for the ‘9/11 News’ Category

54 Countries Helped CIA after 9/11, Report Says

In 9/11 News, Civil Liberties, Rendition, Secret Prisons, Torture on February 6, 2013 at 8:37 am

According to a report:

February 4, 2013

WASHINGTON — Some 54 countries helped facilitate the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret detention, rendition and interrogation program in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new human rights report that documents broad international involvement in the American campaign against Al Qaeda.

The report, to be made public Tuesday by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a rights advocacy group, is the most detailed external account of other countries’ assistance to the United States, including things like permitting the C.I.A. to run secret interrogation prisons on their soil and allowing the agency to use their airports for refueling while moving prisoners around the world.

The report identifies 136 people who had been held or transferred by the C.I.A., the largest list compiled to date, and describes what is known about when and where they were held. It adds new detail to what is known about the handling of both dedicated Qaeda operatives and innocent people caught up by accident in the global machinery of counterterrorism.

Some of the harsh interrogation methods the C.I.A. used on prisoners under President George W. Bush have been widely denounced as torture, including by President Obama, who banned such techniques. In addition, some prisoners subjected to extraordinary rendition — transferred from one country to another without any legal process — were sent to countries where torture is standard practice.

Such operations remain the subject of fierce debate, with former Bush administration officials asserting that they were necessary to keep the country safe and critics saying the brutal interrogation techniques were illegal and ineffective. The debate has been renewed most recently with the release of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” which portrays the use of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, though intelligence officials deny that was the case.

When he took office in 2009, Mr. Obama rejected calls for a national commission to investigate such practices, saying he wanted to look forward and not back. The Senate Intelligence Committee recently completed a 6,000-page study of the C.I.A. detention and interrogation program, but it remains classified, and it is uncertain whether and when it might be even partially released.

Amrit Singh, the author of the Open Society report, “Globalizing Torture,” said she had found evidence that 25 countries in Europe, 14 in Asia and 13 in Africa lent some sort of assistance to the C.I.A., in addition to Canada and Australia. They include Thailand, Romania, Poland and Lithuania, where prisoners were held, but also Denmark, which facilitated C.I.A. air operations, and Gambia, which arrested and turned over a prisoner to the agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Graham and Kerrey: Saudi Government Links Suspected in 9/11 Attacks

In 9/11 News on March 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

Two former Senators who led inquiries into the 9/11 attacks have issued sworn statements that they believe the government of Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the fight on terrorism, may have played a role in the terror attacks ten years ago.
“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” said former Senator Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat, in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Graham led a 2002 Congressional probe of the attacks.
Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat who served on the 9/11 Commission, said in a separate affidavit that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued.”
Families of the 9/11 victims released a statement praising Kerrey and Graham for their affidavits, which were filed in a New York federal court Friday to rebut claims by the Saudi government in recent court papers that the 9//11 Commission had “exonerated” it of any connection to 9/11.

Read the rest of this entry »

“My Pet Goat” Photo Kids Today

In 9/11 News on May 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

A “where are they now” article:

 There has rarely been a starker juxtaposition of evil and innocence than the moment President George W. Bush received the news about 9/11 while reading The Pet Goat with second-graders in Sarasota, Florida.

Seven-year-olds can’t understand what Islamic terrorism is all about. But they know when an adult’s face is telling them something is very wrong — and none of the students sitting in Sandra Kay Daniels’ class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School that morning can forget the sudden, devastated change in Bush’s expression when White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispered the terrible news of the Al Qaeda attack. Lazaro Dubrocq’s heart started racing because he assumed they were all in big trouble — with no less than the Commander-in-Chief — but he wasn’t quite sure why. “In a heartbeat he leaned back and he looked flabbergasted, shocked, horrified,” recalls Dubrocq, now 17. “I was baffled. I mean, did we read something wrong? Was he mad or disappointed in us?”

Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama’s Speech on Announcing Death of Osama bin Laden

In 9/11 News, al Qaeda, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Targeted Killing on May 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

For more reactions see the companion website: The Death of Osama bin Laden

President Obama: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world, the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. KILLS OSAMA BIN LADEN

In 9/11 News, al Qaeda, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Targeted Killing on May 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

In the most momentous day in recent War on Terror history, President Barack Hussein Obama declares that U.S. has killed Osama bin Laden: (for more see the companion website, The Death of Osama bin Laden)

WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan on Sunday, President Obama announced.

In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.

The news touched off an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as crowds gathered outside the White House, in Times Square and at the ground zero site, waving American flags, cheering, shouting, laughing and chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” In New York City, crowds sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Throughout downtown Washington, drivers honked horns deep into the night.

“For over two decades, Bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” the president said in a statement televised around the world. “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Wikileaks Cable Shows Three Qatari Men as Possible 9/11 Plotters

In 9/11 News on February 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Revelations or non-news?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A classified U.S. document obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks shows three previously undisclosed participants in the September 11, 2001 plot, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The three Qatari men arrived in the United States on August 15, 2001, conducted surveillance of targets and left the country on the eve of the September 11 attacks, according to the leaked U.S. diplomatic cable.

The three men “visited the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and various areas in Virginia” before flying on to Los Angeles, according to the leaked document.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the three Qataris were “looked at” within days of the attacks and that investigators concluded they could not be charged, The Washington Post reported.

“There is no manhunt,” the official was quoted as saying. “There is no active case. They were looked at, but it washed out,” he was quoted as saying, downplaying a report by Britain’s The Daily Telegraph, which said the FBI has launched a manhunt for the previously unknown team of men suspected to be part of the attacks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rebuilding Ground Zero

In 9/11 News, Muslims and Arabs after 9/11 on September 11, 2010 at 6:02 am

A NYTimes editorial on rebuilding Ground Zero (“Ground Zero” is now always capitalized):

Sept. 11, 2010: The Right Way to Remember
Nine years after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, a memorial and a transportation hub are taking recognizable shape and skyscrapers are finally starting to rise from the ashes of ground zero.

That physical rebirth is cause for celebration on this anniversary. It is a far more fitting way to defy the hate-filled extremists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and to honor their victims, than to wallow in the intolerance and fear that have mushroomed across the nation. They are fed by the kind of bigotry exhibited by the would-be book burner in Florida, and, sadly, nurtured by people in positions of real power, including prominent members of the Republican Party.

The most important sight at ground zero now is Michael Arad’s emerging memorial. The shells of two giant pools are 30 feet deep and are set almost exactly in the places where the towers once were.

The huge waterfalls around the sides, the inscribed names of victims and the plaza are promised by the 10th anniversary next year. But two 70-foot tridents that were once at the base of the twin towers were installed last week. The museum will be built around them by 2012. And the first 16 of 416 white swamp oaks were planted on the eight-acre surface.

Surrounding that memorial will be a ring of commercial towers — eventually to be filled with workers, commuters, shoppers, tourists, the full cacophony of New York City. The tallest skyscraper is now a third of the way up. The developer Larry Silverstein has one of his skyscrapers taking shape — this one by the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. The bases of two more are finally beyond the planning stage.

The first outlines of Santiago Calatrava’s elegant PATH station are visible. Giant white ribs and other structures that will support the birdlike hall are moving into place. The temporary PATH station shuttles 70,000 commuters a day through the construction site.

After years of political lassitude and financial squabbling, rebuilding at the site began in earnest two years ago. That was when Mayor Michael Bloomberg exerted his considerable muscle to make sure the memorial is finished by 2011. At about the same time, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey established more control of the site. The authority and the mayor turned out to be a good team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Origin of Post-9/11 “If You See Something, Say Something” Slogan

In 9/11 News on May 11, 2010 at 8:23 am

Meet Allen Kay:

The Times Square street vendors who alerted the police to a smoking Nissan Pathfinder on May 1 seemed to be acting on a combination of their streetwise instincts, their sense of civic duty, their military training and the advice of Allen Kay. 

As chairman and chief executive of the Manhattan advertising agency Korey Kay & Partners, Mr. Kay has written about half of more than 80 slogans that the company has created since its founding in 1982. The tagline for EmigrantDirect, an online banking division of Emigrant Bank — “More Money for Your Money” — was his. The one for Stuart Weitzman, the women’s shoe maker — “A Little Obsessed With Shoes” — was his, too.

Of course, the vendors who noticed the smoking Pathfinder had a different one in mind: “If You See Something, Say Something.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s White House Advisors Now Pushing for Military Trial for 9/11 Trial

In 9/11 News on March 5, 2010 at 9:39 am

An about face?

White House advisers are nearing a recommendation for President Barack Obama to choose a military trial for self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his alleged henchman, senior administration officials said Thursday. The review of where and how to hold a Sept. 11 trial is not over, so no recommendation is yet before the president and Obama has not made a determination of his own, officials said. The review is not likely to be finished this week.  Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss private deliberations.

The Washington Post first reported the near-recommendation of a military trial.

“If this stunning reversal comes to pass, President Obama will deal a death blow to his own Justice Department, not to mention American values,” said American Civil Liberties Union Anthony D. Romero. “Even with recent improvements, the military commissions system is incapable of handling complicated terrorism cases and achieving reliable results. President Obama must not cave in to political pressure and fear-mongering. He should hold firm and keep these prosecutions in federal court, where they belong.”

Ali Soufan: 9/11 Trial Should Be Civilian Trial

In 9/11 News on February 12, 2010 at 9:29 am

Keep it civilian:

Op-Ed Contributor
Tribunal and Error
By ALI H. SOUFAN

SINCE Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York announced that he no longer favored trying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind, in a Manhattan federal court because of logistical concerns, the Obama administration has come under increasing attack from those who claim that military commissions are more suitable for prosecuting terrorists. These critics are misguided.

As someone who has helped prosecute terrorists in both civilian and military courts — I was a witness for the government in two of the three military commissions convened so far — I think that civilian courts are often the more effective venue. In fact, the argument that our criminal justice system is more than able to handle terrorist cases was bolstered just last week by revelations that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas bomber, is cooperating with the authorities.

Read the rest of this entry »