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Fahrenheit 9/11 Facts

July 10th, 2004 9:58 PM

Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Two

THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'

Section Two covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Bush's failure to meet with Richard Clarke, to the August 6th memo, and ends with the Saudi flights out of the US after 9/11.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counterterrorism?”

  • “[T]hey didn't allow me to brief him on terrorism. You know, they're saying now that when I was afforded the opportunity to talk to him about cybersecurity, it was my choice. I could have talked about terrorism or cybersecurity. That's not true. I asked in January to brief him, the president, on terrorism, to give him the same briefing I had given Vice President Cheney, Colin Powell and Condi Rice. And I was told, ‘You can't do that briefing, Dick, until after the policy development process.’” Richard Clarke interview with Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 28, 2004.
  • "Clarke asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee meetings on these issues [outlined in his January 25, 2001 memo] and was frustrated that no early meeting was scheduled. He wanted principals to accept that al Qaeda was a ‘first order threat’ and not a routine problem being exaggerated by ‘chicken little’ alarmists. No Principals Committee meetings on al Qaeda were held until September 4, 2001.” National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 8, “National Policy Coordination,” pp 9-10; http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/
    hearing8/staff_statement_8.pdf
  • See Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004:

MR. ROEMER: Okay. Let's move into, with my 15 minutes, let's move into the Bush administration. On January the 25th, we've seen a memo that you had written to Dr. Rice, urgently asking for a principals review of al Qaeda. You include helping the Northern Alliance, covert aid, significant new '02 budget authority to help fight al Qaeda --

MR. CLARKE: Uh-huh.

MR. ROEMER: -- and response to the U.S.S. Cole. You attached to this document both the Delenda Plan of 1998 and a strategy paper from December 2000. Did you get a response to this urgent request for a principals meeting on these, and how does this affect your time frame for dealing with these important issues?

MR. CLARKE: I did geta response. The response was that in the Bush administration I should, and my committee, the counterterrorism security group, should report to the deputies committee, which is a sub-cabinet level committee, and not to the principals, and that therefore it was inappropriate for me to be asking for a principals meeting. Instead, there would be a deputies meeting.

MR. ROEMER: So, does this slow the process down to go to the deputies rather than to the principals or a small group, as you had previously done?

MR. CLARKE: It slowed it down enormously, by months. First of all, the deputies committee didn't meet urgently in January or February. Then, when the deputies committee did meet, it took the issue of al Qaeda as part of a cluster of policy issues, including nuclear proliferation in South Asia, democratization in Pakistan, how to treat the problems, the various problems, including narcotics and other problems in Afghanistan, and, launched on a series of deputies meetings extending over several months to address al Qaeda in the context of all of those interrelated issues. That process probably ended, I think, in July of 2001, so we were readying for a principals meeting in July, but the principals' calendar was full, and then they went on vacation, many of them, in August, so we couldn't meet in August, and therefore the principals met in September.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Maybe Mr. Bush was wondering why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI.”

  • “This question of resources will also come up in the commission's questioning of Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was brand-new on the job in the fall of 2001 and on September 10th cut the FBI's request for new counterterrorism money by 12 percent.” John Dimsdale, “Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General John Ashcroft to appear before 9/11 commission tomorrow,” NPR Radio: Marketplace, April 12, 2004. See also, 2001 budget documents including Attorney General John Ashcroft FY 2003 budget request to Office of Management and Budget, September 10, 2001, showing $65 million offset in the FBI budget for counter-terrorism equipment grants: http://www.americanprogress.org/atf/
    cf/%7BE9245FE4-9A2B-43C7-A521-5D6FF2E06E03%7D
    /FY03ASHCROFT.PDF

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001, said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes.

  • August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB): “Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s. A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks. We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of ‘Blind Shaykh’ 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists. Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.” August 6, 2001, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US, http://www.cnn.com/2004/images/
    04/10/whitehouse.pdf
  • “The Aug. 6, 2001, document, known as the President's Daily Brief, has been the focus of intense scrutiny because it reported that bin Laden advocated airplane hijackings, that al-Qaida supporters were in the United States and that the group was planning attacks here.” Clarke J. Scott, “Clarke Gave Warning on Sept. 4, 2001; Testimony Includes Apology to Families of Sept. 11 Victims, Associated Press, March 25, 2004.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: On August 6 th, 2001, George W. Bush went fishing.

  • “President Bush swung into vacation mode Monday, fishing for bass in his pond, strolling the canyons on his 1,600-acre ranch, taking an early-morning run. Associated Press, “President Bush Vacationing in Texas,” August 6, 2001.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Was it the guy my daddy’s friends delivered a lot of weapons to?”

  • In 1995, a member of Reagan's National Security Council and co-author of his National Security Directives, Howard Teicher, signed a sworn affidavit stating: “From early 1982 to 1987, I served as a Staff Member to the United States National Security Council.… In June, 1982, President Reagan decided that the United States could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran. President Reagan decided that the United States would do whatever was necessary and legal to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran. Pursuant to the secret NSDD, the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. This message was delivered by Vice President Bush who communicated it to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein. Under CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, the CIA made sure that non-U.S. manufacturers manufactured and sold to Iraq the weapons needed by Iraq. In certain instances where a key component in a weapon was not readily available, the highest levels of the United States government decided to make the component available, directly or indirectly, to Iraq. I specifically recall that the provision of anti-armor penetrators to Iraq was a case in point. The United States made a policy decision to supply penetrators to Iraq." Affidavit of former Howard Teicher, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. CARLOS CARDOEN et al, January 31, 1995. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/
    article1413.htm
  • “Questions have been raised about whether the United States not only ignored foreign arms shipments to Iraq, but actually encouraged or even arranged them. A former National Security Council official, Howard Teicher, said in a 1995 court affidavit that the CIA made sure Iraq received weapons from non-U.S. manufacturers.” Ken Guggenheim, “War Crimes Trial for Saddam Could Reveal Details of Past U.S. Help,” Associated Press, January 24, 2004.
  • “There is ample documentation demonstrating that the Reagan and Bush administrations supplied critical military technologies that were put directly to use in the construction of the Iraqi war machine. There is also strong evidence indicating that the executive branch's failure to crack down on illegal weapons traffickers or keep track of third party transfers of U.S. weaponry allowed a substantial flow of U.S.-origin military equipment and military components to make their way to Iraq.” William D. Hartung, Weapons at War; A World Policy Institute Issue Brief, May 1995. See also, Alan Friedman, Spider's Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, (Bantam Books, 1993); Kenneth R. Timmerman, The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq, (Houghton, Mifflin, 1991).
  • “Rep. Dante Fascell, D-Fla., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said … that the United States could not ‘make a claim for purity’ on arms sales, since the U.S. government has sold weapons to Iran, Iraq ‘and everybody else in the world.’” Robert Shepard, “Congress Approves Aid for Former Soviet Republics,” United Press International, October 3, 1992.
  • “A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program. Those officers, most of whom agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified, spoke in response to a reporter's questions about the nature of gas warfare on both sides of the conflict between Iran and Iraq from 1981 to 1988. Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is repeatedly cited by President Bush and, this week, by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as justification for "regime change" in Iraq. The covert program was carried out at a time when President Reagan's top aides, including Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then the national security adviser, were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurds in Halabja in March 1988.” Patrick E. Tyler, “Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas,” The New York Times, August 18, 2002.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor?”

  • “A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.” “Taleban in Texas for talks on Gas Pipeline,” BBC News, December 4, 1997 (Sugarland is 22 miles outside Houston.)

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them.”

  • “The 27 classified pages of a congressional report about Sept. 11 depict a Saudi government that not only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups through suspect charities and other fronts, according to sources familiar with the document. One U.S. official who has read the classified section said it describes ‘very direct, very specific links’ between Saudi officials, two of the San Diego-based hijackers and other potential co-conspirators ‘that cannot be passed off as rogue, isolated or coincidental.’” Of all the hijackers, 15 of the 19 were Saudi. Josh Meyer, “Report Links Saudi Government to 9/11 Hijackers, Sources Say,” Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2003.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “In the days following September 11th , all commercial and private airline traffic was grounded.”

  • “On the morning of September 11th, there were 4,873 instrument flight rule (IFR) flights operating in U.S. airspace. As soon as Secretary Mineta was aware of the nature and scale of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington -- that we were faced with, not one, but four possible hijackings, and several other rumors of missing or unidentified aircraft -- the Secretary ordered the air traffic system shut down for all civil operations. Jane F. Garvey on Aviation Security Following the Terrorist Attack on September 11th, September 21, 2001; http://www.faa.gov/newsroom/testimony/
    2001/testimony_010921.htm
    ; see also, “Airports to Remain Closed, Mineta Says,” Department of Transportation Press Release, September 12, 2001

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “The White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis.”

  • “Now, what I recall is that I asked for flight manifests of everyone on board and all of those names need to be directly and individually vetted by the FBI before they were allowed to leave the country. And I also wanted the FBI to sign off even on the concept of Saudis being allowed to leave the country. And as I recall, all of that was done. It is true that members of the Bin Laden family were among those who left. We knew that at the time. I can't say much more in open session, but it was a conscious decision with complete review at the highest levels of the State Department and the FBI and the White House.” Testimony of Richard Clarke, Former Counterterrorism Chief, National Security Council, before The Senate Judiciary Committee, September 3, 2003.
  • “I was making or coordinating a lot of decisions on 9/11 and the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don't know. Since you pressed me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State, or the White House Chief of Staff's Office. But I don't know.” Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.”

NOTE: It should be noted that even though the film does not make the allegation, strong evidence has recently come to light that at least one private plane flew to pick up Saudi nationals while private flights were still grounded. Moreover, for nearly three years, the White House has denied that this flight existed. This was reported in the June 9, 2004 St. Petersburg Times article cited below.

  • After the airspace reopened, six chartered flights with 142 people,mostly Saudi Arabian nationals, departed from the United States between September 14 and 24. One flight, the so-called Bin Ladin flight, departed the United States on September 20 with 26 passengers, most of them relatives of Usama Bin Ladin. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12; http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/
    hearing10/staff_statement_10.pdf
  • It should be noted that the US Customs and Border Protection document released by the Department of Homeland Security under the FOIA, Feb 24, 2004 lists 162 Saudi Nationals who flew out of the country between 9/11/2001 and 9/15/2001, departing from New York’s Kennedy airport, Washington’s Dulles, and Dallas Fort Worth. http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/
    2004/homelandsecurity.pdf
    .
  • TheSt. Petersburg Times reported on Jun 9, 2004:

o "Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, with most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men and left. The men, one of them thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family, were accompanied by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer on the flight to Lexington, Ky. The Saudis then took another flight out of the country.”

o Moreover: “For nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports and widespread Internet speculation about its purpose… The terrorism panel, better known as the 9/11 Commission, said in April that it knew of six chartered flights with 142 people aboard, mostly Saudis, that left the United States between Sept. 14 and 24, 2001. But it has said nothing about the Tampa flight… The 9/11 Commission, which has said the flights out of the United States were handled appropriately by the FBI, appears concerned with the handling of the Tampa flight.

o "Most of the aircraft allowed to fly in U.S. airspace on Sept. 13 were empty airliners being ferried from the airports where they made quick landings on Sept. 11. The reopening of the airspace included paid charter flights, but not private, nonrevenue flights.” Jean Heller, “TIA now verifies flight of Saudis; The government has long denied that two days after the 9/11 attacks, the three were allowed to fly.” St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2004

GO TO SECTION THREE

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