Category Archives: September 11th (9/11)

Special Counsel Investigating Trump Campaign Has Deep Ties to the Deep State

Paul Jay speaks with former FBI agent and 9/11 whistleblower Colleen Rowley who says former FBI head Robert Mueller, now appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, participated in covering up the pre 9/11 role of the U.S. intelligence agencies and the Bush Administration, helped create the post 9/11 national security/surveillance state, and helped facilitate the pre-Iraq war propaganda machine. (The Real News)

Alleged Mastermind Tells Obama 9/11 Was America’s Fault

Carol Rosenberg reports for McClatchy:

Khalid Sheik Mohammed poses for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at at the U.S. Navy Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in this undated photo.The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks wrote former President Barack Obama in a long suppressed letter that America brought the 9/11 attacks on itself for years of foreign policy that killed innocent people across the world.

“It was not we who started the war against you in 9/11. It was you and your dictators in our land,” Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 51, writes in the 18-page letter to Obama, who he addressed as “the head of the snake” and president of “the country of oppression and tyranny.” It is dated January 2015 but didn’t reach the White House until a military judge ordered Guantánamo prison to deliver it days before Obama left office.

[…] The Kuwait-born Pakistani citizen of Baluch ethnic background, lists a long litany of U.S. overseas interventions — from Iraq and Iran to Vietnam and Hiroshima — to justify the worst terror attack on U.S. soil.But he is particularly focused on the cause of the Palestinians, highlights civilian suffering and accuses Obama of being beholden to special interests, notably Israel and “the occupier Jews.” Israel gets 39 mentions while Osama bin Laden gets a dozen, including once to excoriate Obama for the mission that hunted down and killed the founder of the al-Qaida movement for the 9/11 attacks.

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Beware Trump’s Reichstag Fire

Paul Waldmam writes for The Week:

I like to think I’m a little less prone to panic than some of my liberal brethren. I haven’t called President Trump a fascist, mostly because the idea of him having a coherent ideology is absurd. Much as I fear how he’d act in a crisis — a fear that has only grown since he became president — I grant that most of what he’ll do in office is exactly what any Republican president would do. I don’t doubt that there will be an election in 2020. And while Trump has a remarkable lack of human virtues and an even more remarkable set of character flaws, I don’t think he’s Hitler.

That doesn’t mean, however, that certain historical events don’t offer us a warning of the kind of thing we should watch out for. In particular, the Trump administration’s move to shut America’s doors to refugees and stop all entry from nationals of seven Muslim countries has me thinking more and more about the Reichstag fire. There will come a moment when something awful happens, and Americans need to be ready for the Trump administration’s effort to exploit it.

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Are We One Terrorist Attack Away From Donald Trump Doing Something Really Crazy?

Ryu Spaeth writes for New Republic:

[…] As Beutler wrote, the institutions of civil society responded with alacrity to Trump’s Muslim ban, ensnaring his executive order in the courts. But the institutions of government are withering, starting with the moribund and morally decrepit Republican Party, the wound that allowed Trump to enter the body politic and hijack it. Meanwhile, the Western world is being buffeted by immense forces, from the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis to upheaval in the Middle East—the very forces that propelled Trump to the White House and continue to upend liberal democracy as we know it. The lesson of the 2016 election is that the system failed us utterly. If President Trump can happen, anything can happen.

All of this is to say that there’s a lot of gasoline lying around and it won’t take much to spark it. This is not to say we’re looking at some imminent version of the Reichstag Fire. Like everyone else, I took heart from the demonstrations at JFK and around the country; it was evidence that America is full of good people and that we are not doomed to some Trumpian dystopia. But just consider what would have happened if the terror attack in Quebec City had occurred in the United States (even if the attack targeted Muslims). With the ban already in place, wouldn’t such an attack become instantly politicized? Would such an attack not justify the ban in the eyes of the Trump administration, and give it grounds to expand it? Can anyone say, with any certainty, that we wouldn’t see tanks in the streets? I don’t think we should succumb to hysteria. But should we be afraid? Absolutely.

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Medea Benjamin: If Americans Can Sue Saudis over 9/11, Drone Victims Should Be Able to Sue U.S.

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez speaks to Medea Benjamin, author of the book Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection, to get her response to the vote by Congress to allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks, overriding President Obama’s veto of the bill. The legislation would allow courts to waive claim of foreign sovereign immunity after an act of terrorism occurs within U.S. borders. “If innocent families [of drone attacks] were able to take the U.S. to court instead of seeing joining ISIS or al-Qaeda as their only resort, that would be a very positive thing.” (Democracy Now!)

The Tyranny of 9/11

John W. Whitehead writes for The Rutherford Institute:

We’ve walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties.

We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep with a police state. In doing so, we have proven Osama Bin Laden right. He warned that “freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”

These past 15 years have indeed been an unbearable, choking hell.

What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.

The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where the nation is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this nation was founded.

This is not freedom. This is a jail cell.

Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and the like—all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.

Our losses are mounting with every passing day.

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US Response to 9/11 Seen as Driving Force in Spread of Terror

Jason Ditz writes for Antiwar:

While within the United States, there is still plenty of willingness to use the 9/11 anniversary as a time for politicians to make public appearances and give hawkish speeches praising America’s “unity” in reaction to the attacks, internationally there is growing willingness to be more circumspect about the results.

France, which has found itself a primary target for ISIS terror attacks, increasingly sees the US reaction to 9/11 as the instigating cause of that, with several high-profile analysts and top officials saying that the post-9/11 interventions led to an “era of instability” of which much of Europe, including France, has been a victim.

French President Francois Hollandeechoed this sentiment, noting that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the creation of ISIS, and that even though (France’s then-President) Jacques Chirac refused to participate in the war, France has become a main target for ISIS.

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9/11 Then and Now: Terror, Militarism, War, and Fear

Rami G Khouri writes for Al Jazeera:

We do not know how many have been killed or injured in the dozen countries across the Middle East and South Asia where the so-called 'global war on terror' continues unabated, writes Khouri [Getty]Terrorism is a terrible thing, but it is made even more terrible and tragic when people and governments fail to react to it intelligently and allow it to perpetuate itself and expand – which is precisely what is happening today, 15 years after the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda against the United States.

I was in Boston on September 11, 2001, and I find myself in Boston again this week. As I watch the public’s mood here, I see a very bizarre combination of militaristic triumphalism, political perplexity, and slightly hysterical fears about new terror attacks; nearly 50 percent of Americans tell pollsters today they worry about terror attacks in the US.

No wonder, then, that the balance sheet of events since 2001 is mostly negative and frightening for the whole world.

A review of American actions against terrorism since 9/11 registers one very big achievement: No major terror attack by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) against the US mainland has occurred since 2001, due to significantly enhanced anti-terror measures in the US and globally.

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Secrets of 9/11: New Details of Chaos, Nukes Emerge

William M. Arkin and Robert Windrem report for NBC News:

Based on a review of newly unclassified documents, memoirs and other published accounts, and interviews with U.S. officials, NBC News has learned that:

  • Three dozen live nuclear weapons were aboard U.S. Air Force bombers at three airbases when al Qaeda struck New York and Washington.
  • Because of inadequate communications equipment and procedures, top U.S. officials couldn’t talk to each other or to anyone else. Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to speak to Bush to know why the U.S. was preparing to go to DEFCON 3 — but the White House couldn’t put him through to Air Force One. Bush had no way to receive phone calls.
  • After Bush left Florida, where he had been reading a book to schoolkids, his plane was low on fuel but for hours had nowhere to land.
  • Most of the top 10 people in the president’s line of succession, including Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, either refused to follow the protocol and go to their designated secure sites, or were out of the country, or were never contacted.
  • Now-disgraced Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, third in line, observed protocol and was taken to an underground bunker in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But that left him out of touch with all other top government leaders.
  • Attorney General John Ashcroft was in a government plane and tried to return to Washington, but was turned away by the FAA.
  • Education Secretary Rod Paige, 16th in line to the White House, was left on the tarmac in Sarasota, Florida. He rented a car and drove back to Washington.

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Senator Bob Graham: Release More 9/11 Records

U.S. Senator Bob Graham writes for The New York Times:

In July, after approval from the Obama administration, Congress released a 28-page chapter of previously classified material from the final report of a joint congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said that the document had ruled out any Saudi involvement in the attack. “The matter is now finished,” he declared.

But it is not finished. Questions about whether the Saudi government assisted the terrorists remain unanswered. Now, as we approach the 15th anniversary of the most heinous attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor, it is time for our government to release more documents from other investigations into Sept. 11 that have remained secret all these years.

The recently released 28 pages were written in the fall of 2002 by a committee of which I was a co-chairman. That chapter focused on three of the 19 hijackers who lived for a time in Los Angeles and San Diego. The pages suggested new trails of inquiry worth following, including why a Qaeda operative had the unlisted phone number for the company that managed the Colorado estate of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi ambassador.

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The Truth About 9/11

Eric Margolis writes:

As Americans enter the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on their nation, they still have not understood the true cause of these dreadful attacks.

Who can blame them? Our politicians and media have totally obscured the truth behind these and subsequent attacks that we call ‘terrorism.’ While we mourn 9/11, US B-52 heavy bombers are raining bombs on what’s left of Afghanistan in a futile attempt to crush tribal forces (aka Taliban) fighting western occupation.

We did the same thing in Laos in the 1980’s, as President Barack Obama properly noted during his visit there last week. Laos has never recovered and Afghanistan won’t either.

Since 2015, the US has dropped at least 32,000 – 1,000-2,000 lb. bombs on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan – all Muslim nations. US bomb inventories are running critically low as arms makers work overtime.

9/11 was a revenge attack conducted by mostly Saudi nationals who claimed they wanted to punish the United States for supporting Israeli oppression of Palestine, and for what they claimed was the US ‘occupation’ of Saudi Arabia.

That’s as much as we really know. We have never gotten the full story about 9/11. The best we can do is ask “qui bono,” who really benefitted from the attacks?

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Fifteen Years After 9/11, Neverending War

Alex Emmons writes for The Intercept:

In the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when Congress voted to authorize military force against the people who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided” the hijackings, few Americans could have imagined the resulting manhunt would span from West Africa all the way to the Philippines, and would outlast two two-term presidents.

Today, U.S. military engagement in the Middle East looks increasingly permanent. Despite the White House having formally ended the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of U.S. troops and contractors remain in both countries. The U.S. is dropping bombs on Iraq and Syria faster than it can make them, and according to the Pentagon, its bombing campaign in Libya has “no end point at this particular moment.” The U.S. is also helping Saudi Arabia wage war in Yemen, in addition to conducting occasional airstrikes in Yemen and Somalia.

Fifteen years after the September 11 attacks, it looks like the war on terror is still in its opening act.

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9/11: Press for Truth (Documentary)

A 2006 documentary about the 9/11 victims family members and their fight against the Bush administration to have an investigation held into the attacks, It is directed by Ray Nowosielski and is partially based on the book The Terror Timeline by Paul Thompson.

House Passes Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims to Sue Saudi Officials

David Francis reports for Foreign Policy:

House Passes Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims to Sue Saudi Officials Ahead of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would allow the families of the victims to sue Saudi Arabia over its alleged support for terrorism. If it passes, it will amount to a largely symbolic gesture.

That’s because President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bill, but there could be enough support in Congress to overcome his seal of disapproval; it passed unanimously in the House and Senate. He maintains the bill would harm Washington’s relationship with Riyadh and that such a measure would put Americans overseas at risk.

The Senate passed the bill in May, even as the White House said it would reject it if it ever got to the president’s desk. If the bill were to become law, it would allow courts to waive immunity claims by foreign officials related to those terrorist attacks.

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Former EPA Head Admits She Was Wrong to Tell New Yorkers Post-9/11 Air Was Safe

Joanna Walters reports for The Guardian:

Image result for EPA 9/11Christine Todd Whitman, who as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush at the time of the 9/11 attacks told the public the air around Ground Zero in New York was safe to breathe, has admitted for the first time she was wrong.

Among those who were exposed to toxins released when the World Trade Center collapsed, the toll of illness and death continues to rise.

Speaking to the Guardian for a report on the growing health crisis to be published on Sunday, the 15th anniversary of the attacks, Whitman made an unprecedented apology to those affected but denied she had ever lied about the air quality or known at the time it was dangerous.

“Whatever we got wrong, we should acknowledge and people should be helped,” she said, adding that she still “feels awful” about the tragedy and its aftermath.

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9/11’s Second Wave: Cancer and Other Diseases Linked to the 2001 Attacks Are Surging

Leah McGrath Goodman reports for Newsweek:

Image result for 9/11’s Second Wave: Cancer and Other Diseases Linked to the 2001 Attacks Are Surging[…] Placido Perez is one of the thousands fighting deadly diseases as a result of exposure to Ground Zero. Doctors with the World Trade Center Health Program, which the federal government created in the aftermath of the attacks, have linked nearly 70 types of cancer to Ground Zero. Many people have fallen victim to cancers their doctors say are rare, aggressive and particularly hard to treat. “The diseases stemming from the World Trade Center attacks include almost all lung diseases, almost all cancers—such as issues of the upper airways, gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, panic and adjustment disorders,” says Dr. David Prezant, co-director for the Fire Department of the City of New York’s World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program.

With the exception of the Civil War battle of Antietam, more American lives were lost on September 11, 2001, than on any other day in U.S. history: 2,996 people were killed—265 on the four hijacked planes, 125 at the Pentagon and 2,606 at the World Trade Center and surrounding area. More than 411 emergency workers died on 9/11, and the total number of rescue and recovery workers who have died has more than doubled since the attacks, to 1,064 as of July, according to data obtained exclusively by Newsweek from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The wider population is also suffering: As many as 400,000 people are estimated to be affected by diseases, such as cancers, and mental illnesses linked to September 11. This figure includes those who lived and worked within a mile and a half of Ground Zero in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the vast majority of whom still don’t know they’re at risk. Mark Farfel, director of the World Trade Center Health Registry, which tracks the health of more than 71,000 rescue workers and survivors, says, “Many people don’t connect the symptoms they have today to September 11.”

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Diagnoses of 9/11-linked cancers have tripled in less than 3 years

Susan Edelman reports for the New York Post:

More than 5,400 Ground Zero responders and others who lived, worked or went to school near the fallen Twin Towers have come down with 9/11-linked cancers, a grim tally that has tripled in the past 2¹/₂ years.

As of June 30, 5,441 people enrolled in the WTC Health Program have been diagnosed with 6,378 separate cancers, with some struck by more than one type, officials said.

That’s up from 1,822 victims in January 2014.

“You see an alarming increase,” said Dr. Michael Crane, medical director of the WTC Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“It’s been steady for at least the last year and a half — we’re seeing new people here being certified for cancer 10 to 15 times week. That’s every week. ” Crane told The Post.

The program now monitors more than 48,000 cops, hardhats, volunteer firefighters, utility workers and others who toiled at Ground Zero. The FDNY has its own 9/11 health program with 16,000 members.

In all, at least 1,140 have died, officials said.

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Saudi Arabia’s PR Machine Uses the 28 Pages to Blame Iran for 9/11 Attacks

Lee Fang reports for The Intercept:

Last Friday the U.S. government finally released 28 pages of a 2002 congressional report that detail possible ties between the Saudi Arabian government and the 9/11 hijackers.

The document lists various forms of assistance provided by Saudi agents to the hijackers, including help finding a flight school and various forms of financial support when the hijackers arrived in the United States. Many of the findings in the report have not been fully vetted as several of the Saudi agents named in the 28 pages have refused to cooperate.

But that has not stopped Saudi-funded lobbyists and media outlets from claiming that the disclosure of the 28 pages ends all speculation about the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 terror attacks. Several outlets controlled by Saudi Arabia’s vast public relations machine are trumpeting the document as a vindication that closes the door on any suggestion that the Saudi government had any ties to the 9/11 terrorists.

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9/11 report 28 pages are ‘cause for reassessment of relations with Saudi Arabia’, says former U.S. Senator Bob Graham

The formally classified 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report that were recently released indicate a very close relationship between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi royal family, as well as George W Bush and the Saudis. Former US Senator Bob Graham (D- Florida) told RT that the information contained within the 28 pages borders on “embarrassing” and may be “cause for reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.” (RT America)

Why were the Saudis “bulletproof” even AFTER the 9/11 Attack?

Daniel Hopsicker, author of Welcome to Terrorland, writes for Mad Cow Productions:

The first hugely shocking revelation in the 28-page secret chapter of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee Inquiry into the 9/11 attack occurs less than half-way down the very first page, and raises the chief question arising out of the release.

The story of the 9/11 attack is a story of Saudis in Florida.  But the until-now classified pages report show that fully one year after the attack the CIA and FBI remained inexplicably uncomfortable with the essential fact of any real 9/11 investigation: that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. 

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As the report states, the “gap” in U.S. intelligence is unacceptable. But it is also—and more importantly—inexplicable.  

The big question is not whether the pages “prove” or “disprove” Saudi government involvement in the 9/11 attack, but what —absent massive bribery—explains what made the Saudis “bulletproof” from investigation for so long, even after the attack?

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29 Pages Revealed: Corruption, Crime and Cover-up Of 9/11

9/11 Widow Kristen Breitweiser writes for The Huffington Post:

First and foremost, here is what you need to know when you listen to any member of our government state that the newly released 29 pages are no smoking gun — THEY ARE LYING.

Our government’s relationship to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is no different than an addict’s relationship to heroin. Much like a heroin addict who will lie, cheat, and steal to feed their vice, certain members of our government will lie, cheat, and steal to continue their dysfunctional and deadly relationship with the KSA — a relationship that is rotting this nation and its leaders from the inside out.

When CIA Director John Brennan states that he believes the 29 pages prove that the government of Saudi Arabia had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks, recognize that John Brennan is not a man living in reality — he is delusional by design, feeding and protecting his Saudi vice.

When Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Anne W. Patterson, testifies — under oath — that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an ally that does everything they can to help us fight against Islamic terrorism, recognize that her deep, steep Saudi pandering serves and protects only her Saudi vice.

Read the 29 pages and know the facts.

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28 Pages Raise ‘Scores of Troubling Questions’ on US-Saudi Ties

Nadia Prupis writes for Common Dreams:

The just-released 28 pages of a 2002 congressional report into Saudi Arabia’s possible ties to the 9/11 hijackers have stirred speculation about the U.S. government’s continued relationship with the Gulf kingdom.

Amnesty International criticized the White House’s statement that the pages, hidden from public view for 13 years, have not changed the government’s assessment that “there’s no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi individuals funded al-Qaeda.”

“We stand with survivors of this crime against humanity: They deserve justice and the whole truth,” the human rights group tweeted.

As Murtaza Hussein wrote for The Intercept, the 28 pages “redacted in parts, detail circumstantial evidence of ties among Saudi government officials, intelligence agents, and several of the hijackers,” including by providing financial and housing assistance to those living in the U.S.

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28 Pages Reveal Evidence of Saudi Govt Involvement in 9/11

Jason Ditz writes for Antiwar:

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has finally released the notorious “28 pages” from the 9/11 Report, which had been kept classified, and which detail more or less exclusively with the culpability of the Saudi Arabian government in the attacks.

Though the White House claimed, even after the release, that the pages “proved” the Saudis had nothing to do with it, they did anything but that, providing considerable evidence that the hijackers had contact with two probable Saudi intelligence officers in advance of the attacks, and had received support from those officers.

The information centers on two men, Omar Bayouni and Osama Bassman. Bayouni was said to have provided “substantial assistance” to the hijackers in 2000, and had extensive contact with the Saudi government at the same time.

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U.S. Congress Releases Secret 9/11 Document Detailing Possible Saudi Ties to Al Qaeda

Mark Mazzetti reports for The New York Times:

Congress on Friday made public a long-classified document detailing possible connections between the Saudi government and the Sept. 11 terrorist plot.

The 28-page document is a wide-ranging catalog of possible links between Saudi officials and Qaeda operatives. It details contacts that Saudi operatives in Southern California had with the hijackers and describes the discovery of a telephone number in a Qaeda operative’s phone book that was traced to a corporation managing a Colorado home of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

The document, a section of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks, had been kept secret out of concern that it might fray diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Its release marks the end of a yearslong fight by lawmakers and families of the Sept. 11 victims to make public any evidence that the kingdom might have played a role in the attacks.

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28 pages from 9/11 report to be released

Katie Bo Williams reports for The Hill:

Twenty-eight pages from a congressional inquiry into the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 could be made public as soon as Friday, according to multiple sources.

The documents, long the subject of fierce speculation, are believed by some to contain details linking the government of Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Congress is expected to get a redacted version of the pages as soon as Thursday, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told The Hill, with a public release possible on Friday.

Support for the release has been nearly universal. Family members and survivors of the attack have pleaded with President Obama to release the pages — and Saudi leaders have said they should be released to quash speculation.

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File 17: A Glimpse Into the Still-Secret 28 Pages About 9/11

Deb Reichmann reports for the Associated Press:

Sept 11 Attacks File 17 New GuideAmid the clamor a year ago to release 28 still-secret pages of a congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks, the government quietly declassified a little-known report listing more than three dozen people who piqued the interest of investigators probing possible Saudi connections to the hijackers.

The document, known as “File 17,” offers clues to what might be in the missing pages of the bipartisan report about 9/11.

“Much of the information upon which File 17 was written was based on what’s in the 28 pages,” said former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, co-chairman of the congressional inquiry. He believes the hijackers had an extensive Saudi support system while they were in the United States.

“File 17 said, ‘Here are some additional unanswered questions and here is how we think the 9/11 Commission, the FBI and the CIA should go about finding the answers,'” Graham said.

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Judge ‘Manipulated’ 9/11 Attacks Case, Court Document Alleges

Spencer Ackerman reports for The Guardian:

The judge overseeing the premiere military tribunal at Guantánamo Bay effectively conspired with the prosecution to destroy evidence relevant to defending the accused architect of the 9/11 attacks, according to a scathing court document.

Army Col James Pohl, who this week at Guantánamo is presiding over a resumption of pretrial hearings in the already troubled case, “in concert with the prosecution, manipulated secret proceedings and the use of secret orders”, the document alleges, preventing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s defense team from learning Pohl had permitted the Obama administration to destroy the evidence.

The accusation comes in a 10 May defense filing that the military commissions have recently unsealed. It contains significant detail about an episode that Mohammed’s attorneys say has permanently tainted the most high-profile test of the US’s post-9/11 turn toward military justice for terrorism cases.

“First they tell us they will not show us the evidence, but they will show our lawyers. Now, they don’t even show the lawyers. Why don’t they just kill us?” Mohammed, who faces execution, is quoted as saying in the filing.

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How Terror (and Twitter) Could Put Trump in the White House

Nick Bilton writes for Vanity Fair:

[…] National support for Donald Trump is hovering around 41 percent. But, you can bet that if any significant national-security threat is posed between now and November, Trump’s poll numbers will soar in the same way that Bush’s did in 2001. And if that happens, God forbid, I’m willing to bet that he may be the next president of the United States.

Trump, it’s clear, seems to understand this reality. In fact, he appears to view it as a political opportunity. He has found a way to conflate an actual attack with the mere threat of one. After declaring that he “would bomb the SHIT out of” of ISIS, or articulating that “when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” Trump recently went on National Border Patrol Council’s Green Line radio show and claimed that refugees entering the United States will launch a massive terrorist attack against America. “Bad things will happen—a lot of bad things will happen,” Trump said. “There will be attacks that you wouldn’t believe.”

Trump’s strategy, it’s worth noting, is underpinned by a relatively facile understanding of another set of numbers. The first of these is one week; the other is less than one second. During World War II, it took, on average, about a week for film footage of battles to make it from the European theater of war to American movie theaters. Today, live footage of anything, from a candidate’s remarks on live television, to a bomb exploding in Iraq, can make it around the world in less than a second. When Trump attacks ISIS, his verbiage proliferates globally in an instant, stoking hatred among infidels and fear among voters.

Hillary Clinton is actually far more hawkish than Trump on foreign policy matters. But Trump understands that in today’s fickle technological age, what a politician has said in the past doesn’t really matter. It’s what you say in the moment that does. Trump, unlike Clinton, seems to comprehend that a 51 percent approval rating can quickly become a 90 percent approbation. He also seems to realize that the poll numbers we’ve relied on to guide us through an election cycle have now been broken by technology, too.

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U.S. Senate OKs Bill to Allow 9/11 Victims’ Families to Sue Saudi Arabia

Alex Moe and Halimah Abdullah report for NBC News:

Image: Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Chuck SchumerThe Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed controversial legislation that would allow the families of September 11th victims to sue Saudi Arabia — one of America’s regional allies — if they are found to be responsible for helping support the terror attacks.

“When you lose someone to such evil…the temptation is to curse the darkness,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, one of a group of bipartisan lawmakers pushing the legislation said during a press conference on Tuesday. “These families have lit a candle…not only to bring justice to themselves but to send a loud message to foreign governments. If you help create terrorism on American soil, you will be brought to justice.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, had been blocking this legislation but recently released his hold. The Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent after Schumer and bill co-sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, spoke on the floor.

The White House strongly opposes the legislation and reiterated Tuesday that the administration feels that the bill would leave America vulnerable to similar suits. The Senate-passed legislation would clear the way for Americans to sue foreign nations if they are found to be responsible for terror attacks on U.S. soil — an attempt to support the 9/11 families’ efforts.

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Declassified Documents Detail 9/11 Commission’s Inquiry Into Saudi Arabia

Philip Shenon reports for The Guardian:

[…] An interrogation report prepared after the questioning of the Saudi diplomat in February 2004 is among the most tantalizing of a sheaf of newly declassified documents from the files of the staff of the 9/11 commission. The files, which were quietly released by the National Archives over the last 18 months and have drawn little public scrutiny until now, offer a detailed chronology of how the commission’s staff investigated allegations of Saudi government involvement in 9/11, including how the panel’s investigators flew to Saudi Arabia to go face-to-face with some of the Saudis believed to have been part of the hijackers’ support network on American soil.

The newly declassified documents may also help resolve the lingering mystery about what is hidden in a long-classified congressional report about ties between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks.

A former commission staff member said in an interview last week that the material in the newly released files largely duplicates information from “the 28 pages”, as they are commonly known in Washington, and then goes well beyond it.

Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of angering his former colleagues, he said he was annoyed that so much attention has been focused on “the 28 pages” when, in fact, the commission had full access to the congressional report and used it as a roadmap to gather new evidence and witness accounts that demonstrated sinister connections between low-level Saudi government officials and a terrorist support network in southern California.

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