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After a lengthy wait, excerpts from Rep. Cynthia McKinney's July 22nd Briefing are now avaible to view as part of the Congressional Record for 2005. At this time, the full official transcripts as compiled by McKinney's staff are still not available online.

You can view the excerpts online by going to the Library of Congress' THOMAS service, -- selecting "Congressional Record" and typing in "9/11" into the "Search" field, selecting McKinney's name from the "Member of Congress" drop down list, de-selecting the "Senate" option, and hitting "Search".

I have created "unofficial" transcripts, they are linked at the bottom of my other blog, here;

Here is what is available from the Congressional Record;

Opening Remarks:

Rep. Cynthia McKinney

9/11 Families Report

Lorie Van Auken, 9 /11 Family Steering Committee “Unanswered Questions and The Call for Accountability”

Behind the 9 /11 Commission: Flaws in the Process

John Judge, staff and 9 /11 Citizens Watch: “Staff Report—A Citizens’ Critique”

Mel Goodman, former CIA, Center for International Policy: “Conflicts of Interest—A Commission Investigates Itself”

Omissions and Errors in the Commission’s Final Report

Paul Thompson, author of Terror Timeline, “NORAD/FAA, P-56 Responses, Pre-9/11 Exercises”

John Newman, former NSA: “The $100,000 Transfer—Pakistan ISI, bin Laden and U.S. Intelligence”

9/11 in Historical Perspective: Flawed Assumptions

Loretta Napolione, author of Modern Jihad: “The Underground World of Terrorist Financing”

Anne Norton, author of Leo Strauss & the Politics of American Empire: “The Rise of the Neo-Conservatives”

Peter Dale Scott, author of Drugs, Oil & War: “Deep Politics: Contragate, Drug, Oil, Covert Operations & Terrorism”

Nafeez Ahmed, author of The War of Truth, “Afghanistan Mujahedin—Covert Operations, Creating Terrorism”

Foreign Policy: Immediate Response and Recommendations

Wayne Smith, former diplomat, Center on International Policy, “The End of International Law?”

Bob McIlvaine, September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Alternatives to Pax Americana and Permanent War

Domestic Policy: Immediate Response and Recommendations

Elaine Cassel, author of The War on Civil Liberties

Rebecca Daugherty, Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press: “The Rise of Secrecy After 9/11”

William Michaels, author of No Greater Threat, “The Patriot Act—Sunset of Freedom?”

Intelligence Reform: Immediate Response and Recommendations

David MacMichael, former CIA: ” ‘The Wall’: Breaking Down the Division of Intelligence, Military and Law Enforcement”

John Nutter, author of The CIA’s Black Operations, “Covert Operations and Increased Intelligence Budget—Solution or Cause?”

Opening Remarks

Rep. CYNTHIA McKINNEY: Last year, we got the final report, an extensive, prosaically impressive report, but as some of us sat down to read it, the errors and omissions immediately jumped out at us. How was it that it took over an hour after the first transponder went off before planes were scrambled to meet the threat, all of them too late? What happened to those reports that surfaced within months of September 11th stating that seven or more of the alleged hijackers had come forward and claimed they were victims of stolen identities and were alive and well, living in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Tunisia? Why did the Commission choose not even to address this? What about Osama bin Laden and his role in the Mujahedin backed by the CIA in the 1980s to fight the Soviets? The Commission didn’t go there ….. We cannot afford to shy away from inconvenient truths. Many of you may find what you hear today to be inconvenient information. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but times of challenge and controversy. I encourage you to engage with the issues that are raised. If you don’t agree or don’t like what you hear, challenge it. I believe that we should take in what every reasonable person has to say, to inform our decisions, because that is the best way to find the truth. In our pursuit of the truth, I encourage you to emulate the courage and the determination of the September 11th families in their struggle to know what really happened.

9/11 Families Report

Ms. LORIE VAN AUKEN: A thorough and definitive investigation by the Commission ….. would have subpoenaed for the information it required and examined the plethora of information that other citizens and groups responsibly provided. ..... it would have reported all of its findings with its redactions blacked out and submitted to the American people. In essence, the Commission could have produced a final product where the resulting conclusions and recommendations could be trusted. Instead, at the end of the day, what we got were some statements that truly insulted the intelligence of the American people, violated our loved ones’ memories, and might end up hurting us one day soon.

One such statement was that 9/11 was a failure of imagination: a failure of whose imagination? What exactly does that mean? When you have a CIA Director with his hair on fire, a system blinking red, 52 FAA warnings, an August 6, 2001 PDB entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States,” leads on several 9/11 hijackers ….. warnings from many foreign governments, a Phoenix memo, warning of Islamic extremists taking flying lessons, the arrest of would-be terrorists Zacarias Moussaoui, facts imparted to one agent, Agent Frasca, at the RFU of the FBI, 9/11 was truly a failure, all right, but I would certainly not call it a failure of imagination. Another outrageous statement made at the time of the release of the 9/11 final report that got a fair amount of media coverage was the one “Everyone’s to blame, therefore, no one’s to blame.” The problem with that assumption is that it creates a no fault Government, and a no fault Government does nothing to ensure that things will be different or better in the future. When you hold people accountable, it serves as a deterrent for those that would repeat that same behavior in the future. For the record, I would like to see that assumption restated to read “Everyone’s to blame, therefore, everyone’s to blame.” In fact, the fact that there has been no accountability for the failures that led to the deaths of almost 3,000 people is truly unconscionable and irresponsible on the part of all of our nation’s leaders. The tools of democracy available to the citizens of America to address these issues are incredibly limited. We asked for an independent commission to investigate 9/11 because that was the only tool that we, as American citizens, had access to, and hoped that our leaders, the members of Congress and the American public, would ensure its validity and that its ensuing recommendations would make us all safer, as safe as we could reasonably expect to be in the event of another attack. Sadly, as Americans, we have all been let down.

Behind the 9/11 Commission: Flaws in the Process

Mr. JOHN JUDGE: This Commission’s report is not a rush to judgment. It’s rather a rush to exoneration. It fails to really hold people to accountability ….. By approaching the whole matter as an intelligence failure in the report, it obscured the evidence that what was normally a standard operating procedure in the period prior to 9/11 fell apart, apparently, in the months around and on that day. It led to them pursuing leads and suspects, basically accepting earlier reports without doing further follow up, blaming certain suspects, even though the evidence is we don’t yet clearly know who the suspects were that got onto the plane, and that’s because several people have come forward saying that their identity was stolen, basically, by these people. We are left with a story that comes from people that we can’t get to, and we are left with a story that perhaps is giving us the wrong direction in terms of how we are looking. Until we open up the report and until we can look at the actual evidence and compare it, and begin to actually investigate further on many of the areas that the Commission ignored, then we have a report that doesn’t eventually serve the mandate that this Commission was required to take care of, looking at the truth of terrorist acts upon the United States.

Mr. MELVIN GOODMAN: The most important individual to me, other than a commissioner, was the staff director, Philip Zelikow. His conflicts of interest were so great that you do have to wonder why this individual was appointed to head this important staff of over 80 people. He had very strong ties to the George Herbert Walker Bush Administration. Very strong personal and political and policy ties to Condoleezza Rice. More importantly, Philip Zelikow was running the case study program at Harvard which took millions of dollars from the Central Intelligence Agency over a ten year period to write case studies on the CIA, to establish a record that was essentially untrue with the facts about the work of the CIA. Of course, the classic case study that Philip Zelikow chaired, along with Ernest May, who was his patron at the Harvard Kennedy School, was the case on the Soviet Union, how the CIA got it right. You know, the politics of getting it right. Of course, as we all know, one of the greatest disasters of politicization of intelligence that occurred even before the Iraq war was over the politicization of intelligence on the Soviet Union. Who did Philip Zelikow bring into the staff structure as a team leader on his staff? None other than Douglas MacEachin, who was serving a tour up at the Harvard Kennedy School. Who was Douglas MacEachin? Douglas MacEachin was the head of the Soviet analysis job during the 1980s ….. responsible for most of the politicization of intelligence. Here you have Philip Zelikow from Harvard and the case study program, and Douglas MacEachin, as a team leader on Zelikow’s staff, making serious decisions about the need for change within the intelligence community.

Omissions and Errors in the Commission’s Final Report

Mr. PAUL THOMPSON: The 9/11 Commission claims it wasn’t until 9:20 when Indianapolis communicated with the FAA command center and notified them that Flight 77 was missing, and then the information started to get out to other command centers, but still, NORAD wasn’t notified. We are talking over half an hour later, the plane has been missing, still no one notifies NORAD, until finally 9:34, three minutes before the plane crashes, and then it was only mentioned inadvertently in passing when talked about with something else.

In order for this to be true, the 9/11 Commission is making the claim essentially that the Indianapolis flight control center and the local FAA center that they contacted were in complete lack of contact with the outside world during this time, that they were unaware, unlike the tens of millions of people who had been watching CNN, that there was an ongoing crisis, that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, two planes. They are saying that all the way until 9 :20, there has been over half an hour now where this has been the breaking news, that nobody in this entire Indianapolis flight control center or the FAA center had any idea that any of this had been happening.

We know that just isn’t true. In fact, there was one news report saying that other centers such as theirs had been notified of the crisis long before the first plane even crashed into the World Trade Center. What we see is an account coming from the 9/11 Commission that in my opinion is just frankly impossible.

Mr. JOHN NEWMAN: An FBI team working with cell phone numbers provided by Indian intelligence uncovered a new smoking gun. They learned that the chief of the ISI, Mahmood Ahmed, had ordered Saeed Sheikh to send $100,000 of the kidnapping ransom to Mohamed Atta a month before the 9/11 attacks. This ugly detail emerged when the FBI team ran traces on Saeed Sheikh’s cell phone number beginning in July; the ISI chief’s number was among the regular people that Saeed Sheikh communicated with. On October 7th, President Musharraf sacked Ahmed for this notorious act. This story was widely covered in the press around the world, not covered here in the United States ….. It’s hard to imagine a revelation more damaging than the fact that Pakistan’s intelligence service and most powerful Army commanders were behind the 9/11 attacks and the paymaster, a known terrorist who had been able to carry out his mission because the U.S. and U.K. had set aside justice for his crimes ….. that a sovereign government and supposed ally was so directly involved in the 9/11 atrocity must have stunned and deeply embarrassed the American Administration ….. The story of Saeed Sheikh and the generals are only lightly covered in western media, and only one American newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, carried it on October 10th.

The 9/11 Commission report which carries Mustafa al-Hawsawi as the paymaster and Sheikh Saeed as the al-Qaeda CFO, has dodged the issue, and does not say if the two are the same or not. Thus, technically, even if the Commission staff knew the truth, they have not told a bald lie. The Administration officials speak on terms of anonymity and were told that the Justice Department had pressed the National Security Council to have Saeed Sheikh extradited. One might be justified in asking the question why would the National Security Council have to be pressed to extradite a murderer of U.S. citizens? By late February [2002], the issue was moot. Pearl was murdered, and Musharraf swore he would personally hang him [for Pearl’s murder] before turning him over to the Americans, unlike Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, whom he did turn over. Of course, they had not been western penetrators of al-Qaeda ….. We can no longer say we are protecting sources and methods about a story known to the rest of this planet. We are now mocked for our ignorance about this story, and even members of Britain’s Parliament poke fun at us. It is long past time to come clean about Saeed Sheikh.

9/11 in Historical Perspective: Flawed Assumptions

Ms. LORETTA NAPOLIONE: ..... we need to implement a forward looking anti-terrorist policy, one which predicts the enemy’s next move. ..... a forward looking anti terrorist financing policy should look at the situation in Congo, isolated as a potential area where terrorist financing could take place. In order to prevent that, it should dismantle this business of smuggling gold ….. Of course, a forward looking approach in the fight against terrorism will require the full participation of the private sector, and a multilateral policy. One country alone, not even if it is the United States, can actually fight this war on terror alone. Among other things, this policy, if implemented, will then cut the link between crime and terror. Terror will not any longer be a very profitable partner for crime. Breaking the link between crime and terror would already be a step forward, which you have not yet made.

Ms. ANNE NORTON: Neoconservative foreign policy centers on a fear of world government and the international institutions that might lead to it, most notably, the United Nations, a rejection of multilateralism, and as they say, above all, the ability to distinguish friends from enemies ….. Europeans regard neoconservatism with special skepticism, and they do so, as you might have already realized, because they know its progenitors all too well, the desire for the combination of traditional values, the desire for an expansion of executive power, the ambition to create a new world order, and the identification of a providential enemy are all parts of a very familiar past, the shadows of German national socialism and 19th Century European empires fall very heavily on the neo conservative project. As the Administration responded to 9 /11 , this influence became increasingly evident.

Mr. PETER DALE SCOTT: The 9/11 report describes Ali Mohamed as “a former Egyptian Army officer who had moved to the United States in the mid 1980s, enlisted in the U.S. Army, and became an instructor at Ft. Bragg, as well as helping to plan the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.” In fact, Ali Mohamed was a very important al Qaeda agent who, as the 9/11 Commission was told, “trained most of the al Qaeda’s top leadership, including persons who would later carry out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.” Ali Mohamed clearly enjoyed U.S. protection. In 1993, he was detained by the RCMP in Canada, and a single phone call to the United States secured his release. This enabled him to play a role in the same year in planning the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in 1998. Eventually, he was allowed to plea bargain and receive a secret sentence. We don’t know what the sentence is ….. The amazing thing, although he was named as a conspirator in that bombing, he was not an indicted conspirator, which itself is evidence of something going on behind the scene. Congress should determine the true relationship of the U.S. Government to Ali Mohamed, who was close to Bin Laden and above all, al Zawahiri, who has been called the main player in 9/11 . This is very important, I think, whereas the report focuses almost uniquely on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin Al Shibh. Many other sources independently say the main figure and the top brains in al Qaeda was al Zawahiri, who Ali Mohamed was clearly close to.

Mr. NAFEEZ AHMED: In April 1991, according to a classified U.S. intelligence report, then head of Saudi Intelligence Services, Prince Turki al Faisel, struck a secret deal with Bin Laden, despite his being under house arrest for his opposition to the presence of U.S. soldiers. Under this deal, although the regime would publicly disown him, Bin Laden was permitted to leave Saudi Arabia with his funding and supporters. Moreover, the regime would continue to fund his activities on the condition that he does not target the Saudi kingdom himself. Posner’s accounts of a secret agreement between Bin Laden and Saudi intelligence is significant because he argues this was known to U.S. intelligence, this wasn’t something that we didn’t know. Levivier also interviewed a CIA analyst about the role of the Mujahedin. This CIA agent said “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.” When I read this, I was quite surprised. Could this really be possible?

Suffice it to say in conclusion, this is a phenomenon I have discovered to be paraded throughout many regions in the Middle East and Central Asia. It is a very worrying phenomenon. It fundamentally challenges the whole paradigm of the war on terror. If we are allying ourselves in some manner with al Qaeda in this rather direct way, how can we fight a war and win? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Foreign Policy: Immediate Response and Recommendations

Mr. WAYNE SMITH: The 9/11 Commission report says that the United States should engage its friends to develop a common coalition approach toward the detention and humane treatment of captured terrorists. New principles might draw upon Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions on the law of armed conflict. That article was specifically designed for those cases in which the usual laws of war did not apply. In other words, these cases in which our Government tells us the Geneva Conventions don’t apply. The minimum standards are generally accepted throughout the world as customary international law. What does Article 3 call for? Well, among other things, it prohibits outrages ….. upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment. All these practices of stripping the prisoners naked, putting women’s underwear or perhaps even men’s underwear on their heads, is degrading treatment. It is prohibited by international law. ..... I’m not ageless, but I have lived a long time, and I don’t remember ever having been ashamed of what we were doing to foreign prisoners. In World War II, we treated prisoners well, let’s say soldiers. Even German spies arrested in the United States were not treated in a degrading manner ….. This is not an intelligent way to proceed in our struggle against terrorism. We ought to get back to full respect for international law, and fully humane treatment of all prisoners, without any exception.

Mr. ROBERT MCILVAINE: I had an unbelievable opportunity to go to Bogota. I haven’t flown since 9/11 . Not that I’m necessarily afraid, but I just won’t fly. I’ve learned too much about the shoe bomber. I’m just not going to leave the country. Bogota, they have an international conference on violence and terrorism, and they called me to speak down there. I decided to do it. There were probably about 2,000 people in the auditorium, the first two rows were all victims. 13 year olds with legs missing. Burn victims. I had dinner with one burn victim, 75 percent of her body, an African/Colombian. She lost her three children and her husband. I said, I feel sorry for myself sometimes. That woman could sit there and laugh with me, because you have a bond with people who have suffered. That is what we have to think about. It’s the civilians, the 25,000 civilians in Iraq that have died, and 500,000 people in Iraq that have died in the 1990s. What is this foreign policy that we have? We talk about Pax Americana. In Latin, does that not mean American peace? Have we perpetrated peace in this world? Have we, since 1945? I think not.

Domestic Policy: Immediate Response and Recommendations

Ms. ELAINE CASSEL: Four years since September 11th, almost four years, and one year since the 9/11 Commission’s report, critical infrastructures and resources are unprotected, and protections are unplanned, as far as I know. Co-Chair of the panel, Lee Hamilton, mentioned that this morning in a press briefing. He was very frustrated by that, and he mentioned these are difficult tasks to take on. Yes ….. it’s hard to try to assess the risk to our critical infrastructure and to intervene and prevention ….. It’s easy to open a file on demonstrators against the Administration’s policies and conduct surveillance on the ACLU and Greenpeace, as the Washington Post reported last week. I seriously doubt that the ACLU and Greenpeace are terrorist organizations. In fact, if they were, the Government would have shut them down. Why are we paying the FBI’s counterterrorism unit to amass thousands of files on these organizations and individuals?

Mr. C. WILLIAM MICHAELS: I still do not think the case has been made that civil liberties of any sort must be compromised so we can get to the bottom of what terrorist conspiracies may or may not be operating within the United States. All of this plus the scope and approach of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, which deal with everything from the FBI, passports, driver’s licenses, airline passengers, brings me to the final points. And that is the effect we may be seeing as these varied parallel developments, including, of course, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation in military commissions in Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, which continue to unfold as we dispense with the legal preliminaries, and U.S. citizens held as enemy combatants, come to a single point, which should be considered as we continue with this national debate as what might be on the horizon at that point. Here they are, 12 common characteristics of a national security state:

1. Visible increase in uniformed security personnel.

2. Lack of civil accountability for the actions of law enforcement and security personnel.

3. Reduced role of the judiciary and executive treatment of suspects.

4. Secrecy of ruling authority and momentum of the threat.

5. Media in the service of the state.

6. Public and national resources called to service against security threat.

7. Patriotism moving to nationalism.

8. Lack of critical response by religious denominations.

9. War time mentality and permanent war economy.

10. Targeted individuals or groups.

11. Direct attack against dissent.

12. Increased surveillance of citizenry.

Intelligence Reform: Immediate Response and Recommendations

Mr. DAVID MACMICHAEL: The quote I want to give you is from a book written by a very interesting man, now deceased, Arthur Macy Cox, who was George Kennan’s principal assistant when George Kennan, post World War II, was head of the State Department’s Planning Office ….. His book is called The Myths of National Security, the Peril of Secret Government ….. published by Beacon Press in 1975:

“The drafters of the Constitution provided us with an ingenious system of Government based on machinery to check and balance the use of power, but they did not anticipate the problem of secret Government, nor has that problem been dealt with in subsequent constitutional amendments. Despite a lack of safeguards, a large consensus of the American public since World War II, has granted to succeeding presidents extraordinary secret powers to protect the security of the nation. The people felt that in matters of national survival, the President should be given total trust. He should be allowed to make decisions in secret to protect our national security, but democracy and secrecy are incompatible and it has now become clear that secret powers should never have been delegated without guarantees of accountability to the people’s representatives in the Congress.”

Mr. JOHN NUTTER: As I listened to David, I was struck by the various documents that I’ve read in my scholarship, documents like the Tower Commission report on Iran Contra, the Church Committee, the Pike Committee, and its recommendations, the Taylor Committee, which some of you may recognize as the postmortem on the Bay of Pigs ….. One could very easily take the recommendations from any of those reports, cut and paste them into the 9 /11 Commission, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Closing Remarks

Rep. CYNTHIA McKINNEY: I would just like to say after we have heard all of the testimony that has been presented to us today, there is one thing that is very clear, and that is that we must know what our Government is doing in our name. The American people have to inform themselves, despite the failure of the corporate press, to investigate the information in the public domain that provides answers to our questions. Today is a very special day because we have brought truth to Capitol Hill.

Originally posted to reprehensor on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 12:21 PM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  911 (4.00)
    Made it happen on purpose.
    Where have you been. I decided over a year ago, which mostly earns me a tin foil hat.
    Don't mind so much now though, got gas cans to fill, food to rotate and batteries to charge.
  •  Bravo (4.00)
    Thank you for collating all of these comments about the 9/11 Commission. These folks are pretty thoughtful and the concerns that they raise are really scary. The general public needs to hear this stuff!
  •  Agreed (4.00)
       I stand proudly with a tin foil hat.

     This administration has much to explain....
    and we've allowed them to hide it well !!

    Foolish us.

  •  Does anyone know (4.00)
    David Corn's web site? He may find this interesting.

    As is expected this gets very few hits and gets ribbed for being tin foil, but there is nothing tin foil about this. This is about the Congressional Record.

    I proudly point to my tin foil when I'm speculating on some circumstantial evidence but, again, this is not the time.

    (Dems IMO run on the environment and *'s failures like Katrina and S11)

    Great Diary!

  •  Reprehensor (none)
    I'm sorry this thing scrolled off the page so quickly because it is important information and you did a great job presenting it.

    Maybe you could update it and repost, probably after the Alito filibuster has been resolved.

    Also, please leave a tip jar. You deserve it.

    •  Timing. (none)
      I'd like to think this diary would get more hits if I posted it after Scalito, but I'm not sure.

      Non-CT 9/11 information doesn't seem to have the same appeal as pure CT, even if the information is entirely factual, and extremely valuable, such as the testimony McKinney managed to gather here.

      Please pass the link around, and note the link to my other blog which has several of the statements fully transcribed. The entry in the CR is only a drop in the bucket, and entirely omits Ray McGovern's interesting testimony, unfortunately.

      The 9/11 Commission was an utter failure, and worse, has saddled us with the DNI, which will most probably be politicizing intelligence about Iran in the near future.

      •  Relevant to everyone (none)
        Well, I'm going to pimp you on the open thread. All of this stuff (Alito, 9/11 commission, etc.) is all related in my mind: gotta get through all the smoke to put out the fire that is the Bush/Cheney destruction of democratic America.
  •  How did you find out about this? (none)
    This is so very important.

    Here is Corn's web site...

    He was one of the first 'liberals' to squash any calls for reporting about the events surrounding that horrid day.

    Wow, as an aside, first thing I read when I found his site...
    Filibuster time? I have to admit that Bill Frist's retort to John Kerry's last-minute call for a filibuster...was one of the best political lines of recent months (gosh, is he even a liberal anymore?)

    But anyway.

    •  Persistence. (none)
      I've been waiting for this entry in the CR ever since McKinney did the hearing. One of the people who helped organize the event told me that an entry was going into the record, and I had to keep searching THOMAS until it turned up.

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