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FBI Prevents Agents from Telling 'Truth' About 9/11 on PBS
CQ ^ | 01 Oct 2008 | Jeff Stein

Posted on 10/02/2008 11:55:11 PM PDT by BGHater

The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

The program is a spin-off from The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, by acclaimed investigative reporter James Bamford, due out in a matter of days.

The FBI denied Rossini and Miller permission to participate in the book or the PBS "NOVA" documentary, which is also being written and produced by Bamford, on grounds that the FBI "doesn't want to stir up old conflicts with the CIA," according to multiple reliable sources.

Bamford, contacted by phone, said he could not comment because his publisher has embargoed his new book for release around Oct. 10.  

The author of two other ground-breaking books on the NSA, Bamford also said his general policy is not to discuss his negotiations for interviews with intelligence agencies.      

Pre-9/11 intelligence mishaps have been generally attributed to bureaucratic screw-ups -- a "failure to connect the dots," exacerbated by spy agency rivalries. 

But Rossini and Miller, who were assigned to the CIA-run Counterterrorist Center during the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, are prepared to describe on camera how the CIA blocked them from sharing crucial intelligence with FBI headquarters - and then later pressured them not to tell the truth to investigators.

The first allegation is not entirely new, having been reported by author Lawrence Wright in his 2006 book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, among other places.

But what is new is that Rossini and Miller -- who still hold sensitive jobs in the FBI, and are identified here for the first time -- are prepared to say publicly that, under pressure from the CIA, they kept the full the truth from the Justice Department's Inspector General, which looked into the FBI's handling of pre-9/11 intelligence in 2004.

"There was pressure on people not to disclose what really happened," said sources close to the IG investigation. 

Rossini, in particular, is said to have felt threatened that the CIA would have him prosecuted for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act if he told the IG investigators what really happened inside the CTC. 

CIA officials were in the room when he and Miller, as well as a sympathetic CIA officer, were questioned. 

The IG investigators showed them copies of CTC intelligence reports and e-mails.

But the FBI agents suddenly couldn't remember details about who said what, or who reported what, to whom, about the presence of two al Qaeda agents in the U.S. prior to the 9/11 attacks, 

The IG investigators were suspicious. 

Indeed, their report, which used pseudonyms for the CIA and FBI agents its interviewed -- Rossini and Miller were called  "Malcolm" and "Dwight," a CIA analyst was dubbed "Eric" -- hinted at a cover-up. 

"When we interviewed all of the individuals involved about the CIR [Current Intelligence Report] they asserted that they recalled nothing about it," it said 

The focus of the IG was what the CIA had witheld about the movement of two al Qaeda operatives, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, from Malaysia to the U.S. in early 2000.

Dwight told the OIG that he did not recall being aware of the information about Mihdhar, did not recall drafting the CIR, did not recall whether he drafted the CIR on his own initiative or at the direction of his supervisor, and did not recall any discussions about the reasons for delaying completion and dissemination of the CIR. Malcolm said he did not recall reviewing any of the cable traffic or any information regarding Hazmi and Mihdhar. Eric told the OIG that he did not recall the CIR.
Subsequently, Rossini and Miller were not subpoenaed by the 9/11 Commission to tell what they knew, even though sources say they were eager to do so.

But he and Miller did come clean during an internal FBI investigation, which remains under wraps. 

Sources with direct knowledge of the FBI's internal probe say that the agents provided the bureau with unadulterated versions of their CTC experiences, including orders they were given by the center's then-Deputy Director, Tom Wilshire, to withhold intelligence about the movement of al Qaeda operatives into the country from the FBI.
 
When the agents asked permission to tell that same story on television, the FBI initially agreed, but then cancelled at the last moment, two sources involved in the deliberations said, with the explanation that it didn't want to risk inflaming the CIA.

The FBI's top spokesman, Assistant Director John Miller, did not address that issue directly.

But he said that the FBI had withheld permission for the agents to be named in various reports on 9/11 intelligence out of security and privacy concerns.
 
"These questions were examined extensively by several independent agencies and commissions," he said via e-mail Wednesday. 

"It was determined that the two FBI employees would not be named in those reports because they continue to hold sensitive positions in the FBI as well as Privacy Act issues regarding current and former personnel."

Agent Douglas Miller has said that he doesn't have "a rational answer" to explain why the CIA blocked him from sharing information with the bureau, particularly a report of such obvious magnitude about al Qaeda operatives in the U.S.  He speculated that CIA officials at the CTC were annoyed that he had encroached on their territory. 

A CIA spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, ridiculed the allegations.

"I have every reason--every reason--to believe that's complete garbage," he said in a brief telephone interview. "Not only did the 9/11 Commission look at the matter in detail, but former Director George Tenet wrote about it at some length in his book." 

But the Justice Department Inspector general contradicted Tenet's assertion that the CIA shared its intelligence on al Qaeda operatives in a timely fashion with the FBI. 

"We reviewed whether this information was in fact passed to the FBI by the CIA, and based on the evidence, concluded that while the CIA passed some of the information about Mihdhar to the FBI, it did not contemporaneously pass the information about Mihdhar's U.S. visa to the FBI," the IG report said.

"We concluded it was not disclosed by the CIA until late August 2001, shortly before the September 11 terrorist attacks."

Another intelligence source said the CIA feared that if FBI headquarters learned of the suspects' arrival in the U.S., it would try to arrest them -- and bust up a sensitive CIA operation to penetrate al Qaeda.  

Mihdhar and Hazmi were plotting an attack outside of the United States, the CIA believed, and wanted the FBI to stay clear of them.

"They said it has nothing to do with the FBI, the next attack will be in Southeast Asia," said a source familiar with the details. "They said, 'It's none of your business.'"

Rossini and other FBI counterterrorism agents were furious, according to a knowledgeable source. The FBI is responsible for investigating domestic-based plots.

"They're here!" Rossini protested to his CTC bosses. "It is FBI business."    

The IG report criticized Douglas Miller ("Dwight") for not ignoring CIA objections and sending his crucially important report on Mihdhar to FBI headquarters. 

But Miller, who held the relatively low rank of GS-12 at the time, told investigators that it was unthinkable for him to violate the orders of his CTC superiors. He would have been fired, "sent home," he told them.

Miller would be happy to give CIA officials the benefit of the doubt in a television interview, he has told friends, conceding that there may have been good reasons for their decisions that he was not aware of.

He has described the CTC as place filled with dedicated professionals who were "America's lowest paid professional workers on an hourly basis," for all the pressure-packed time they spent trying to detect terrorist plots.

But unless the FBI changes its mind, he'll have to keep that story to himself.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2000; 20081010; 911; 911hijackers; alhazmi; almidhar; almihdhar; altimimi; bamford; bookdeals; cia; daralhijra; documentaries; douglasmiller; dougmiller; dwight; fallschurch; fallschurchcell; fbi; khalidalmihdhar; malaysia; malcolm; markrossini; miller; nawafalhazmi; nova; nsa; paintballcell; pbs; rossini; sandiegocell; theloomingtower; theshadowfactory; wot

1 posted on 10/02/2008 11:55:11 PM PDT by BGHater
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To: BGHater

Everything sucks in government these days..


2 posted on 10/02/2008 11:58:21 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Hussein, produce the REAL Birth Certificate!)
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To: BGHater
I tought interagency communications had been thoroughly Gorelick-ed up, and I think the first place the blame should go is there.

Still, for groups allegedly well versed in undercover and clandestine operations, you might think a determined individual would have been able to pass a few hints along.

3 posted on 10/03/2008 12:26:21 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: BGHater

Send a copy of the DVD to Gorelicke.

I am certain she’d watch it with Obama and Raines and they’d all get a big laugh out of it.


4 posted on 10/03/2008 12:27:50 AM PDT by NoLibZone (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac - are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' Barney Frank 9-10-03)
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To: BGHater; angkor
The focus of the IG was what the CIA had witheld about the movement of two al Qaeda operatives, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, from Malaysia to the U.S. in early 2000.

from another source [FR's angkor]:

(a) several of the 9/11 hijackers (starting with Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour) made their phoney Virginia ID connection at Dar al-Hijra mosque [in Falls Church, VA]

(b) the address used on those 9/11 phoney ID's was 5913 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church 22044, an address less than one mile east of Dar al-Hijra (which is also on Leesburg Pike);

(c) that Malvo/Muhammad were stopped several times and at several locations along Leesburg Pike during their October spree (if I recall from Tysons Corner all the way east to the Leesburg Shopping Plaza at South George Mason Drive).
As an aside, it's remarkable that every time there is another incident involving Dar al-Hijra, it members, or its imams, that these are identified in the press as "a Northern Virginia mosque." Turn over the rock, and you're right back at the epicenter of 9/11, Malvo/Muhammad, and Wahabbist activity in Virginia.
By the way, I've posted before that Dar al-Hijra is in equally close proximity to the office of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (formerly run by OBL's brother) and had on its board at least once banker to Osama bin Laden.
56 posted on 06/30/2003 3:33:31 AM PDT by angkor

The Dar al Hijra mosque is the mosque of cleric Ali al Timimi. Al Timimi is known for being a central figure in the paintball cell / va jihad group and...

Timimi, an Iraqi-American scientist as well as cleric, plays a role in the anthrax investigation.

5 posted on 10/03/2008 12:46:15 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: wallace144
The focus of the IG was what the CIA had witheld about the movement of two al Qaeda operatives, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, from Malaysia to the U.S. in early 2000.

On al Midhar:

* Khalid al-Midhar aka Khalid Almihdhar : 911 Hijacker who attended the Malaysia terror summit. When hijacker Khalid al Midhar arrived in Malaysia in January of 2000 for a meeting of key al Qaeda operatives, he was met at the airport by an Iraqi named Ahmad Shakir, who worked part-time greeting VIPs, a job he got with the help of someone in the Iraqi Embassy. One week later, al Midhar flew to the US, and 18 months later he was aboard the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon. He is considered one of the most important hijackers because he was in charge of the so-called muscle – the young Saudi men responsible for subduing the passengers. - "9/11 Bombshell: New Evidence Of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties?," by David Martin, CBS News Oct. 1, 2002 David Martin

On Malaysia in 2000, from another source :

1999 late /early 2000 : (KSM SENDS ABU EISA AL HINDI TO KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA TO MEET WITH HAMBALI aka RIDUAN ISSAMUDDIN --SEE JI, S AFRICA, CA) Under interrogation by U.S. investigators [after his arrest in Pakistan in 2003] , Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has described [Abu Eisa ] al-Hindi as a trusted senior al-Qaida operative....Mohammed also revealed that he sent al-Hindi in late 1999 or early 2000 to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to meet with Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali. Hambali is accused of collaborating closely with al-Qaida in Southeast Asia as operations chief of the Jemmah Islamiyah terror organization and of perpetrating deadly attacks in Indonesia. He, too, is in U.S. custody.
Hambali told interrogators that al-Hindi gave him two addresses where al-Hindi said his allies could be contacted, one in South Africa and another "possibly in California," according to the commission's account of Hambali's interviews in September 2003. Hambali said he had not given the addresses to anyone else.---- "U.S.: al-Qaida Suspect Cased New York." Associated Press, Posted on 08/07/2004 9:21:13 PM PDT by wallace144

JANUARY 2000 : (MALAYSIA : TERROR SUMMIT ATTENDED BY JI OP CHIEF 'HAMBALI'-- SEE SECOND WAVE PLOT) Jemaah Islamiyah's operations chief, Riduan Isamuddin Hambali, had attended part of the January 2000 meeting in Kuala Lumpur [, Malaysia] but Mohammed [KSM] said he [Hambali] was there at that time only because "as a rule had had to be informed" of events in his region. Later, Hambali's operative began training possible recruits for the second wave, according to the [KSM] interrogation report.
One of those who received training in Malaysia before coming to the United States was Zacarias Moussaoui, the Frenchman accused of conspiring with the Sept. 11 attacks. Moussaoui has denied being part of the Sept. 11 plot, and U.S. and foreign intelligence officials have said he could have been set for hijacking a plane in a later wave of attacks.----------------- "AP Exclusive: Mastermind reveals Sept. 11 plot started in 1996, included 10 planes on two coasts," by JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer, Associated Press , Sunday, September 21, 2003
*********
*********** According to documents obtained by NEWSWEEK, Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told U.S. investigators after his capture last year [2003] that a high-ranking Qaeda lieutenant known as Khallad originally was "selected" to participate in the 9/11 attacks as a "bouncer"--one of the musclemen assigned to corral and subdue passengers on a hijacked plane. Khallad, a one-legged Yemeni also known as Tawfiq bin Attash, attended a January 2000 "summit" meeting in Malaysia at which he allegedly went over plans for 9/11 with two future hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi. After the meeting, Almihdhar and Alhazmi traveled to the United States. But Khallad apparently was unable to get a U.S. visa; instead, authorities say, he went on to mastermind the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. He was finally captured in Karachi, Pakistan, a year ago [2003]. ------- "Interrogation: Al Qaeda and Anthrax," by Mark Hosenball, Newsweek, 4/8/2004

JANUARY 2000 : (YAZID SUFAAT MEETS TWO ARAB NATIONALS AT HIS CONDOMINIUM HOME IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - See MALAYSIAN TERROR SUMMIT, ANTHRAX, MOUSSAOUI) JAKARTA, April 14 (IslamOnline) - Alleged Al-Qaeda operative, Yazid Sufaat, denied terror charges, while he admitted that he met two Arab nationals at his condominium in Kuala Lumpur two years ago [in 2000], a news report from
Malaysiakini.com said on Sunday. However, Sufaat, high on the FBI list of suspects from South East Asia, who might be members or operatives of the Al-Qaeda, stressed the duo could not be involved in the Sept 11 attacks as they were amputees shopping for prosthetic legs in Malaysia.
The 37-year-old pathologist and former army captain, who is also a businessmen in Malaysia, told this to a three-member review panel at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak last Thursday. This was his second hearing, one of his lawyers told IslamOnline.
Sufaat was arrested in December last year [2001] following a petition filed by the FBI against a French-Morocan citizen Zacharias Massaoui, who is believed to be the first Al-Qaeda operative charged in court. In the pettition, Yazid Sufaat’s name was mentioned as a business sponsor of Massaoui, who was entitled to a salary of US2000 for representing the import export company of Sufaat. ------- "Alleged Al-Qaeda Operative Sufaat Denies Terror Charges," by Kazi Mahmood, Islam Online, April 14 2002

6 posted on 10/03/2008 1:04:01 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: BGHater

bookmark


7 posted on 10/03/2008 1:08:26 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: BGHater

They aren’t known as the Political BS channel for nothing. I will bet there is very little truth in their documentary tonight.


8 posted on 10/03/2008 1:26:46 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
I tought interagency communications had been thoroughly Gorelick-ed up

How did this woman also abscond with $26 million from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac? Is she everywhere?

9 posted on 10/03/2008 4:50:12 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: The_Media_never_lie

She’s King Midas in reverse. Everything she touches turns to crap.


10 posted on 10/03/2008 5:09:17 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Obama: Carter's only chance to avoid going down in history as the worst U.S. president ever.)
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To: BGHater

If Obama happens to steal the election, no truth about this or terrorists will be on TV.


11 posted on 10/03/2008 5:23:35 AM PDT by nclaurel (I think therefore I vote Republican.)
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To: FreedomPoster
She’s King Midas in reverse. Everything she touches turns to crap.

Yes, everything she touched turned to crap, yet she enriched herself in the process.

Wonder where she is now? I would surmise she is a lobbyist.

12 posted on 10/03/2008 8:43:10 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: FreedomPoster
Well, here she is. DC, right were I would have expected to find her.

Jamie Gorelick

13 posted on 10/03/2008 8:51:20 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: The_Media_never_lie

That would have been my guess, as well.


14 posted on 10/03/2008 8:58:37 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Obama: Carter's only chance to avoid going down in history as the worst U.S. president ever.)
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