Category Archives: Foreknowledge

American Airlines braces for most turbulent journey

American Airlines braces for most turbulent journey

            by Sherri Deatherage Green and Claire Murphy, PR Week USA , Nov. 11, 2001 

Arguably the carrier most affected by the September 11 attacks, American Airlines has implemented major communications plans on every level. Sherri Deatherage Green and Claire Murphy look at the airline’s disaster response.

            American Airlines ramped up a newly revised crisis communications plan in late summer. Those charged with imagining worst-case scenarios laid out contingencies for plane crashes and 1978-style hijackings. They never dreamed of terrorists turning two aircrafts into weapons of mass destruction, of coordinating disaster communication with another airline in the same predicament, or of working in the shadows of the FBI.

            “This was not going to be a crisis-as-usual situation for us,” says Timothy Doke, VP corporate communications for Texas-based American Airlines. Driving down a freeway September 11, Doke learned American Flight 11 had crashed into the World Trade Center. By the time he reached AMR’s crisis command center in Fort Worth , he found out the second tower had met the same fate. Word of Flight 77’s dive into the Pentagon soon followed.

  A whole new strategy

            “In a very odd way, that to me changed the whole dynamic of what we were dealing with,” says Doke. “Strictly from a PR standpoint, it had a bit of a calming effect. It was apparent to me that this was something that could not possibly be the fault of American Airlines.”

            American abandoned its freshly minted crisis communications plan almost immediately, not because putting the CEO out front isn’t the best plan of action in a crisis, but because the FBI rushed to American’s command center and made it clear who was in charge. American issued its first press release within a few hours of the attacks, referring all questions to the FBI. In any other crisis, it would have responded much sooner.

            Even without the risk of compromising a criminal investigation, Doke doesn’t think turning CEO Don Carty into a spokesman for the tragedy would have been appropriate. “It became increasingly obvious to us that the CEO for this crisis wasn’t Don Carty or Jim Goodwin (former CEO) of United,” Doke says. “The CEO in this instance was George W. Bush.”

             Mike Boyd, president of the Boyd Group, an aviation consulting firm in Colorado , thinks American did the right thing. “We didn’t know what the situation was,” he observes. “In an act of war, American’s corporate objective takes a back seat to America ’s objective.”

            American couldn’t say much, but its communications office remained staffed 24 hours a day for more than two weeks. “The toughest thing is the first day when everybody comes in and wants to jump immediately into the crisis,” Doke says. “You have to tell a third of them to go home and get some sleep.”  

Agencies spring into action

            Doke immediately called Ken Luce, president of Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s Southwest US office. The agency sent more than 20 people to American’s headquarters and to airports around the U.S. Unable to get around by public transport that day, two of WSW’s New York employees hitchhiked to La Guardia, Luce says.

            “It seemed like every media call raised a new issue,” Doke recalls. While American couldn’t answer many questions, spokespeople subtly steered reporters away from false rumors and leaked information. Employees from WSW and American’s other agency, Burson-Marsteller, served as the firm’s eyes and ears in the airports its staff couldn’t reach while planes were grounded.

            American’s attention turned inward to employee communication. Staff bulletins became an important means of communicating to the outside world as well.  The airline took the unusual step of putting such messages on its public website, Doke says. These included transcripts of “hotline” voice-mail messages from Carty. The CEO made several special recordings in the days after September 11 to reassure staff. Management received an average of seven e-mails a day in the first few days to keep them updated.

            By Sept. 28, the PR staff, like every other department in the cash-strapped airline, had to do more with less. Five of the 20,000 employees laid off by the airline worked in PR, reducing headcount to about 40, including 10 people who work in the company museum. Doke reorganized remaining staff and assigned each employee responsibilities on both a subject-matter and geographic basis.

            Tighter budgets also mean less outside help. “We’ve had to cut our professional fee budget substantially,” Doke says. That has cut into the fees paid to both WSW and Burson.  

Necessary cuts start at the top

            Once American was able to talk more freely, messages focused on finance and security. Airlines depended heavily on the Air Transport Association to communicate with Congress about the need for emergency financial aid.  Burson, which does public affairs work for American, supported lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Carty chairs the association board but deferred to other CEOs, like Delta Airline’s Leo Mullin, to speak on the industry’s behalf.

             Again, Carty’s strongest messages were directed to employees while also addressing the broader public. A Sept. 28 letter explained the decision to cut staff. Titled “An Airline in Crisis,” the no-nonsense document made it clear that belt-tightening is crucial to the airline’s survival. “The losses we face are truly staggering,” Carty wrote, going on to explain how the airline loses money each time a half-full plane takes off. “Right now it is survival, not profitability that is our core challenge.” Carty took an equally frank approach in an Oct. 24 letter announcing the company’s worst financial quarter ever, describing steps taken to keep planes in the sky and appealing to employees for help.

            The airline’s CEO appeared as the industry’s elder statesman, says Dr. Adam Pilarski, SVP of aviation consulting firm AVITAS. Perhaps Carty’s most well-received gesture was fore-going pay for the rest of the year.

            “I don’t know if the public paid much attention at all, but I know the press did,” recalls Washington Post reporter Frank Swoboda. Other American officers and the CEOs of competing airlines, such as Continental, followed suit. The company also set up a website through which staff could donate pay to their employer, a successful program that will save millions, says Doke.

            On the safety front, American issued press releases about its plans to fit iron bars to the insides of cockpit doors. But such issues lie largely within the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration, and many safety measures can’t be discussed for security reasons.

            One pressing need now is to “get people back into the air,” says Marty Heires, American’s field media relations director. In addition to offering low fares and double frequent-flyer miles, the airline is again using internal communication to boost bookings. It e-mailed employees encouraging them to offer 5-percent discounts to friends and family. American also recently launched a campaign called “Proud to be American” to boost the morale of workers stressed by increased security requirements, long hours and the loss of coworkers to layoffs and tragedy.

            As for that new crisis communications plan, Doke says he doesn’t know if it needs wholesale changes or just an addition on terrorist attacks.

            “This event is such an anomaly as it relates to crisis communications planning,” Doke says. “I think the bed-rock principles will be the same — be available, be open and honest, and be as forthcoming as we can possibly be.”

AA and WS as accomplices in covering up the crime of 9/11

 

Participants in the Cover-Up of 9/11:

The Case of American and United Airlines

Elias Davidsson
8 November 2004 (corrected on 4 May 2005, edited 8. Oct. 2005)

According to the official account, 19 Arabs hijacked four passenger planes on September 11, 2001 and crashed these planes with passengers and crew onto the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Two of the aircraft belonged to American Airlines and two to United Airlines.

In view of the huge losses incurred by these airlines in terms of human lives and materiél, one would have expected them to help shed light on the criminal events. As will be shown below, the airlines have, on the contrary, refused to disclose crucial evidence to the families of the victims and to the public in general and continue to do so. One of the immediate worries of American Airlines on September 11, 2001, was how to mould information flow to the general public and prevent “rumors” and wrong “theories” to leak out. A prestigious public-relations agency was put on the scene by AA “minutes after the first crash” to help carry out that communications task.  Concurrent to such public-relations efforts, both airlines refused and continue to refuse to disclose the most fundamental data in their possession regarding the murderous events, such as passenger lists and access to eye-witnesses.  This evidence suggests airlines’ complicity in covering up the truth on 9/11.

THE OFFICIAL ACCOUNT

While the US administration has not issued any authoritative “official account” (or “white book”) of the events of 911, as promised shortly after the events by Secretary of State Colin Powell (1), the report issued by the bi-partisan Congressional Commission of Inquiry in June 2004 (2) may be regarded as the nearest thing to an “official account”.

According to this report, 19 Arab hijackers, whose names and photographs have been posted shortly after the attacks on the FBI website (3)(4), perpetrated the atrocities on September 11 through a collective suicide operation.  Two AA and two UA passenger jets were, according to this account, flown as living missiles into the named targets. The first AA aircraft (flight AA11, tail no. N334AA) is said to have left Logan airport in Boston at 7:59 with 92 people on board (crew, passengers and hijackers) and crashed at 8:46 on the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The second AA aircraft (flight AA77, tail no. N644AA) is said to have left Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. at 8:20 with  64  people on board and crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37.  The above departure times, incidentally, are still disputed and in the case of AA11 (5). As of November 13, 2003, the statistical database of the Department of Transportation (BTS) did not even mention AA11 as a flight scheduled for September 11, 2001 (6). At a later date the Department added a record for this flight with the departure time set as zero.  Checking again the BTS database for this article on November 18, 2004, I discovered that the DoT again amended its database by setting the scheduled departure of AA11 to the “official time” of 7:45 (6). It appears that the DoT had received orders to align its database with the “official account” on the crime of 9/11.   Should this have happened, there would be grounds to charge the DoT for falsification of official records and participation in a criminal cover-up.

Hundreds of questions regarding the events of 9/11 remain unaddressed by the Congressional Commission of Inquiry.  The present article examines only one particular question: Whether American Airlines (and United Airlines) are participants in the vast cover-up of the crimes committed on September 11, 2001. 

WAS THERE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE ?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the Dallas office of Weber Shandwick, one of world’s largest public relations agencies, mobilized a nationwide network of public relations professionals to assist the American Airlines corporate communications department.  The details are reported on Weber Shandwick’s website:

“Within minutes of the first terrorist attack involving American Airlines, Weber Shandwick put in motion a national strategic support network, comrpising more than 75 Weber Shandwick professionals, to assist American Airlines during this unprecedented crisis situation. Over the following week, the W.S. team worked around the clock on site at the AA corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles, providing strategic counsel and tactical support for both internal and external communications.  Additionally, the Dallas office of W.S. was staffed 24 hours a day, monitoring breaking national broadcast and online news. Communications specialists in crisis management, consumer relations, internal communications, and government affairs provided support….Externally, AA faced the difficult challenge of controlling what was being said about the airline by unauthorized spokespeople. Flight attendants, pilots – and their unions – along with contracted security firms, airport authorities, government agencies including the FBI, FAA and National Transportation Safety Board, and local government agencies all issued statements regarding the events. Eyewitnesses, stranded passengers and post-September 11 travelers were also of concern. All of these external groups has an impact on American Airlines’ commnications strategy, requiring that the W.S. team ensure consistent communications with all audiences.”(7)

Timothy Doke was AA Vice President of Corporate Communications at the time of the 9/11 events. He is now Vice President – Corporate Communication at Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

As a response to the present author’s inquiry, Tim Doke responded by email on October 6, 2004:

“Dear Elias. There seems to be some confusion around the way AA handled the crisis at the time of 9/11. We did not ‘outsource’ all our crisis communications to Weber Shandwick. We managed it from beginning to end in-house. Because of our staffing resources were limited and the air transportation system was shut down, precluding us from getting our staff to key locations around the country, we relied heavily on W.S. professionals to supplement our PR resources at our headquarters in DFW and to provide on-site personnel to support our people in Boston, LA and New York…Nothing in [our crisis] plan contemplated having the FBI move into our offices, declare an incident a criminal investigation and shut-off any of the traditional external media communications we would do in the case of a crash.”

Tim Doke added, laconically: “Most of the people who were involved in the crisis on 9/11 have left AA.”

According to Sherri Green and Claire Murphy of PR Week USA of November 11, 2001(8),  who interviewed Tim Doke, he “immediately called Ken Luce, president of Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s Southwest US office. The agency sent more than 20 people to American’s headquarters and to airports around the U.S. [according to the agency, the figure was 75 professionals, see above – E.D.]..It seemed like every media call raised a new issue”. Doke also reportedly said that “spokespeople subtly steered reporters away from false rumors and leaked information. Employees from WSW and American’s other agency, Burson-Marsteller, served as the firm’s eyes and ears in the airports its staff couldn’t reach while planes were grounded”.

The above account raises various questions with far-reaching consequences:

(a)  Weber Shandwick states on its website that it deployed 75 P/R professionals around the country in support of AA “within minutes” of the crashes.  The accuracy of this statement was confirmed to a colleague of the present author by Weber Shandwick’s Ken Luce on October 5th 2004.  How could Tim Doke, let alone Ken Luce of Weber Shandwick, know within minutes that AA aircraft were involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when it is publicly claimed that neither the US President, the US military and other security agencies, knew at the time what was going on, let alone could know the identity of the crashed aircraft?  Is it plausible that a service agreement, detailing the nature, scope and costs of Weber Shandwick’s P/R services for American Airlines, could have been drafted, finalized and negotiated within minutes of the attacks?  Or were AA and Weber Shandwick executives forewarned on the attacks, ready to act on the spur of the moment? If so, by whom were they forewarned?

In an email of November 7, 2004 to the present author, Tim Doke dismisses that AA or Weber Shandwick “had any premonition of the events of 9/11. It was the furthest thing from our minds.” Regarding the promptness of Weber Shandwick’s reaction he merely explained that “Weber Shandwick had people ready to respond quickly to this event.”

(b)  What were the specific interests that prompted AA to engage in a massive P/R efforts on the very day of the attacks? A hint is given in the statement by Weber Shandwick that it was necessary for AA to “ensure consistent communications with all audiences”. In his email of November 7, 2004, Tim Doke shed some light on the term “consistent communications” by saying: “Lots of people claimed to have knowledge or theories about what happened that they shared with any reporter who would listen. It was important for us to go ‘off the record’ with certain media who were straying from the facts as we, at AA, uniquely knew them.  We did this to prevent inacurate reporting.” However, in his email he maintained that “employees who were in contact with the terrorists on the ground were fully interviewed by the FBI, but had no desire to speak to the media.  Of course, they could not talk to reporters anyway under the FBI’s restrictions.”

One may surmise that AA employees were strictly forbidden to talk to media and the public about what they knew so that only “authorized” individuals could describe the events in line with what the corporation wanted the world to know. This required to “subtly steer[…] reporters away from rumors and leaked information”. AA was apparently concerned, and seriously so, that some facts regarding the events of 9/11 and AA’s relation to these events, would reach the public.

PARTICIPATING IN A CRIMINAL COVER-UP ?

As mentioned already in the previous section, part of the public relations efforts carried out by Weber Shandwick, at the request of American Airlines, was to “subtly steer[.,.] reporters away from rumors and leaked information”. What type of “leaked information” was AA concerned with?

It is argued here that the information AA did not want to “leak” to the public was the same information that AA refuses to reveal to the families of the victims and to the public in general since 9/11.  Such information includes:

(a) Names of ground personnel who saw off the passengers and crew at the departure gate on 9/11 and could testify on what they saw;

(b) Authentified copies of the flight manifests, which would show the names of the alleged hijackers and of the passengers;

(c) Copies of boarding cards, which would show the names of the alleged hijackers and of the passengers and confirm their seat numbers;

(d) Computer listing of the boarding times of individual passengers and hijackers;

(e) Positive evidence that the aircraft which left the airport was indeed the aircraft which later crashed into the known target (aircraft serial number, tail number, engine serial numbers, black boxes, etc.);

(f) Names and contacts of AA personnel who reportedly communicated by cellphones with crew or passengers on the hijacked aircraft and could publicly testify on these conversations.

The present author asked both American and United Airlines to provide some of the above information.  Both airlines declined to provide the information and referred the author to the FBI for all such data.  The last attempt to obtain information from American Airlines (a letter to AA spokesman Marty Heires of October 6, 2004) did not elicit any response at all.  Neither airline, however, justified in its answer its refusal on a legal restraining order or on the need to protect the privacy of the families of the victims or of its personnel.  The author has not come across any Justice Department order, or any legal ruling, that prohibits airlines from releasing the above information and airline personnel to communicate freely with the media on matters relating to 9/11.  However, Tim Doke, in his email to the present author claimed that the FBI “limited what we could say publicly through the media” and that “employees who were in contact with the terrorists on the ground… could not talk to reporters… under the FBI’s restrictions.”

A spokesperson of the FBI, asked why the agency has not publicized the original flight manifests in support of its allegation against 19 named hijackers, did not maintain that the FBI or the airlines were legally prohibited from disclosing the original flight manifest. She simply referred the present author to the airlines for such information. 

The airlines’ apparently uncoerced refusal to produce the above information suggests that this refusal is prompted by their interest to prevent their employees, the families of victims and the public from knowing the full truth on the events of 9/11, 

DID AA OFFICIALS POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE CRASHED PLANES ?

In order to obtain insurance benefits, owners of a crashed plane must positively identify the plane as theirs. Yet, in the case of the reported crashes of the four planes on September 11, 2001, no evidence could be found in the public domain that airline experts positively identified the crashed planes from the planes’ wreckage.  If such expertise did take place beyond public gaze, why would American or United Airlines not announce such positive identification on their website or in a press release?  The Report by the Congressional Inquiry Commission does not either, for its part, refer to any positive forensic identification of the aircraft by the airlines or by public agencies.

According to the “official account”, the aircrafts were the weapons with which the passengers were killed.  In a proper criminal investigation, one of investigators’ first tasks is to identify the owner of the murder weapon and find out how that weapon reached the scene of the crime.  Yet, no reference to such an investigation could be found in the allegedly “comprehensive” report by the Congressional Commission of Inquiry. 

The lack of positive identification of the aircraft means that the families of the dead or missing passengers cannot  know with certainty where and how their beloved ones actually died nor who caused their deaths.

WHAT COULD THE AIRLINES BE COVERING UP ?

It might be argued that the airlines’ secrecy is prompted by their fear of being sued for negligent security measures rather than by charges of criminal complicity.  If this were the case, what would explain the refusal of the airlines to release the original flight manifests or allow eyewitnesses to be questioned publicly?  It appears, therefore, that the airlines cooperate with US public agencies in covering up the crime of 9/11.

Unless American and United Airlines show readiness to produce the above evidence, duly authenticated, and cooperate fully with the families of the victims and the general public to shed light on the events of 9/11, they must be regarded as suspects in the vast criminal conspiracy to commit a mass murder in America on September 11, 2001.

Notes

(1) “We are hard at work bringing all the information together–intelligence information, law enforcement information—and I think in the near future we’ll be able to put out a paper, a document, that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking him to this attack,” said Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2001/09/mil-010924-usia13.htm (mirrored at:

(2) (1) http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htm

(3) http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/091401hj.htm

(4) http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/penttbom/penttbomb.htm

 (5)(6) According to Gerard Holmgren’s report dated Nov. 13, 2003 (http://members.surfeu.fi/11syyskuu/holmgren.htm), and a display of BTS database records of all American Airlines flights scheduled on September 11, 2001 from Logan Airport, Boston (at http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/american_airlines_flight_11_did_not_takeoff.htm ), no AA11 flight was scheduled from Logan on that day. 

(7) Weber Shandwick removed sometimes between Nov. 8, 2004 and May 4, 2005 from its website the page on which this text appears. The author has, however, kept a hard-copy example of the page and possesses, in addition, a confirmation by  Ken Luce of Weber Shandwick , dated October 5th 2004, that the cited text is accurate.

(8) Sherri Greeen and Claire Murphy,   “American Airlines braces for most turbulent journey“, PR Week USA, November 11, 2001, cached at American Airlines braces for most turbulent journey

Participants in the Cover-Up of 9/11: The Case of American and United Airlines

Participants in the Cover-Up of 9/11: The Case of American and United Airlines

Elias Davidsson, 8 November 2004 (corrected on 4 May 2005, edited 8. Oct. 2005)


According to the official account, 19 Arabs hijacked four passenger planes on September 11, 2001 and crashed these planes with passengers and crew onto the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Two of the aircraft belonged to American Airlines and two to United Airlines.

In view of the huge losses incurred by these airlines in terms of human lives and material, one would have expected them to help shed light on the criminal events. As will be shown below, the airlines have, on the contrary, refused to disclose crucial evidence to the families of the victims and to the public in general and continue to do so. One of the immediate worries of American Airlines on September 11, 2001, was how to mould information flow to the general public and prevent “rumors” and wrong “theories” to leak out. A prestigious public-relations agency was put on the scene by AA “minutes after the first crash” to help carry out that communications task. Concurrent to such public-relations efforts, both airlines refused and continue to refuse to disclose the most fundamental data in their possession regarding the murderous events, such as passenger lists and access to eye-witnesses. This evidence suggests airlines complicity in covering up the truth on 9/11.

THE OFFICIAL ACCOUNT

While the US administration has not issued any authoritative “official account”(or “white book”) of the events of 911, as promised shortly after the events by Secretary of State Colin Powell (1), the report issued by the bi-partisan Congressional Commission of Inquiry in June 2004 (2) may be regarded as the nearest thing to an “official account.”

According to this report, 19 Arab hijackers, whose names and photographs have been posted shortly after the attacks on the FBI website (3)(4), perpetrated the atrocities on September 11 through a collective suicide operation. Two AA and two UA passenger jets were, according to this account, flown as living missiles into the named targets. The first AA aircraft (flight AA11, tail no. N334AA) is said to have left Logan airport in Boston at 7:59 with 92 people on board (crew, passengers and hijackers) and crashed at 8:46 on the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The second AA aircraft (flight AA77, tail no. N644AA) is said to have left Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. at 8:20 with 64 people on board and crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37. The above departure times, incidentally, are still disputed and in the case of AA11. As of November 13, 2003, the statistical database of the Department of Transportation (BTS) did not even mention AA11 as a flight scheduled for September 11, 2001 (5). At a later date the Department added a record for this flight with the departure time set as zero. Checking again the BTS database for this article on November 18, 2004, I discovered that the DoT again amended its database by setting the scheduled departure of AA11 to the “official time” of 7:45 (6). It appears that the DoT had received orders to align its database with the “official account” on the crime of 9/11. Should this have happened, there would be grounds to charge the DoT for falsification of official records and participation in a criminal cover-up.

Hundreds of questions regarding the events of 9/11 remain unaddressed by the Congressional Commission of Inquiry. The present article examines only one particular question: Whether American Airlines (and United Airlines) are participants in the vast cover-up of the crimes committed on September 11, 2001.

WAS THERE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE ?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the Dallas office of Weber Shandwick, one of world’s largest public relations agencies, mobilized a nationwide network of public relations professionals to assist the American Airlines corporate communications department. The details were reported on Weber Shandwick’s website (and later removed):

Within minutes of the first terrorist attack involving American Airlines, Weber Shandwick put in motion a national strategic support network, comrpising more than 75 Weber Shandwick professionals, to assist American Airlines during this unprecedented crisis situation. Over the following week, the W.S. team worked around the clock on site at the AA corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles, providing strategic counsel and tactical support for both internal and external communications. Additionally, the Dallas office of W.S. was staffed 24 hours a day, monitoring breaking national broadcast and online news. Communications specialists in crisis management, consumer relations, internal communications, and government affairs provided support….Externally, AA faced the difficult challenge of controlling what was being said about the airline by unauthorized spokespeople. Flight attendants, pilots and their unions – along with contracted security firms, airport authorities, government agencies including the FBI, FAA and National Transportation Safety Board, and local government agencies all issued statements regarding the events. Eyewitnesses, stranded passengers and post-September 11 travelers were also of concern. All of these external groups has an impact on American Airlines’ commnications strategy, requiring that the W.S. team ensure consistent communications with all audiences.(6)


Timothy Doke was AA Vice President of Corporate Communications at the time of the 9/11 events. He is now Vice President – Corporate Communication at Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

As a response to the present author’s inquiry, Tim Doke responded by email on October 6, 2004:

Dear Elias. There seems to be some confusion around the way AA handled the crisis at the time of 9/11. We did not “outsource” all our crisis communications to Weber Shandwick. We managed it from beginning to end in-house. Because of our staffing resources were limited and the air transportation system was shut down, precluding us from getting our staff to key locations around the country, we relied heavily on W.S. professionals to supplement our PR resources at our headquarters in DFW and to provide on-site personnel to support our people in Boston, LA and New York…Nothing in [our crisis] plan contemplated having the FBI move into our offices, declare an incident a criminal investigation and shut-off any of the traditional external media communications we would do in the case of a crash.


Tim Doke added, laconically: “Most of the people who were involved in the crisis on 9/11 have left AA.” 

According to Sherri Green and Claire Murphy of PR Week USA of November 11, 2001(7), who interviewed Tim Doke, he “immediately called Ken Luce, president of Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s Southwest US office. The agency sent more than 20 people to American’s headquarters and to airports around the U.S. [according to the agency, the figure was 75 professionals, see above E.D.]. It seemed like every media call raised a new issue”. Doke also reportedly said that “spokespeople subtly steered reporters away from false rumors and leaked information. Employees from WSW and American’s other agency, Burson-Marsteller, served as the firm’s eyes and ears in the airports its staff couldn’t reach while planes were grounded.”

The above account raises various questions with far-reaching consequences:

(a) Weber Shandwick stated on its website that it deployed 75 P/R professionals around the country in support of AA “within minutes” of the crashes. The accuracy of this statement was confirmed to a colleague of the present author by Weber Shandwick’s Ken Luce on October 5th 2004. How could Tim Doke, let alone Ken Luce of Weber Shandwick, know within minutes that AA aircraft were involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when it is publicly claimed that neither the US President, the US military and other security agencies, knew at the time what was going on, let alone could know the identity of the crashed aircraft? Is it plausible that a service agreement, detailing the nature, scope and costs of Weber Shandwick’s P/R services for American Airlines, could have been drafted, finalized and negotiated within minutes of the attacks? Or were AA and Weber Shandwick executives forewarned of the attacks, ready to act on the spur of the moment? If so, by whom were they forewarned?

In an email of November 7, 2004 to the present author, Tim Doke dismisses that AA or Weber Shandwick “had any premonition of the events of 9/11. It was the furthest thing from our minds.” Regarding the promptness of Weber Shandwick’s reaction he merely explained that “Weber Shandwick had people ready to respond quickly to this event.”

(b) What were the specific interests that prompted AA to engage in a massive P/R efforts on the very day of the attacks? A hint is given in the statement by Weber Shandwick that it was necessary for AA to “ensure consistent communications with all audiences.” In his email of November 7, 2004, Tim Doke shed some light on the term “consistent communications” by saying: “Lots of people claimed to have knowledge or theories about what happened that they shared with any reporter who would listen. It was important for us to go ‘off the record’ with certain media who were straying from the facts as we, at AA, uniquely knew them. We did this to prevent inacurate reporting.” However, in his email he maintained that “employees who were in contact with the terrorists on the ground were fully interviewed by the FBI, but had no desire to speak to the media.” Of course, they could not talk to reporters anyway under the FBI’s restrictions.

One may surmise that AA employees were strictly forbidden to talk to media and the public about what they knew so that only “authorized” individuals could describe the events in line with what the corporation wanted the world to know. This required to “subtly steer[…] reporters away from rumors and leaked information.” AA was apparently concerned, and seriously so, that some facts regarding the events of 9/11 and AA’s relation to these events, would reach the public.

Weber Shandwick’s chairman, Jack Leslie, appears to have privileged links to the U.S. foreign policy bodies. He was the only public relations executive to testify before the U.S. House International Relations Committee, already in November 2001, in relation to the U.S. government’s efforts to promote the “war on terror.”

PARTICIPATING IN A CRIMINAL COVER-UP ?

As mentioned already in the previous section, part of the public relations efforts carried out by Weber Shandwick, at the request of American Airlines, was to “subtly steer[.,.] reporters away from rumors and leaked information.” What type of “leaked information” was AA concerned with?

It is argued here that the information AA did not want to “leak” to the public was the same information that AA refuses to reveal to the families of the victims and to the public in general since 9/11. Such information includes:

(a) Names of ground personnel who saw off the passengers and crew at the departure gate on 9/11 and could testify on what they saw;
(b) Authentified copies of the flight manifests, which would show the names of the alleged hijackers and of the passengers;
(c) Copies of boarding cards, which would show the names of the alleged hijackers and of the passengers and confirm their seat numbers;
(d) Computer listing of the boarding times of individual passengers and hijackers;
(e) Positive evidence that the aircraft which left the airport was indeed the aircraft which later crashed into the known target (aircraft serial number, tail number, engine serial numbers, black boxes, etc.);
(f) Names and contacts of AA personnel who reportedly communicated by cellphones with crew or passengers on the hijacked aircraft and could publicly testify on these conversations.

The present author asked both American and United Airlines to provide some of the above information. Both airlines declined to provide the information and referred the author to the FBI for all such data. The last attempt to obtain information from American Airlines (a letter to AA spokesman Marty Heires of October 6, 2004) did not elicit any response at all. Neither airline, however, justified in its answer its refusal on a legal restraining order or on the need to protect the privacy of the families of the victims or of its personnel. The author has not come across any Justice Department order, or any legal ruling, that prohibits airlines from releasing the above information and airline personnel to communicate freely with the media on matters relating to 9/11. However, Tim Doke, in his email to the present author said that the FBI limited what “we could say publicly through the media” and that “employees who were in contact with the terrorists on the ground… could not talk to reporters… under the FBI’s restrictions.”

A spokesperson of the FBI, asked why the agency has not publicized the original flight manifests in support of its allegation against 19 named hijackers, did not maintain that the FBI or the airlines were legally prohibited from disclosing the original flight manifest. She simply referred the present author to the airlines for such information.

The airlines’ apparently uncoerced refusal to produce the above information suggests that this refusal is prompted by their interest to prevent their employees, the families of victims and the public from knowing the full truth on the events of 9/11.

DID AA OFFICIALS POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE CRASHED PLANES ?

In order to obtain insurance benefits, owners of a crashed plane must positively identify the plane as theirs. Yet, in the case of the reported crashes of the four planes on September 11, 2001, no evidence could be found in the public domain that airline experts positively identified the crashed planes from the planes’ wreckage. If such expertise did take place beyond public gaze, why would American or United Airlines not announce such positive identification on their website or in a press release? The Report by the Congressional Inquiry Commission does not either, for its part, refer to any positive forensic identification of the aircraft by the airlines or by public agencies.

According to the “official account”, the aircrafts were the weapons with which the passengers were killed. In a proper criminal investigation, one of investigators’ first tasks is to identify the owner of the murder weapon and find out how that weapon reached the scene of the crime. Yet, no reference to such an investigation could be found in the allegedly “comprehensive” report by the Congressional Commission of Inquiry.

The lack of positive identification of the aircraft means that the families of the dead or missing passengers cannot know with certain where and how their beloved ones actually died nor who caused their deaths.

WHAT COULD THE AIRLINES BE COVERING UP ?

It might be argued that the airlines’ secrecy is prompted by their fear of being sued for negligent security measures rather than by charges of criminal complicity. If this were the case, what would explain the refusal of the airlines to release the original flight manifests or allow eyewitnesses to be questioned publicly? It appears, therefore, that the airlines cooperate with US public agencies in covering up the crime of 9/11.

Unless American and United Airlines show readiness to produce the above evidence, duly authenticated, and cooperate fully with the families of the victims and the general public to shed light on the events of 9/11, they must be regarded as suspects in the vast criminal conspiracy to commit a mass murder in America on September 11, 2001.

Notes

1. “We are hard at work bringing all the information together–intelligence information, law enforcement information and I think in the near future we’ll be able to put out a paper, a document, that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking him to this attack,” said Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2001/09/mil-010924-usia13.htm (mirrored at:? http://www.aldeilis.net/english/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=371&Itemid=107)
2. http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htm
3. http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/091401hj.htm
4. http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/penttbom/penttbomb.htm
5. According to Gerard Holmgren’s report dated Nov. 13, 2003 (http://members.surfeu.fi/11syyskuu/holmgren.htm), and a display of BTS database records of all American Airlines flights scheduled on September 11, 2001 from Logan Airport, Boston (at http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/american_airlines_flight_11_did_not_takeoff.htm ), no AA11 flight was scheduled from Logan on that day.”
6. Weber Shandwick removed sometimes between Nov. 8, 2004 and May 4, 2005 from its website the page on which this text appears. The author has, however, kept a hard-copy example of the page and possesses, in addition, a confirmation by Ken Luce of Weber Shandwick, dated October 5th 2004, that the cited text is accurate.

7. http://www.sherrigreen.com/American%20Airlines%20braces%20for%20most%20turbulent%20journey.htm”? mirrored at: http://www.aldeilis.net/english/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=374&Itemid=107

Never suspected that terrorists would fly planes into buildings?

Never suspected that terrorists would fly planes into buildings?

US leaders repeatedly claimed that they never suspected that terrorists might fly planes into buildings.  And so no one at the FBI, CIA and the military apparently took such a scenario into account.  In 1999, USA Today published a story in which such potentiality was actually mentioned.

According to USA Today of April 26, 1999,  two students who carried out the attack at Columbine High “dreamed of an even bigger bloodbath, plotting to kill hundreds of neighbors, then hijack a plane and crash it into New York City, investigators said Monday.”

The article is attached here.

President Bush spills the beans on explosives in WTC

During questioning, KSM also provided many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans. For example, he described the design of planned attacks on buildings inside the United States, and how operatives were directed to carry them out. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a point that was high enough to prevent the people trapped above from escaping out the windows. [George W. Bush]  http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/09/20060906-3.html

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 6, 2006

President Discusses Creation of Military Commissions to Try Suspected Terrorists
The East Room

1:45 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thanks for the warm welcome. Welcome to the White House. Mr. Vice President, Secretary Rice, Attorney General Gonzales, Ambassador Negroponte, General Hayden, members of the United States Congress, families who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks on our nation, and my fellow citizens: Thanks for coming.

 On the morning of September the 11th, 2001, our nation awoke to a nightmare attack. Nineteen men, armed with box cutters, took control of airplanes and turned them into missiles. They used them to kill nearly 3,000 innocent people. We watched the Twin Towers collapse before our eyes — and it became instantly clear that we’d entered a new world, and a dangerous new war.

The attacks of September the 11th horrified our nation. And amid the grief came new fears and urgent questions: Who had attacked us? What did they want? And what else were they planning? Americans saw the destruction the terrorists had caused in New York, and Washington, and Pennsylvania, and they wondered if there were other terrorist cells in our midst poised to strike; they wondered if there was a second wave of attacks still to come.

With the Twin Towers and the Pentagon still smoldering, our country on edge, and a stream of intelligence coming in about potential new attacks, my administration faced immediate challenges: We had to respond to the attack on our country. We had to wage an unprecedented war against an enemy unlike any we had fought before. We had to find the terrorists hiding in America and across the world, before they were able to strike our country again. So in the early days and weeks after 9/11, I directed our government’s senior national security officials to do everything in their power, within our laws, to prevent another attack.

Nearly five years have passed since these — those initial days of shock and sadness — and we are thankful that the terrorists have not succeeded in launching another attack on our soil. This is not for the lack of desire or determination on the part of the enemy. As the recently foiled plot in London shows, the terrorists are still active, and they’re still trying to strike America, and they’re still trying to kill our people. One reason the terrorists have not succeeded is because of the hard work of thousands of dedicated men and women in our government, who have toiled day and night, along with our allies, to stop the enemy from carrying out their plans. And we are grateful for these hardworking citizens of ours.

Another reason the terrorists have not succeeded is because our government has changed its policies — and given our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel the tools they need to fight this enemy and protect our people and preserve our freedoms.

 The terrorists who declared war on America represent no nation, they defend no territory, and they wear no uniform. They do not mass armies on borders, or flotillas of warships on the high seas. They operate in the shadows of society; they send small teams of operatives to infiltrate free nations; they live quietly among their victims; they conspire in secret, and then they strike without warning. In this new war, the most important source of information on where the terrorists are hiding and what they are planning is the terrorists, themselves. Captured terrorists have unique knowledge about how terrorist networks operate. They have knowledge of where their operatives are deployed, and knowledge about what plots are underway. This intelligence — this is intelligence that cannot be found any other place. And our security depends on getting this kind of information. To win the war on terror, we must be able to detain, question, and, when appropriate, prosecute terrorists captured here in America, and on the battlefields around the world.

After the 9/11 attacks, our coalition launched operations across the world to remove terrorist safe havens, and capture or kill terrorist operatives and leaders. Working with our allies, we’ve captured and detained thousands of terrorists and enemy fighters in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and other fronts of this war on terror. These enemy — these are enemy combatants, who were waging war on our nation. We have a right under the laws of war, and we have an obligation to the American people, to detain these enemies and stop them from rejoining the battle.

Most of the enemy combatants we capture are held in Afghanistan or in Iraq, where they’re questioned by our military personnel. Many are released after questioning, or turned over to local authorities — if we determine that they do not pose a continuing threat and no longer have significant intelligence value. Others remain in American custody near the battlefield, to ensure that they don’t return to the fight.

In some cases, we determine that individuals we have captured pose a significant threat, or may have intelligence that we and our allies need to have to prevent new attacks. Many are al Qaeda operatives or Taliban fighters trying to conceal their identities, and they withhold information that could save American lives. In these cases, it has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held secretly [sic], questioned by experts, and — when appropriate — prosecuted for terrorist acts.

 Some of these individuals are taken to the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It’s important for Americans and others across the world to understand the kind of people held at Guantanamo. These aren’t common criminals, or bystanders accidentally swept up on the battlefield — we have in place a rigorous process to ensure those held at Guantanamo Bay belong at Guantanamo. Those held at Guantanamo include suspected bomb makers, terrorist trainers, recruiters and facilitators, and potential suicide bombers. They are in our custody so they cannot murder our people. One detainee held at Guantanamo told a questioner questioning him — he said this: “I’ll never forget your face. I will kill you, your brothers, your mother, and sisters.”

In addition to the terrorists held at Guantanamo, a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the United States, in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency. This group includes individuals believed to be the key architects of the September the 11th attacks, and attacks on the USS Cole, an operative involved in the bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and individuals involved in other attacks that have taken the lives of innocent civilians across the world. These are dangerous men with unparalleled knowledge about terrorist networks and their plans for new attacks. The security of our nation and the lives of our citizens depend on our ability to learn what these terrorists know.

Many specifics of this program, including where these detainees have been held and the details of their confinement, cannot be divulged. Doing so would provide our enemies with information they could use to take retribution against our allies and harm our country. I can say that questioning the detainees in this program has given us information that has saved innocent lives by helping us stop new attacks — here in the United States and across the world. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the examples provided by our intelligence community of how this program has saved lives; why it remains vital to the security of the United States, and our friends and allies; and why it deserves the support of the United States Congress and the American people.

Within months of September the 11th, 2001, we captured a man known as Abu Zubaydah. We believe that Zubaydah was a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden. Our intelligence community believes he had run a terrorist camp in Afghanistan where some of the 9/11 hijackers trained, and that he helped smuggle al Qaeda leaders out of Afghanistan after coalition forces arrived to liberate that country. Zubaydah was severely wounded during the firefight that brought him into custody — and he survived only because of the medical care arranged by the CIA.

After he recovered, Zubaydah was defiant and evasive. He declared his hatred of America. During questioning, he at first disclosed what he thought was nominal information — and then stopped all cooperation. Well, in fact, the “nominal” information he gave us turned out to be quite important. For example, Zubaydah disclosed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — or KSM — was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and used the alias “Muktar.” This was a vital piece of the puzzle that helped our intelligence community pursue KSM. Abu Zubaydah also provided information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the United States — an attack about which we had no previous information. Zubaydah told us that al Qaeda operatives were planning to launch an attack in the U.S., and provided physical descriptions of the operatives and information on their general location. Based on the information he provided, the operatives were detained — one while traveling to the United States.

We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used — I think you understand why — if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.

Zubaydah was questioned using these procedures, and soon he began to provide information on key al Qaeda operatives, including information that helped us find and capture more of those responsible for the attacks on September the 11th. For example, Zubaydah identified one of KSM’s accomplices in the 9/11 attacks — a terrorist named Ramzi bin al Shibh. The information Zubaydah provided helped lead to the capture of bin al Shibh. And together these two terrorists provided information that helped in the planning and execution of the operation that captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Once in our custody, KSM was questioned by the CIA using these procedures, and he soon provided information that helped us stop another planned attack on the United States. During questioning, KSM told us about another al Qaeda operative he knew was in CIA custody — a terrorist named Majid Khan. KSM revealed that Khan had been told to deliver $50,000 to individuals working for a suspected terrorist leader named Hambali, the leader of al Qaeda’s Southeast Asian affiliate known as “J-I”. CIA officers confronted Khan with this information. Khan confirmed that the money had been delivered to an operative named Zubair, and provided both a physical description and contact number for this operative.

Based on that information, Zubair was captured in June of 2003, and he soon provided information that helped lead to the capture of Hambali. After Hambali’s arrest, KSM was questioned again. He identified Hambali’s brother as the leader of a “J-I” cell, and Hambali’s conduit for communications with al Qaeda. Hambali’s brother was soon captured in Pakistan, and, in turn, led us to a cell of 17 Southeast Asian “J-I” operatives. When confronted with the news that his terror cell had been broken up, Hambali admitted that the operatives were being groomed at KSM’s request for attacks inside the United States — probably [sic] using airplanes.

During questioning, KSM also provided many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans. For example, he described the design of planned attacks on buildings inside the United States, and how operatives were directed to carry them out. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a point that was high enough to prevent the people trapped above from escaping out the windows.

KSM also provided vital information on al Qaeda’s efforts to obtain biological weapons. During questioning, KSM admitted that he had met three individuals involved in al Qaeda’s efforts to produce anthrax, a deadly biological agent — and he identified one of the individuals as a terrorist named Yazid. KSM apparently believed we already had this information, because Yazid had been captured and taken into foreign custody before KSM’s arrest. In fact, we did not know about Yazid’s role in al Qaeda’s anthrax program. Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program. Without the information provided by KSM and Yazid, we might not have uncovered this al Qaeda biological weapons program, or stopped this al Qaeda cell from developing anthrax for attacks against the United States.

These are some of the plots that have been stopped because of the information of this vital program. Terrorists held in CIA custody have also provided information that helped stop a planned strike on U.S. Marines at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti — they were going to use an explosive laden water tanker. They helped stop a planned attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi using car bombs and motorcycle bombs, and they helped stop a plot to hijack passenger planes and fly them into Heathrow or the Canary Wharf in London.

We’re getting vital information necessary to do our jobs, and that’s to protect the American people and our allies.

Information from the terrorists in this program has helped us to identify individuals that al Qaeda deemed suitable for Western operations, many of whom we had never heard about before. They include terrorists who were set to case targets inside the United States, including financial buildings in major cities on the East Coast. Information from terrorists in CIA custody has played a role in the capture or questioning of nearly every senior al Qaeda member or associate detained by the U.S. and its allies since this program began. By providing everything from initial leads to photo identifications, to precise locations of where terrorists were hiding, this program has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they were able to kill.

This program has also played a critical role in helping us understand the enemy we face in this war. Terrorists in this program have painted a picture of al Qaeda’s structure and financing, and communications and logistics. They identified al Qaeda’s travel routes and safe havens, and explained how al Qaeda’s senior leadership communicates with its operatives in places like Iraq. They provided information that allows us — that has allowed us to make sense of documents and computer records that we have seized in terrorist raids. They’ve identified voices in recordings of intercepted calls, and helped us understand the meaning of potentially critical terrorist communications.

The information we get from these detainees is corroborated by intelligence, and we’ve received — that we’ve received from other sources — and together this intelligence has helped us connect the dots and stop attacks before they occur. Information from the terrorists questioned in this program helped unravel plots and terrorist cells in Europe and in other places. It’s helped our allies protect their people from deadly enemies. This program has been, and remains, one of the most vital tools in our war against the terrorists. It is invaluable to America and to our allies. Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland. By giving us information about terrorist plans we could not get anywhere else, this program has saved innocent lives.

This program has been subject to multiple legal reviews by the Department of Justice and CIA lawyers; they’ve determined it complied with our laws. This program has received strict oversight by the CIA’s Inspector General. A small number of key leaders from both political parties on Capitol Hill were briefed about this program. All those involved in the questioning of the terrorists are carefully chosen and they’re screened from a pool of experienced CIA officers. Those selected to conduct the most sensitive questioning had to complete more than 250 additional hours of specialized training before they are allowed to have contact with a captured terrorist.

I want to be absolutely clear with our people, and the world: The United States does not torture. It’s against our laws, and it’s against our values. I have not authorized it — and I will not authorize it. Last year, my administration worked with Senator John McCain, and I signed into law the Detainee Treatment Act, which established the legal standard for treatment of detainees wherever they are held. I support this act. And as we implement this law, our government will continue to use every lawful method to obtain intelligence that can protect innocent people, and stop another attack like the one we experienced on September the 11th, 2001.

The CIA program has detained only a limited number of terrorists at any given time — and once we’ve determined that the terrorists held by the CIA have little or no additional intelligence value, many of them have been returned to their home countries for prosecution or detention by their governments. Others have been accused of terrible crimes against the American people, and we have a duty to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice. So we intend to prosecute these men, as appropriate, for their crimes.

Soon after the war on terror began, I authorized a system of military commissions to try foreign terrorists accused of war crimes. Military commissions have been used by Presidents from George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt to prosecute war criminals, because the rules for trying enemy combatants in a time of conflict must be different from those for trying common criminals or members of our own military. One of the first suspected terrorists to be put on trial by military commission was one of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards — a man named Hamdan. His lawyers challenged the legality of the military commission system. It took more than two years for this case to make its way through the courts. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the military commissions we had designed, but this past June, the Supreme Court overturned that decision. The Supreme Court determined that military commissions are an appropriate venue for trying terrorists, but ruled that military commissions needed to be explicitly authorized by the United States Congress.

So today, I’m sending Congress legislation to specifically authorize the creation of military commissions to try terrorists for war crimes. My administration has been working with members of both parties in the House and Senate on this legislation. We put forward a bill that ensures these commissions are established in a way that protects our national security, and ensures a full and fair trial for those accused. The procedures in the bill I am sending to Congress today reflect the reality that we are a nation at war, and that it’s essential for us to use all reliable evidence to bring these people to justice.

We’re now approaching the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — and the families of those murdered that day have waited patiently for justice. Some of the families are with us today — they should have to wait no longer. So I’m announcing today that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and 11 other terrorists in CIA custody have been transferred to the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. (Applause.) They are being held in the custody of the Department of Defense. As soon as Congress acts to authorize the military commissions I have proposed, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on September the 11th, 2001, can face justice. (Applause.)

We’ll also seek to prosecute those believed to be responsible for the attack on the USS Cole, and an operative believed to be involved in the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. With these prosecutions, we will send a clear message to those who kill Americans: No longer — how long it takes, we will find you and we will bring you to justice. (Applause.)

These men will be held in a high-security facility at Guantanamo. The International Committee of the Red Cross is being advised of their detention, and will have the opportunity to meet with them. Those charged with crimes will be given access to attorneys who will help them prepare their defense — and they will be presumed innocent. While at Guantanamo, they will have access to the same food, clothing, medical care, and opportunities for worship as other detainees. They will be questioned subject to the new U.S. Army Field Manual, which the Department of Defense is issuing today. And they will continue to be treated with the humanity that they denied others.

As we move forward with the prosecutions, we will continue to urge nations across the world to take back their nationals at Guantanamo who will not be prosecuted by our military commissions. America has no interest in being the world’s jailer. But one of the reasons we have not been able to close Guantanamo is that many countries have refused to take back their nationals held at the facility. Other countries have not provided adequate assurances that their nationals will not be mistreated — or they will not return to the battlefield, as more than a dozen people released from Guantanamo already have. We will continue working to transfer individuals held at Guantanamo, and ask other countries to work with us in this process. And we will move toward the day when we can eventually close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

I know Americans have heard conflicting information about Guantanamo. Let me give you some facts. Of the thousands of terrorists captured across the world, only about 770 have ever been sent to Guantanamo. Of these, about 315 have been returned to other countries so far — and about 455 remain in our custody. They are provided the same quality of medical care as the American service members who guard them. The International Committee of the Red Cross has the opportunity to meet privately with all who are held there. The facility has been visited by government officials from more than 30 countries, and delegations from international organizations, as well. After the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe came to visit, one of its delegation members called Guantanamo “a model prison” where people are treated better than in prisons in his own country. Our troops can take great pride in the work they do at Guantanamo Bay — and so can the American people.

As we prosecute suspected terrorist leaders and operatives who have now been transferred to Guantanamo, we’ll continue searching for those who have stepped forward to take their places. This nation is going to stay on the offense to protect the American people. We will continue to bring the world’s most dangerous terrorists to justice — and we will continue working to collect the vital intelligence we need to protect our country. The current transfers mean that there are now no terrorists in the CIA program. But as more high-ranking terrorists are captured, the need to obtain intelligence from them will remain critical — and having a CIA program for questioning terrorists will continue to be crucial to getting life-saving information.

Some may ask: Why are you acknowledging this program now? There are two reasons why I’m making these limited disclosures today. First, we have largely completed our questioning of the men — and to start the process for bringing them to trial, we must bring them into the open. Second, the Supreme Court’s recent decision has impaired our ability to prosecute terrorists through military commissions, and has put in question the future of the CIA program. In its ruling on military commissions, the Court determined that a provision of the Geneva Conventions known as “Common Article Three” applies to our war with al Qaeda. This article includes provisions that prohibit “outrages upon personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment.” The problem is that these and other provisions of Common Article Three are vague and undefined, and each could be interpreted in different ways by American or foreign judges. And some believe our military and intelligence personnel involved in capturing and questioning terrorists could now be at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act — simply for doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way.

This is unacceptable. Our military and intelligence personnel go face to face with the world’s most dangerous men every day. They have risked their lives to capture some of the most brutal terrorists on Earth. And they have worked day and night to find out what the terrorists know so we can stop new attacks. America owes our brave men and women some things in return. We owe them their thanks for saving lives and keeping America safe. And we owe them clear rules, so they can continue to do their jobs and protect our people.

So today, I’m asking Congress to pass legislation that will clarify the rules for our personnel fighting the war on terror. First, I’m asking Congress to list the specific, recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes under the War Crimes Act — so our personnel can know clearly what is prohibited in the handling of terrorist enemies. Second, I’m asking that Congress make explicit that by following the standards of the Detainee Treatment Act our personnel are fulfilling America’s obligations under Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions. Third, I’m asking that Congress make it clear that captured terrorists cannot use the Geneva Conventions as a basis to sue our personnel in courts — in U.S. courts. The men and women who protect us should not have to fear lawsuits filed by terrorists because they’re doing their jobs.

The need for this legislation is urgent. We need to ensure that those questioning terrorists can continue to do everything within the limits of the law to get information that can save American lives. My administration will continue to work with the Congress to get this legislation enacted — but time is of the essence. Congress is in session just for a few more weeks, and passing this legislation ought to be the top priority. (Applause.)

As we work with Congress to pass a good bill, we will also consult with congressional leaders on how to ensure that the CIA program goes forward in a way that follows the law, that meets the national security needs of our country, and protects the brave men and women we ask to obtain information that will save innocent lives. For the sake of our security, Congress needs to act, and update our laws to meet the threats of this new era. And I know they will.

We’re engaged in a global struggle — and the entire civilized world has a stake in its outcome. America is a nation of law. And as I work with Congress to strengthen and clarify our laws here at home, I will continue to work with members of the international community who have been our partners in this struggle. I’ve spoken with leaders of foreign governments, and worked with them to address their concerns about Guantanamo and our detention policies. I’ll continue to work with the international community to construct a common foundation to defend our nations and protect our freedoms.

Free nations have faced new enemies and adjusted to new threats before — and we have prevailed. Like the struggles of the last century, today’s war on terror is, above all, a struggle for freedom and liberty. The adversaries are different, but the stakes in this war are the same: We’re fighting for our way of life, and our ability to live in freedom. We’re fighting for the cause of humanity, against those who seek to impose the darkness of tyranny and terror upon the entire world. And we’re fighting for a peaceful future for our children and our grandchildren.

May God bless you all. (Applause.)

END 2:22 P.M. EDT

Ari Fleischer suggests foreknowledge

"There is just no question that this was a well-coordinated, planned attack that was executed (Tuesday) morning," Fleischer said. "And we believe that the perpetrators have executed their plan and, therefore, the risks are significantly reduced.

Pressed by reporters, Fleischer said, "The reason we know this is because the resources of the federal government are committed to learning things."

Thursday, September 13, 2001
Copyright

‘I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa’ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes’

Published on Friday, April 2, 2004 by the lndependent/UK
‘I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa’ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes’
Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent
by Andrew Buncombe in Washington
 

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa’ida’s plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.



Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds [CBS]

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission’s investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".

She told The Independent yesterday: "I gave [the commission] details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation. I gave them everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily."

She added: "There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used

Congressman: Atta papers destroyed on orders

Congressman: Atta papers destroyed on orders


Pentagon denies having any documents on lead hijacker prior to 9/11

Sept. 16, 2005, AP

WASHINGTON – A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday.

The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to identify the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.

Weldon declined to identify the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as ?2.5 terabytes? ? as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.

A Senate Judiciary Committee aide said the witnesses for Wednesday’s hearing had not been finalized and could not confirm Weldon’s comments.

Pentagon: Nothing found
Army Maj. Paul Swiergosz, a Pentagon spokesman, said officials have been “fact-finding in earnest for quite some time.”

“We’ve interviewed 80 people involved with Able Danger, combed through hundreds of thousands of documents and millions of e-mails and have still found no documentation of Mohamed Atta,” Swiergosz said.

He added that certain data had to be destroyed in accordance with existing regulations regarding “intelligence data on U.S. persons.”

Did program exist?
Weldon has said that Atta, the mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and three other hijackers were identified in 1999 by a classified military intelligence unit known as “Able Danger,” which determined they could be members of an al-Qaida cell.

On Wednesday, former members of the Sept. 11 commission dismissed the “Able Danger? assertions. One commissioner, ex-Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., said, “Bluntly, it just didn’t happen and that’s the conclusion of all 10 of us.”

Weldon responded angrily to Gorton’s assertions.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable that a commission would say this program just didn’t exist,” Weldon said Thursday.

Pentagon officials said this month they had found three more people who recall an intelligence chart identifying Atta as a terrorist prior to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Two military officers, Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, have come forward to support Weldon’s claims.

San Francisco Mayor warned not to fly on 9/11

San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown receives a travel warning eight hours before the attacks.

Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
Wednesday, September 12, 2001

San Francisco Chronicle
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/12/MN229389.DTL 

"For Mayor Willie Brown, the first signs that something was amiss came late Monday when he got a call from what he described as his airport security – – a full eight hours before yesterday’s string of terrorist attacks — advising him that Americans should be cautious about their air travel.

The mayor, who was booked to fly to New York yesterday morning from San Francisco International Airport, said the call "didn’t come in any alarming fashion, which is why I’m hesitant to make an alarming statement."

In fact, at the time, he didn’t pay it much mind.

"It was not an abnormal call. I’m always concerned if my flight is going to be on time, and they always alert me when I ought to be careful."

Exactly where the call came from is a bit of a mystery. The mayor would say only that it came from "my security people at the airport."

Mike McCarron, assistant deputy director at SFO, said the Federal Aviation Administration "routinely" issues security notices about possible threats. He said two or three such notices have been received in the past couple of months,

but none in recent days.

Whatever the case, Brown didn’t think about it again until he was up, dressed and waiting for his ride to the airport for an 8 a.m. flight to New York, where he was to attend a state retirement board meeting. That was when he turned on the TV, and like millions of other Americans, saw the twin towers of the World Trade Center crumble and the Pentagon go up in smoke.

Before the mayor was even out the door, District Attorney Terence Hallinan – – the man Brown said just last week should be recalled — was checking in and offering help.

What followed was a conversation made up of equal parts gravity and formality.

"You know, you’re the first call I’ve gotten on this," Brown said to Hallinan, as they were signing off.

With that, the mayor hung up and headed for City Hall. Along the way, he made the call to close all city buildings for the day and city schools as well.

He also talked with representatives of the Bank of America building and the Transamerica Pyramid, who agreed that because the structures were such high- profile symbols they too should be closed for the day.

Once Brown arrived at City Hall, calls were made in quick order to Municipal Railway director Michael Burns: "I want a complete backup in case anything happens to the subway tunnels," Brown said.

The Coast Guard: "To make sure the bridges were being protected."

And to the health, police and fire departments to make sure they were staffed for the emergency.

The last call went to Tom Ammiano, the mayor’s longtime political nemesis and president of the Board of Supervisors.

"We may have to declare a state of emergency, although it’s not something I want to do at this point because it kicks in all sorts of things — but we may have to be ready," the mayor said.

Ammiano apparently agreed, because an hour or so later — when the two sat next to each other at a city department heads meeting at the command center — the call was made for only a "limited" state of emergency. One that would allow the courts, city offices and schools to close, but still keep the city pretty much in working order.

"What I want," the mayor said, "is for things to be to run as normally as possible, but sagely."

And for the most part they did. As for what comes next?

"With any luck, we’ll be back to normal by tomorrow — but with a heightened sense of awareness," Brown said as he sipped coffee with reporters at Citizen Cake on Grove Street.

But as for long-term safety?

"We can only do what we can," the mayor said, adding, "Hell, if they can’t protect the Pentagon from attack, what can they protect?"

BART BLOCKS: Don’t go looking for a rest room on BART — they’re all locked.

According to BART information officer Ron Rodriguez, a memorandum went out yesterday ordering all station rest rooms to be locked until further notice. They’ve also put out the word to watch for suspicious packages.

THE OTHER BROWN: Over in Oakland, Mayor Jerry Brown was trying his best to keep things normal as well.

"We’re carrying on," Brown said. "I think the most important thing is for people to stay calm and understand that the power of terrorism is psychological.

"The goal is to sow disunity and to undermine our faith in the leadership of the country."

A few blocks away, Democratic pollster Paul Maslin sat in his office high- rise and wondered about the long-term effect of the attacks.

"It’s like one part Pearl Harbor, one part Northern Ireland and one part I don’t know what," was how Maslin summed it up.

Maslin — who does polling for Gov. Gray Davis, among others — said the strangest call he got yesterday was from one of the biggest Democratic consultants in Washington, D.C., who had just bolted his apartment.

"This was a grown man in his 50s, and he was scared out of his wits because he’d heard that a second plane was headed for the Pentagon," Maslin said.

"We can’t even begin to gauge the long-term effects of this yet, but I will say, I don’t think we’ll ever be the same."

Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. They can also be heard on KGO Radio on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Matier can be seen regularly on KRON-TV. Got a tip? Call them at


Did the FBI, did Rumseld possess foreknowledge?

Did the FBI know before 9/11 the identities of the alleged hijackers?

Did Rumsfeld know before 9/11 that the attacks would take place? 

 Four 9/11 Moms Battle Bush
  By Gail Sheehy
  The New York Observer


  Thursday 21 August 2003


  In mid-June, F.B.I. director Robert Mueller III and several senior agents in the bureau received a group of about 20 visitors in a briefing room of the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The director himself narrated a PowerPoint presentation that summarized the numbers of agents and leads and evidence he and his people had collected in the 18-month course of their ongoing investigation of Penttbom, the clever neologism the bureau had invented to reduce the sites of devastation on 9/11 to one word: Pent for Pentagon, Pen for Pennsylvania, tt for the Twin Towers and bom for the four planes that the government had been forewarned could be used as weapons

American Airlines public relations on 9/11

American Airlines braces for most turbulent journey


            Arguably the carrier most affected by the September 11 attacks, American Airlines has implemented major communications plans on every level. Sherri Deatherage Green and Claire Murphy look at the airline’s disaster response.

 PR Week USA  , Nov. 11, 2001 , by SHERRI DEATHERAGE GREEN and CLAIRE MURPHY

            American Airlines ramped up a newly revised crisis communications plan in late summer. Those charged with imagining worst-case scenarios laid out contingencies for plane crashes and 1978-style hijackings. They never dreamed of terrorists turning two aircrafts into weapons of mass destruction, of coordinating disaster communication with another airline in the same predicament, or of working in the shadows of the FBI.

            “This was not going to be a crisis-as-usual situation for us,” says Timothy Doke, VP corporate communications for Texas-based American Airlines. Driving down a freeway September 11, Doke learned American Flight 11 had crashed into the World  Trade  Center  . By the time he reached AMR?s crisis command center in  Fort Worth  , he found out the second tower had met the same fate. Word of Flight 77?s dive into the Pentagon soon followed.

  A whole new strategy

            “In a very odd way, that to me changed the whole dynamic of what we were dealing with,” says Doke. “Strictly from a PR standpoint, it had a bit of a calming effect. It was apparent to me that this was something that could not possibly be the fault of American Airlines.”

            American abandoned its freshly minted crisis communications plan almost immediately, not because putting the CEO out front isn’t the best plan of action in a crisis, but because the FBI rushed to American’s command center and made it clear who was in charge. American issued its first press release within a few hours of the attacks, referring all questions to the FBI. In any other crisis, it would have responded much sooner.

            Even without the risk of compromising a criminal investigation, Doke doesn’t think turning CEO Don Carty into a spokesman for the tragedy would have been appropriate. “It became increasingly obvious to us that the CEO for this crisis wasn’t Don Carty or Jim Goodwin (former CEO) of United,” Doke says. “The CEO in this instance was George W. Bush.”

             Mike Boyd, president of the Boyd Group, an aviation consulting firm in  Colorado  , thinks American did the right thing. “We didn’t know what the situation was,” he observes. “In an act of war, American’s corporate objective takes a back seat to America  “s objective.”

            American couldn’t say much, but its communications office remained staffed 24 hours a day for more than two weeks. “The toughest thing is the first day when everybody comes in and wants to jump immediately into the crisis,” Doke says. “You have to tell a third of them to go home and get some sleep.”  

Agencies spring into action

            Doke immediately called Ken Luce, president of Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s Southwest US  office. The agency sent more than 20 people to American’s headquarters and to airports around the U.S. Unable to get around by public transport that day, two of WSW?s New York   employees hitchhiked to La Guardia, Luce says.

            “It seemed like every media call raised a new issue,” Doke recalls. While American couldn’t answer many questions, spokespeople subtly steered reporters away from false rumors and leaked information. Employees from WSW and American’s other agency, Burson-Marsteller, served as the firm’s eyes and ears in the airports its staff couldn’t reach while planes were grounded.

            American’s attention turned inward to employee communication. Staff bulletins became an important means of communicating to the outside world as well.  The airline took the unusual step of putting such messages on its public website, Doke says. These included transcripts of “hotline? voice-mail messages from Carty. The CEO made several special recordings in the days after September 11 to reassure staff. Management received an average of seven e-mails a day in the first few days to keep them updated.

            By Sept. 28, the PR staff, like every other department in the cash-strapped airline, had to do more with less. Five of the 20,000 employees laid off by the airline worked in PR, reducing headcount to about 40, including 10 people who work in the company museum. Doke reorganized remaining staff and assigned each employee responsibilities on both a subject-matter and geographic basis.

            Tighter budgets also mean less outside help. “We’ve had to cut our professional fee budget substantially,” Doke says. That has cut into the fees paid to both WSW and Burson.  

Necessary cuts start at the top

            Once American was able to talk more freely, messages focused on finance and security. Airlines depended heavily on the Air Transport Association to communicate with Congress about the need for emergency financial aid.  Burson, which does public affairs work for American, supported lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Carty chairs the association board but deferred to other CEOs, like Delta Airline’s Leo Mullin, to speak on the industrx’s behalf.

             Again, Cartx’s strongest messages were directed to employees while also addressing the broader public. A Sept. 28 letter explained the decision to cut staff. Titled “An Airline in Crisis,” the no-nonsense document made it clear that belt-tightening is crucial to the airline’s survival. “The losses we face are truly staggering,” Carty wrote, going on to explain how the airline loses money each time a half-full plane takes off. “Right now it is survival, not profitability that is our core challenge.” Carty took an equally frank approach in an Oct. 24 letter announcing the companx’s worst financial quarter ever, describing steps taken to keep planes in the sky and appealing to employees for help.

            The airline’s CEO appeared as the industrx’s elder statesman, says Dr. Adam Pilarski, SVP of aviation consulting firm AVITAS. Perhaps Cartx’s most well-received gesture was fore-going pay for the rest of the year.

            “I don’t know if the public paid much attention at all, but I know the press did,” recalls Washington Post reporter Frank Swoboda. Other American officers and the CEOs of competing airlines, such as Continental, followed suit. The company also set up a website through which staff could donate pay to their employer, a successful program that will save millions, says Doke.

            On the safety front, American issued press releases about its plans to fit iron bars to the insides of cockpit doors. But such issues lie largely within the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration, and many safety measures can’t be discussed for security reasons.

            One pressing need now is to “get people back into the air,” says Marty Heires, American’s field media relations director. In addition to offering low fares and double frequent-flyer miles, the airline is again using internal communication to boost bookings. It e-mailed employees encouraging them to offer 5-percent discounts to friends and family. American also recently launched a campaign called “Proud to be American? to boost the morale of workers stressed by increased security requirements, long hours and the loss of coworkers to layoffs and tragedy.

            As for that new crisis communications plan, Doke says he doesn’t know if it needs wholesale changes or just an addition on terrorist attacks.

            “This event is such an anomaly as it relates to crisis communications planning,” Doke says. “I think the bed-rock principles will be the same ? be available, be open and honest, and be as forthcoming as we can possibly be.”

The US Government lied

The US government lied

From National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice to the President of the United States George W. Bush, a lie was maintained in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001 – Nobody in our government could have envisioned using aircraft as weapons to fly into buildings. I wonder if someone’s resignation is in order…

 

            Proof: "Discussed for some 40 years"

Homeland Defense and the Transportation Industry: The Civil Aviation and Surface Transportation Sectors.

In the last meeting (May 2001), participants discussed Washington and New York as the most likely targets, even discussing a scenario in which a plane is hijacked and crashed into a high-value target. In fact, this scenario had been discussed for some 40 years, the supposed target typically a nuclear reactor.Denver Council on Foreign Relations Reports

Proof: NORAD Anticipated and Prepared For Aircraft Event

NORAD had drills of jets as weapons
By Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON

Truth – Justice – Peace