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April 12, 2009

Miscellaneous 9/11 Commission Documents (last updated 18 March 2010)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 8:52 am
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This post lists miscellaneous documents related to the 9/11 Commission’s investigation of the attacks. The documents have been posted at the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. I am reading through them gradually and highlighting interesting information. This post will be updated continuously.

(-) A cable sent by the US embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, about the origins of Mullah Omar and the Taliban movement. The cable is based on a report from a source close to the Taliban’s leadership in February 1995.

(-) Proposed questions to be asked at a 9/11 Commission hearing on June 16-17, 2004. The questions cover al-Qaeda ability to inflict harm on the US, domestic support for terrorism, events in the summer of 2001 and the hijackers’ “Saudi connection.”

One question the commission was to ask concerns an intercept of a call between alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 9/11 coordinator Ramzi bin al-Shibh on July 20, 2001. However, a review of the session’s transcript indicates the witnesses were not asked about this.

(-) A March 1998 cable from the US consulate in Peshawar, Afghanistan, containing a report that 2,000 Pakistani fighters had recently been dispatched to help the Taliban in Afghanistan.

(-) Draft questions to be asked by the 9/11 Commission at hearings in May 2003 on aviation security. The draft is dated May 21.

The questions cover terrorist threats to civil aviation before 9/11 and weaknesses in the system. There are set goals as to what areas the witnesses should cover and what they need to be forced to acknowledge.

The witnesses were to be former FAA administrator Jane Garvey, Transportation Department Inspector General Keneth Mead, airline industry official James May and “Red Team” whistleblower Bogdan Dzakovic.

Garvey was to be asked a detailed question about her actions on 9/11, but this question was never actually put to her at the hearing.

(-) Questions to be asked by the 9/11 Commission at hearings in May 2003 on aviation security. The questions cover security, intelligence, relations between agencies, baggage screening, events on the day of the attacks, etc.

(-) A letter to the 9/11 Commission from a member of the public criticising Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for Admiral James Loy, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and a former Transportation Security Administration official. The questions mostly cover aviation security.

(-) An April 2004 letter to the 9/11 Commission from author Gerald Posner proposing that he testify before the commission. Posner indicates he would blame Representative Barney Franks (D-MA) for the attacks due to his work on homeland security.

(-) Certifications from government agencies saying that they have fully complied with the 9/11 Commission’s document requests. The certifications come from the departments of defense, transportation (with FAA), treasury, homeland security (with transportation security administration, FEMA and Secret Service), justice, and state, as well as the CIA, NSA and FBI.

Also a letter from the Transportation Security Administration saying it has backup tapes containing e-mails from September 11, but it is not going to give them to the commission.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice about her conduct on the day of 9/11. The questions cover a phone call with President George Bush after the first plane hit the WTC, her reaction to the second crash, her subsequent actions, the White House videoconference, various decisions made on that day, an apparent threat to Air Force One, and the shoot down order.

The questions contain a portion of the White House Situation Room Log relating to the videoconference. The portion indicates the Pentagon official participating in the video conference was from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

(-) A memo drafted by the 9/11 Commission about an interview of FBI agent Steve Bongardt, who was barred from helping with the search for 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in the summer of 2001.

One of the interviewers was Barbara Grewe. Most of the memo is redacted.

(-) Various documents about payments to 9/11 Commissioners for their work on the commission.

(1) Three copies of an April 17, 2003, memo from the commission’s counsel Daniel Marcus about guidelines for payments of daily fees to commissioners.

(2) Another similar memo from Marcus.

(3) Various memos in which the commissioners claim compensation for time spent working for the commission. The commissioners who make such claims are Tim Roemer, Lee Hamilton, Slade Gorton, Bob Kerrey and Richard Ben-Veniste. Hamilton, the vice chairman, appears to be claiming the most and often does not specify what he has done on a given day to deserve compensation.

(-) The resume of 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, apparently drafted some time in 2003. The resume does not mention his work on the Bush administration transition or his authorship in September 2002 of a National Security Strategy advocating pre-emptive war.

(-) The “What Do I Do Now” memo drafted by 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow in March 2003. The memo tells staffers newly hired by the 9/11 Commission to take care of their personal paperwork, digest work already done on the area they will be studying, and prepare for further research.

The most controversial section says that if a staffer is contacted by a commissioner, he should contact either Zelikow or Deputy Executive Director Chris Kojm, who will then respond to the commissioner. This section was apparently rescinded after Commissioner Jamie Gorelick complained about it.

(-) A table showing the state of document requests made by the 9/11 Commission. The table appears to have been made in late June 2003.

(-) A table showing the state of document requests made by the 9/11 Commission. The table appears to have been made in late October 2003.

(-) An e-mail exchange between 9/11 Commission staffer Barbara Grewe and Philip Zelikow, the commission’s executive director, about the use of planes as weapons.

It says that after 9/11 the FBI created three notebooks containing all planes-as-weapons scenarios it had for its director.

(-) A July 2003 table showing the state of document requests made by the 9/11 Commission.

(-) Two February 2004 e-mails by 9/11 Commission staffers, including Barbara Grewe, about access to memos summarising interviews conducted by the CIA inspector general and draft sections of its report about the agency’s failings before 9/11.

(-) A list of questions about the Canadian intelligence system drafted by the 9/11 Commission. Also a September 2003 e-mail by commission staffer Barbara Grewe about a forthcoming commission trip to Canada.

(-) A July 2003 e-mail from 9/11 Commission staffer Barbara Grewe containing questions to be asked at a briefing about the Terrorist Threat Integration Center.

(-) A memo drafted by 9/11 Commission staffer Barbara Grewe of an interview of former FBI General Counsel Larry Parkinson. He discusses the “wall” procedures that governed information sharing, including in relation to the Earl Pitts case and complains he sometimes had problems passing information on to other officials.

According to Parkinson, around 2000 the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review started to suggest to field intelligence agents that if there was too much contact with the DoJ’s Criminal Division, a FISA warrant request might not be submitted.

Parkinson also describes an attempt to reform the 1995 Procedures that ended up petering out, as well as Judge Royce Lamberth’s role, which appears to be detrimental. Lamberth imposed greater strictness, banned an agent from appearing before the court and raised the walls.

Regarding the search for 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, Parkinson says he was not personally involved. FBI agent Dina Corsi claims one of Parkinson’s associates, Sherry Sabol, told her a criminal agent could not be present at an interview of Almihdhar, if he were found. Parkinson says he would be shocked if Sabol had really said this, as there would be “no problem” with a criminal agent being present.

(-) An interview schedule for the 9/11 Commission. The schedule, apparently from the fall of 2003, states who will be interviewed by which commission team(s) and when.

(-) A resume for 9/11 Commission staffer Barabara Grewe. The resume says that, before joining the commission, she worked on the Justice Department inspector general’s probe into the CIA-FBI failures related to Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi and drafted some sections of the final report.

(-) Two handwritten 9/11 Commission memos about staffer Barbara Grewe. The first mention’s Grewe’s work, prior to joining the commission, on information-sharing problems between the CIA and FBI. Grewe worked on the Justice Department inspector general’s probe of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures prior at this time.

(-) Various materials about classification and documents concerning the 9/11 Commission and the US Department of Defense:
(1) Two e-mail chains about classification;
(2) A letter from Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone to 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow about the passage of three sets of documents to the commission: (a) NORAD tapes from the day of the attacks, (b) detainee interrogation reports, and (c) policy materials;
(3) A news article about General William Boykin;
(4) A 9/11 Commission e-mail about planning for a Pentagon briefing of Zelikow;
(5) Miscellaneous 9/11 Commission e-mails about briefings and documents;
(6) Tables showing what documents the commission received at which points in its inquiry and what it was still waiting for. One of the tables states that the NSA drafted an after-action review following the attacks and that it was provided to the commission. Another table mentions military exercies such as Vigilant Guardian, other DoD exercises, Amalgam Virgo, an emergency drill at the Pentagon and a DoD medical training scenario;
(7) More e-mails about possible commission requests for briefings by the Pentagon;
(8) Part of a Washington Times article about Congressional oversight of special operations;
(9) A draft 9/11 Commission briefing request concerning NORTHCOM;
(10) A note about a forthcoming interview of Cambone and Boykin;
(11) More tables showing documents delivered to the commission;
(12) An outline of 9/11 Commission briefings by the military;
(13) A commission memo to the military about future meetings;
(14) Two draft requests for a briefing by the Joint Intelligence Task Force-Combating Terrorism. The request mentions a “single database that contains terrorist-related intelligence and law enforcement information in a single repository, enabling detailed link, pattern and trend analysis;”
(15) A Pentagon e-mail specifying attendees at a meeting with the commission;
(16) More tables showing documents delivered to the commission;
(17) A withdrawal notice about the commission’s document request no. 6 for the Pentagon;
(18) More commission e-mails about counterterrorism;
(19) Notes on an interview of Admiral John Sigler about counterterrorism before 9/11;
(20) Staffer notes on the Weinberger doctine;
(21) Part of an essay about the doctrine;
(22) A memo about a commission interview of RAND officials about military planning.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for American and United Airlines. The questions cover events on the day of the attacks, examinations of the passengers, jump seating, calls from the planes, intelligence–such as about the use of aircraft as weapons, the no-fly list and strategies for dealing with hijackers.

It also says that a man named “Avraham Alonmrs” was listed as a passenger on United 175, and that United 002 was subject to “special security precautions” on 9/11.

(-) Correspondence between staffers on the 9/11 Commission about how to divide up questions family members of the attacks’ victims thought the commission should ask and answer. Also 38 questions from the family members about aviation secuity and the air defense response on the day of the attacks.

(-) 9/11 Commission questions to be put to NORAD officials about its preparedness for the attacks. The questions are fairly basic and seem to be from the start of the commission’s work.

(-) Additional questions to be put to aviation security witnesses by the 9/11 Commission. The witnesses are former FAA administrator Jane Garvey, former Department of Transportation inspector general Kenneth Mead and airline organisation executive James May.

(-) Additional questions to be put to aviation security witnesses by the 9/11 Commission. The witnesses are US Department of Transportation inspector general Kenneth Mead, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and former FAA inspector general Mary Schiavo.

(-) Materials related to a 9/11 Commission document request to Massport:
(1) The first document request for materials related to flights used by the 9/11 hijackers in Massachusetts, made in August 2003;
(2) A cover letter from Massport sent with the documents referencing an agreement between Massport and the commission not to make the documents available to anybody else;
(3) Index of documents submitted to the commission by Massport.A draft handwritten question for FAA administrator Jane Garvey, who had claimed the FAA was not aware of the idea of using planes as weapons before 9/11.

(-) A 3-page list of people to be interviewed by the 9/11 Commission about aviation security from July 2003.

(-) Numerous cover letters from the CIA to the 9/11 Commission for documents sent to the commission pursuant to its requests.

Also:
(1) a non-disclosure agreement for commission staffer John Roth to be read into CIA special access programs (p. 10);
(2) a letter from CIA Director George Tenet to 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer basically saying that Tenet had misled Roemer at a public commission hearing earlier that day (p. 16);
(3) a response to a request from the commission’s executive director Philip Zelikow for material about Iraq and al-Qaeda (p. 31);
(4) responses to requests by staffer Barbara Grewe for cable traffic and information about passing information beteen the CIA and FBI (p. 45-46);
(5) a request for the names and current locations of some CIA officers stationed overseas before 9/11 (p. 116);
(6) a response mentioning a 1999 report on al-Qaeda “as a bureaucracy” drafted by “Barbara S,” one of the CIA officer who wrote President George Bush’s August 6 PDB (p. 144);
(7) a letter from attorney Deborah Jeffrey forwarded charts mentioned by one of her clients to the commission (p. 168).

(-) A 2-page working list of people to be interviewed by the arm of the 9/11 Commission’s investigation into aviation security dated June 2003.

(-) A 5-page list of witnesses to be interviewed by the 9/11 Commission about aviation security.

(-) Goals to be achieved by the 9/11 Commission in testimony by a group of witnesses at hearings on aviation security. The witnesses were to be former FAA administrator Jane Garvey, Transportation Department Inspector General Keneth Mead, airline industry official James May, “Red Team” whistleblower Bogdan Dzakovic, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and FAA security official Mike Canavan.

(-) Draft questions to be asked by the 9/11 Commission at hearings in May 2003 on aviation security. The draft is dated May 15.

The questions cover terrorist threats to civil aviation before 9/11 and weaknesses in the system.

The witnesses were to be former FAA administrator Jane Garvey, Transportation Department Inspector General Keneth Mead, airline industry official James May, “Red Team” whistleblower Bogdan Dzakovic, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, FAA security official Mike Canavan, NORAD General Craig McKinley, Transportation Security Administration administrator Admiral James Foy, former FAA official O. K. Steele, and former Transportation Department inspector general Mary Schiavo.

Garvey was to be asked a detailed question about her actions on 9/11, but this question was never actually put to her at the hearing.

(-) Draft questions to be asked by the 9/11 Commission at hearings in May 2003 on aviation security. The draft is dated May 18.

The questions cover terrorist threats to civil aviation before 9/11 and weaknesses in the system. There are set goals as to what areas the witnesses should cover and what they need to be forced to acknowledge.

The witnesses were to be former FAA administrator Jane Garvey, Transportation Department Inspector General Keneth Mead, airline industry official James May, “Red Team” whistleblower Bogdan Dzakovic, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, FAA security official Mike Canavan, NORAD General Craig McKinley, former FAA official O. K. Steele, and former Transportation Department inspector general Mary Schiavo.

Garvey was to be asked a detailed question about her actions on 9/11, but this question was never actually put to her at the hearing.

(-) A response to the 9/11 Commission from an office of the inspector general, possibly of the Department of Transportation, about aviation security before 9/11. The document says that aviation security was poor, screener testing was easy, punishments for failure were ineffective, and training was inadequate, as well as dealing with other issues like background checks. The communication also  sets out what measures were taken after 9/11 to deal with the problems.

The document also says that the OIG penetrated secure areas at airports in 68 percent of cases and boarded 117 aircraft during a series of tests in late 1998 and early 1999 (this information was reported in the press at the time).

(-) One-page list of resource materials for 9/11 commissioners drafted by the commission’s team 7, which investigated aviation security.

(-) A 3-page memo from May 2003 about a 9/11 Commission conference call with the victims’ family members about aviation security. The family members asked questions about problems with the air defense, reports a hijacker had a gun, screening of the passengers, etc. The final question is, “Was Flight 93 shot down?”

(-) A draft 2-page summary of facts about aviation and aviation security.

(-) A chart made by the 9/11 Commission about the makeup and quality of aviation security prior to the attacks.Also a schedule of work for the commission’s team 7, which investigated aviation and transportation security.

(-) A 5-page FBI communication from 2002 about documents seized with al-Qaeda operative Hamza al-Libi.

(-) A 5-page FBI communication about an investigation of suspects linked to Islamist terrorism in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

(-) Deletion codes for 9/11 something called the “9/11 Task Force” apparently related to classified and other sensitive information.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for former National Security Counsel member Kenneth Pollack. They cover, for example, the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, asking about the role of FBI Director Louis Freeh and whether HRH Bandar bin Sultan “runs” US policy towards his homeland. They even ask, “Should Saudi Arabia be considered a sponsor of terrorism?”

(-) An internal 1-page 9/11 Commission e-mail about redaction comments from the CIA and National Security Council.

(-) A brief discussion by counterterrorism analyst David Tucker of problems with the use of counterterrorism forces.

(-) An op-ed piece by Chuck Harrison criticizing the teaching and credibility of former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for National Security Council official General William Boykin. The questions cover the role of the military and special forces in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, among other issues. One question is, “Why can’t we find bin Laden?”

(-) An e-mail chain involving various staffers on the 9/11 Commission and victim’s relative Lorie Van Auken about questions submitted by attorney Ron Motley to the 9/11 commissioners for former Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

(-) A comparison of remarks made by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke by the 9/11 Commission. The comparison covers counterterrorism issues before 9/11. It was apparently drafted in preparation for the commission’s questioning of Rice and covers the full spectrum of differences between her and Clarke.

(-) A list of questions proposed by 9/11 Commission staffers for Martin Indyk, an official on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. One question asks if Saudi ambassador to the US Bandar bin Sultan “runs” US policy to Saudi Arabia.

(-) Extracts from CIA logs about 9/11 and related documents:

(1) A March 2004 document request for logs, as well as teleconference tapes and transcripts from the 9/11 Commission to the CIA;

(2) A parallel request to the FBI;

(3) A cover letter from the CIA about the sending of documents responsive to a request to the commission;

(4) Two timeline entries describing events concerning videoconferences at the CIA on 9/11. At 9:40 a.m. CIA managers John McLaughlin, Cofer Black and Charles Frahm spoke to counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke on a teleconference about what was known and what was not at that point;

(5) An e-mail, apparently from the CIA, about the log entries;

(6) Two internal commission e-mails;

(7) A withdrawal notice for 22 pages of CIA operations logs.

(-) A 3-page chronology of key events concerning the US, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda from the 9/11 Commission’s files.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for former Defense Secretary William Cohen and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton.

The questions cover military options against Osama bin Laden, as well as specific attacks like the Khobar Towers, the African embassies, the millennium alert and the USS Cole.

A conference held on Able Danger on December 13-15, 1999 is mentioned on page 4.

(-) Memo about a meeting between the heads of the 9/11 Commission (Tom Kean, Lee Hamilton and Philip Zelikow) and the CIA’s leadership, primarily Director George Tenet. The commission asked for direct access to detainees central to the 9/11 plot, Tenet refused, but said he would get the commission 99.9 percent of what they wanted. Hamilton said he expected Tenet to turn the request down, but Zelikow seemed to hope it would be approved later.

The topics of the commission’s outstanding document requests, resources the CIA devoted to counterterrorism, Congressional oversight of intelligence activities, declassification of the commission’s final report and public testimony by Tenet.

Tenet quoted to the commission a statement made by former Alec Station chief Richard Blee in the summer of 2001 to the effect that the terrorists, “They’re coming here,” but the memo does not attribute this to Blee, just anonymous CIA officers.

(-) Three pages of questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for former Secretary of the Air Force Whit Peters. They cover general policy, counterterrorism, the Predator, operations against al-Qaeda, and other issues.

(-) Six pages of questions to be put to former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Walt Slocombe. They cover general policy issues, al-Qaeda, specific attacks by al-Qaeda against the US, the planning process, the Predator drone, military exercises, and other topics.

(-) Comments sent by the CIA on a section of 9/11 Commission staff statement number 10 sent a few days before the statement was published. The section concerns the identification of al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash by a CIA/FBI source in a surveillance photograph taken in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000. The CIA sent changes it wanted made to the staff statement, although these were mostly not accepted.

The comments state that the CIA officer who had the source make the identification knew what it was for (whereas the commission speculates in its final report that may not have understood it). They also state that the cable on the identification of Khallad was sent to the CIA station in Yemen, which was working with the FBI’s Cole investigators on the issue of Khallad and his involvement in the bombing (however, other sources indicate the station in Yemen did not tell the FBI of the identification).

(-) Eighty-three pages of miscellaneous notes drafted by the 9/11 Commission’s staff, apparently team 3, in preparation for writing their sections of the final report. The notes are a “stream of consciousnes” style of writing and offer unvarnished comments on a number of aspects of counterterrorisim policy, for example the notes:

(a) Go as far as to call the dispute between the Pentagon and the CIA over the Predator drone a “big pissing contest;”

(b) Ask “How sustainable is our long-term Saudi policy;”

(c) Call the response to the embassy bombing “$1 million to strike tents;”

(d) Point out, “The State Department didn’t do very much;”

(e) Call al-Qaeda a “Ragtag group of shitheads,” and say they “looked like the gang who couldn’t shoot straight;”

(f) Comment: “9/11 was a history changing event. Because of its magnitude, accountability should be found at the top; did they take strong enough action? That’s where fault is, with those entrusted to act and to protect the public. If nobody made any mistakes there wouldn’t be a big smoking hole in lower Manhattan;”

(g) Remark, “The families: at some level they are never going to be satisfied. They want what happened not to have happened. They want their loved ones back;”

(h) Ask, “Did military slow roll all of this (action against bin Laden before 9/11)?

(i) Comment, “It was not a failure of information. A failure of strategy and leadership;”

(j) Call the FBI “useless and obstructionist..”

Other points of interest:

(1) Able Danger is mentioned on page 8 of the file.

(2) The title of a Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (SEIB) item for December 16, 2003 is revealed on page 27. It is “Terrorism Complexities Make Repeating September 11 Difficult.”

Also some withdrawal notices for a few pages of the notes.

(-) A list of the chapters and subchapters of the 9/11 Commission report and the commission staffers scheduled to draft them.

Also some handwritten notes dating the document to the middle of April 2003 at the latest.

Finally, an outline of the 9/11 Commission report drafted in March 2003, according to author Philip Shenon. The outline contains the names of the chapters as well as the sub-headings, many of which were incorporated into the final report published in July 2004.

(-) An outline of the 9/11 Commission report drafted in March 2003, according to author Philip Shenon. The outline contains the names of the chapters as well as the sub-headings, many of which were incorporated into the final report published in July 2004.

There are some handwritten notes concerning appendixes, the dates chapters cover and what should go in the various sub-chapters.

(-) An outline of the 9/11 Commission report drafted in March 2003, according to author Philip Shenon. The outline contains the names of the chapters as well as the sub-headings, many of which were incorporated into the final report published in July 2004.

There is a handwritten note on the document saying “PZ minor revisions.” PZ is evidently a reference to Zelikow.

(-) Two pages of questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for a Pentagon official known as “Tucker” about special operations and low-intensity conflict (SOLIC). They cover SOLIC’s position in the military, planned and implemented operations against bin Laden and other topics.

(-) An earlier draft of the questions.

(-) 7 pages of questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for General Peter Schoomaker. They cover counterterrorism and special operations generally, the response to the East African embassy bombings, potential operations in Afghanistan before 9/11, the Able Danger data mining programme, relations with the CIA, the “war on terrorism,” and the hunt for bin Laden.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for General Peter Pace. They cover the process for planning of military operations, the response to the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 and conduct of the “war on terrorism.”

(-) The resume of Clinton-era Assistant Defense Secretary Brian Sheridan from the files of the 9/11 Commission.

(-) A 9/11 Commission graphic chart showing a man named Warren (possibly commission staffer Warren Bass) at the centre of the commission’s work.

(-) A brief e-mail from 9/11 Commission staffer Warren Bass about the preparation of questions for an interview of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney by the comission.

(-) A nine-page US government document listing contacts with the Taliban between 1996 and July 2001. There were 33 such contacts, three coming about the inauguration of President George W. Bush. During them, US officials urged the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden.

(-) A brief 9/11 Commission document mentioning John Poindexter and something called a “Doom Czar.”

(-) Two pages of observations written in April 2004 by historian Tim Naftali about the August 6, 2001 PDB item entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”

(-) An e-mail from historian Tim Naftali to the 9/11 Commission about public testimony to the commission by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

(-) 9/11 Commission e-mail from April 2004 comparing the number fo times Presidents Bill Clinton and george Bush mentioned terrorism in public addresses. It says Clinton talked about it a lot, but Bush talked about it only in the context of needing missile defense. Presumably, this was drafted by Alexis Albion.

(-) An October 2003 memo from White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales ordering agencies to continue co-operation with the 9/11 Commission. The memo awas apparently drafted after the commission issued a subpoena to the FAA.

(-) Guidelines drafted by the 9/11 Commission about interviews of witnesses.

(-) Brief 9/11 Commission e-mail about Congressional involvement in counterterrorism policy and a withdrawal notice for an evidently related 6-page document.

(-) Outline for never-completed monograph on law enforcement and domestic intelligence by 9/11 Commission’s Team 6, with comments from two commission staffers, Lorry Fenner and Gordon Lederman.

In one draft of his comments, Lederman points out Team 6’s assumptions that the intelligence community’s failure before the attacks could only be due to structure and operations may well be untrue, and that the failure may be due to other factors, such as criminal or other negligent conduct by a US official.

The monograph outline mentions NSA surveillance of US persons both before and after 9/11, when it was handled as a part of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program.

(-) An undated list of National Security Council documents not yet submitted to the 9/11 Commission, although the commission has already asked for them. The missing records date from 1998-2000. The missing documents include those for meetings that discussed memoranda of notification (MON) about Osama bin Laden in 1998, when a MON authorising his assassination was issued.

(-) A March 2004 e-mail from historian Timothy Naftali to the 9/11 Commission with some thoughts about the testimony of former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and the history of counterterrorism in the US.

(-) An undated 9/11 Commission document outlining major subjects for its recommendations. It contains a series of questions about defining US strategy, foreign policy, transnational challenges, the security/liberty trade-off, national defense, living with risk, changing Congress, and the treatment of terrorists.

(-) A brief e-mail exchange between the 9/11 Commission and historian Tim Naftali about counterterrorism under the Reagan administration and what was left undone because of the Iran-Contra affair.

(-) January 2004 e-mail to 9/11 Commission about why military options were not used against al-Qaeda before 9/11.

(-) A November 2003  9/11 Commission e-mail about the behaviour of a minder, NSC lawyer Bryan Cunningham, in an interivew of NSC official Lisa Gordon-Hagerty. After the end of the interview, Cunningham confiscated the notes taken by the staffers, saying they could not leave the building. Although he sometimes encouraged Gordon-Hagerty to be direct with the investigators, he repeatedly warned her from quoting principals.

(-) A 9/11 Commission e-mail saying that the commission has interviewed FBI supervisor Thomas Frields in connection with allegations made by FBI language specialists, presumably including Sibel Edmonds.

(-) An April 2004 e-mail to 9/11 Commission staffer Alexis Albion about the long vacation taken by President George Bush before the attacks.

(-) A transcript of an ABC Nightline program for August 20, 1998 about a US missile strike on a suspected al-Qaeda facility in Sudan following the African embassy bombings. Document found in the 9/11 Commission files and with attached comment from commission staffer.

(-) A memorandum for the record of a 9/11 Commission interview of FBI informer Abdusattar Shaikh, who rented rooms to two 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, in 2000.

The MFR gives a story of how Shaikh met the hijackers, and says that Shaikh found the men “secretive” on occasion, that instead of using the home phone they would drive to another neighbourhood to use a public pay phone, and that Alhazmi was interested in news about the war in Chechnya.

In addition, Alhazmi complained that a mutual acquaintance, Saudi government spy Omar al-Bayoumi, was “an agent for the Saudis,” and Shaikh said he was aware Alhazmi was working illegally in the US, although he claims he was not aware the person he worked for was the subject of an FBI counterterrorism investigation.

(-) 9/11 Commission documents about National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, in particular follow-up questions to her testimony before the commission in April 2004, as well as two drafts of the questions. The two main differences between the penultimate and final versions is that questions about her lack of leadership of the Counterterrorism and Security Group and the lack of a response to the USS Cole bombing are omitted from the final version.

Also two commission e-mails about Rice, a withdrawal notice for the replies, a letter to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales about Rice’s testimony and a list of significant counterterrorism meetings that fails to include the inportant one of 10 July 2001.

(-) A 9/11 Commission memo about a trip by the commission’s team 2 to Canada, apparently written by staffer Gordon Lederman. The trip was to find out about the way Canada’s intelligence community was structured, amongst other issues.

The memo-writer spends about a third of the memo complaining about US government minders who disrupted interviews.

(-) A letter from former Acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard to the 9/11 Commission reconciling apparently conflicting statements that Pickard and his former boss, Attorney General john Ashcroft, made to the commission.

Pickard writes that when he said Ashcroft was not interested in a briefing he gave him on terrorism this only referred to one aspect of the FBI’s counterterrorist operations–warnings of an al-Qaeda attack in the summer of 2001. Ashcroft did not tell Pickard not to talk to him about other aspects of the FBI’s counterterrorist operations. When Ashcroft was asked about this event by the commission, the commission asked him whether he told Pickard not to brief him on terrorism at all, and Ashcroft truthfully answered that he had not.

(-) Interview requests from the 9/11 Commission for Defense Department personnel Austin Yamada, OSD/SOLIC, Thomas Kuster, OSD/SOLIC, David Tucker of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey (filed in August 2003), Major General Russel Honore, Lieutenant General William T. Boykin (filed in September 2003), Under Secretary Douglas J. Feith, General Charles R. Holland, General Peter Pace, General Peter J. Schoomaker (filed in November 2003) and Vice Admiral Scott A. Frye (filed in December 2003), as well as two withdrawal notices.

(-) Interview request from the 9/11 Commission for FBI counterterrorism manager Michael Rolince (filed in October 2003)

(-) Interview requests from the 9/11 Commission for State Department personnel Ambassador Edmund Hull, DCM Berlin Terry Snell, DCM Riyadh Margaret Scobey (September 2003), Ambassador Prudence Bushnell (September 2003), Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine, Ambassador Wendy J. Chamberlin and Ambassador Christopher Ross (October 2003), as well as two withdrawal notices for such requests.

(-) Interview requests from the 9/11 Commission for White House staff Mary McCarthy (filed in August 2003) as well as Mary Sturdevant, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty and Zal Khalilzad (filed in October 2003).

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for former CIA Deputy Director of Operations Jack Devine about the CIA’s directorate of operations before 9/11. Also a withdrawal notice for 15 pages of notes on Devine’s answers.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for Tom Fingar, of the US State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, about diplomatic reporting and analysis in the US intelligence community before 9/11, as well as events immediately before the attacks. Also a withdrawal notice for 29 pages of notes on Fingar’s answers.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for former deputy CIA director Joan Dempsey about structural issues in the US intelligence community before 9/11. Also a withdrawal notice for notes on Dempsey’s answers.

(-) Questions prepared by the 9/11 Commission for an interview of Britt Snider, former CIA Inspector General and chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. They focus on the inspector general’s role in counterterrorism, as well as congressional oversight. Also a withdrawal notice for 23 pages of notes on his answers.

(-) Questions prepared by the 9/11 Commission for an interview of CIA official Jami Miscik. They focus on the directorate of intelligence before 9/11 and changes after the attacks.

(-) Questions drafted by the 9/11 Commission for Gina Genton, a CIA official and associate of CIA Director George Tenet. The questions cover her time at the NSC, the end of the cold war, use of open source intelligence by the intelligence community and other issues.

There is also a withdrawal notice, presumably for her answers.

(-) CIA Director George Tenet’s written statement to a closed hearing of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry (blogged here).

(-) A list of “threat response activities” in the US in the months before 9/11. Intelligence on threats in Yemen features prominently and the document claims that Abu Zubaida was a “key planner” of 9/11, although this is now thought not to be the case.

It also claims that an al-Qaeda operative who is evidently Djamel Beghal was arrested in July 2001 as a result of “U.S. government activities.” This contrasts sharply with the usual explanation given for his arrest – that he was travelling on a false passport – and indicates Beghal was actually under US surveillance at the time of the arrest.

Finally, there is no clear mention of the famous 10 July emergency briefing of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, although a similar previous meeting on 30 May is covered in detail.

(-) A letter from the FBI to the commission about access to the bureau’s files.

(-) An e-mail from the Justice Department about the detention of illegal aliens immediately after the attacks.

(-) A complaint from Pakistan’s ambassador to the US about comments made by 9/11 Commission members linking the government of Pakistan to support for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

(-) An internal 9/11 Commission memo from October 2003 that complains about a lack of co-operation by the Defense Department, which is failing to provide information from detainee interrogations.

The memo complains about the quantity and quality of information and concludes, “the Commission has been provided virtually no useful information from DoD regarding the interrogations of over 100 detainees.”

(-) A list of NTSB documents about the four flights hijacked on 9/11 provided to the 9/11 Commission and a covering letter.

(-) Questions Senator Edward Kennedy proposed the 9/11 Commission ask President George W. Bush. The questions focus on the August 6 PBD and a false claim by CIA Director George Tenet that he did not meet with Bush in August 2001. There are also some questions for Vice President Dick Cheney.

(-) Questions to be asked by the 9/11 Commission at an interview of its own Executive Director Philip Zelikow. The questions concern his role in the events leading to 9/11: his activities on the Bush administration transition team, his relationship with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her focus on a policy worldview “too steeped in Cold War assumptions,” and his relationship to counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, who was demoted at the start of the Bush administration.

(-) A 2004 e-mail to 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow about suspicious transactions related to Riggs Bank (with which Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the US, banked), with a possible link to the 9/11 plot. The e-mail also says that Riggs Bank failed to file suspicious activity reports in the years before 9/11, but is trying to catch up now.

(-) A 2000 memo of 25 pages from the Justice Department to officials at the State and Justice Departments, and USAID about terrorism finance. The memo focuses on how to stop monies disbursed by USAID from finding their way to Islamist extremists, in particular through Islamic charities.

(-) A 9/11 Commission document request for the FBI. The request is for documents about the 9/11 money trail, al-Qaeda’s financing, lessons learned after 9/11, allegations of insider trading linked to 9/11, and other issues.

The commission also asks for information on the following institutions: Al Taqwa, the Global Relief Foundation, the Benevolence International Foundation, Al Barakaat and the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation.

The masterlist for all documents the History Commons has obtained and is analysing can be found here.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Miscellaneous. […]

    Pingback by 9/11 Commission Documents Masterlist « History Commons Groups — April 12, 2009 @ 8:56 am | Reply


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