The Illegal CIA Operation That Brought Us 9/11

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Author, John Duffy courtesy of John Duffy

Was it conspiracy or idiocy that led to the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to detect and prevent the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon headquarters? That’s one of the questions at the heart of The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark: The CIA, [NSA], and the Crimes of the War on Terror by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski. In their careful, thorough investigation of the events leading up to the terror attacks, Duffy and Nowosielski uncover a story about the Central Intelligence Agency's neglect, possible criminal activities and a cover-up that may have allowed Al-Qaeda to carry out their plans uninhibited by government officials.

In the latest installment of "Scheer Intelligence," the journalists tell Truthdig editor in chief Robert Scheer how an interview with Richard Clarke, the counterterror adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, led them to a jaw-dropping revelation regarding two hijackers involved in the now infamous attacks. As it turns out, Khalid Muhammad Abdallah al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, two men linked to Al-Qaida, were staying at an FBI informant’s home in San Diego, Cali. in 2000, and were being tracked by the National Security Agency. Despite knowledge of  al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi’s ties to the terrorist organization responsible for 9/11, neither of the men was investigated by the FBI. Clarke and others believe that this may have had to do with a CIA attempt to turn the two men into agency informants.

“When we sat down with Clarke ... he told us he couldn’t see any other explanation but that there was an op [and] that it never made it to the White House because it would have had to go through him,” says Nowosielski. “And his friend [then CIA director] George Tenet was responsible for malfeasance and misfeasance in the runup to 9/11.”

Once the plans for the 9/11 attack must’ve become clear to the CIA, why didn’t agency prevent the deadly event from taking place? Duffy and Nowosielski come to the simple, shocking conclusion that since the CIA is prohibited from operating on U.S. soil, those involved in the operation chose to avoid prosecution rather than come clean.

In a well-documented case study that touches senior government officials including current Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and other high level individuals, crucial questions arise about who’s responsible for allowing “a plot that resulted in 3,000 murders” and led to ongoing U.S. military entanglements in the Middle East to move forward. However, our country’s recent crimes and the people behind them, including President Bush, are currently being “whitewashed” by our national obsession with Donald Trump, the two authors warn.

“All the crimes of the War on Terror, the torture, Abu-Ghraib, it’s all just gone---the unnecessary invasion of the War in Iraq, it’s all just sort of under the rug now because of Trump,” says Duffy.

Listen in on their discussion to find out more about the stunning investigation into the tragedy that changed the course of our nation’s history and the Americans who could’ve thwarted the attacks but decided to cover their own backs instead. 



Joshua Scheer