9/11: Destruction of criminal evidence
When evidence is swiftly removed from the scene of a crime and then concealed or destroyed, those who ordered the removal or destruction, knowing that this evidence has bearing on a criminal investigation, may be committing a felony. But even if their conduct is not felonious, they are justly suspected of attempting to cover-up the crime. In the case of 9/11, evidence was swiftly removed from the all three crime scenes and various documentation was destroyed. No person is known to have been demoted, fired or charged for such removal or destruction of criminal evidence.
1. The removal and destruction of WTC steel
Within 72 hours after the murderous terrorist attacks on Spanish trains in March 2004, the damaged wagons were sent to the scrap yards so that the nature of the damage could not be further examined. Has something similar occurred after 9/11 with respect to incriminating evidence?
Steel-reinforced buildings never disintegrated or collapsed as a result of fire before September 11, 2001. Preserving the steel was, therefore, of utmost importance for fire engineers, structural engineers and metallurgists, who needed to understand how this was possible. In addition to this professional requirement, any objects found in a crime scene must be preserved, should they be required for the criminal investigation. Removing or destroying criminal evidence, unless justified in law, constitutes a felony.
In the 2001 Edition of the National Fire Protection Association NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, we read: „Thermite mixtures also produce exceedingly hot fires. Such accelerants generally leave residues that may be visually or chemically identifiable...As a result, the entire fire scene should be considered physical evidence and should be protected and preserved." More generally, the NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion contains specific rules against spoliation of evidence from a fire scene, rules that were seriously breached at Ground Zero.
The removal of the steel: The facts
New York City's Department of Design and Construction (DDC) issued contracts to four contractors, called Construction Managers (CM), who were responsible for debris removal. According to an USACE website, each CM was assigned a zone or section of the debris removal, and was was controlled and monitored by a three-person DDC team. The four CMs were:
• Tully Construction, Sacramento District
• Bovis Lend Lease International, Mobile District
• AMEC Construction Management, Portland District
• Turner Construction, Baltimore District
Two New Jersey companies were among the bidders that won the contract for removing more than 60,000 tons of Trade Center scrap. Metal Management Northeast bought 40,000 tons, and Hugo Neu Schnitzer bought 25,000 tons. Neu Schnitzer East is one of the largest scrap recyclers in the nation. President Alan Ratner of Metal Management said the company had bought 70,000 tons of scrap steel by January of 2002.
Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) appeared to be key player in the expedient removal and recycling of the steel. CDI was retained by Tully Construction Co. Inc, one of the site's four cleanup management contractors. On September 22, 2001, CDI submitted a 25-page "preliminary" document to New York City's Department of Design and Construction, which approved the plan. The commissioner of New York City's Department of Design and Construction and the man in charge of Ground Zero cleanup efforts was Kenneth Holden.
Weeks Marine Inc. created two steel offloading areas at Pier 25 and Pier 6 in the last week of September to accelerate the removal of steel.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. was awarded a contract for $790,500 to deepen the Pier 6 site to facilitate barge removal of debris.
The steel was regarded as "sensitive material"
On November 26, the city initiated use of an in-vehicle GPS tracking system to monitor locations of trucks hired to haul the debris to Fresh Kills, the official dump site on Staten Island.
Within three weeks, the system elements were in place, and nearly 200 trucks in New York City were being tracked in real time. Installed by MIT with assistance from PowerLoc and four trucking contractors, the solution revolved around PowerLoc's Vehicle Location Device (VLD). Each VLD unit costs about $1,000.
"Ninety-nine percent of the drivers were extremely driven to do their jobs. But there were big concerns, because the loads consisted of highly sensitive material. One driver, for example, took an extended lunch break of an hour and a half. There was nothing criminal about that, but he was dismissed. There were also cases where trucks did little detours from their routes," Shalmon says.
Whereto was the steel shipped?
China's biggest steel firm says it will receive its first shipment of scrap metal from the World Trade Center wreckage soon and turn it into steel plates -- not, as some newspaper reports had suggested, souvenirs. Chinese state newspapers had earlier reported that Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. planned to turn 50,000 tons of Ground Zero steel into souvenirs -- including models of the twin towers.
But a company spokesman told Reuters news agency on Wednesday that the shipment would not be treated any differently from ordinary purchases of scrap, and would be turned into steel plates.
The Beijing Youth Daily, one of the newspapers to report the purported souvenir plan, said Baosteel was one of the first companies in the world to contact the United States about the scrap and consequently made a good deal.
It bought 50,000 tons of steel scrap at a price of "less than $120 per ton," the newspaper quoted Baosteel executives as saying. It did not give an exact price figure.
India scrap dealers have already ordered four steel consignments.
Two 33,000-ton consignments have already arrived in the southern port of Madras, a third is on its way and a fourth would arrive soon at the west coast port of Kandla.
The scrap was bought at $120 per ton and is to be recycled into ingots to be sold to various industries, including construction." CNN January 23, 2002
Baosteel Will Recycle World Trade Center Debris
Baosteel Group, the nation's largest steel firm, has purchased 50,000 tons of the scrap steel from "Ground Zero," the ruins of the September 11 terrorist attack, at no more than US$120 each ton, according to yesterday's Beijing Youth Daily.
Another shipment of 10,000 tons of scrap from the WTC arrived in India earlier this month, reported Shanghai Morning Post. The metal will be melted down and recycled into kitchenware and other household items, the paper said.
India bought its lot at US$120 per ton from the New Jersey scrap processor Metal Management, which purchased 40,000 tons of the debris at an auction held by the New York City government. Dealers estimated that the WTC disaster created more than 300,000 tons of scrap metal.
"All in all, China's purchase from the WTC ruins counts for little to its steel industry, given the nation's big consumption of scrap each year," said Qu Li, an analyst with China Securities.
New York authorities' decision to ship the twin towers' scrap to recyclers has raised the anger of victims' families and some engineers who believe the massive girders should be further examined to help determine how the towers collapsed.
But New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg insisted there are better ways to study the tragedy of September 11. "If you want to take a look at the construction methods and the design, that's in this day and age what computers do," said Bloomberg, a former engineering major. "Just looking at a piece of metal generally doesn't tell you anything." - China.org January 24, 2002
The removal of the steel criticized
Regarding the decision to rapidly recycle the WTC steel, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) says, "I do believe that conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this," and says this loss of important physical evidence "is not only unfortunate, it is borderline criminal." In his statement before the committee, Glenn Corbett, a science professor at John Jay College, claims that the "lack of significant amounts of steel for examination will make it difficult, if not impossible, to make a definitive statement as to the cause and chronology of the collapse." He also complains, "we are staffing the BPAT with part-time engineers and scientists on a shoestring budget." (Associated Press, March 7, 2002)
The editor-in-chief of Fire Engineering magazine, William A. Manning, issued an urgent "call to action" to America's firefighters at the end of 2001, calling for a forensic investigation and demanding that the steel from the site be preserved to allow investigators to determine what caused the collapse. "Such destruction of evidence," Manning said, "shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history."
Fire Engineering says the official WTC investigation on why it collapsed is a 'half-baked farce' that may already have been 'commandeered by political forces' whose primary interests lie 'far afield of full disclosure.'
"I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall," Manning said. "Clearly, there are burning questions that need answers. Based on the incident's magnitude alone, a full-throttle, fully resourced, forensic investigation is imperative."
Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.
Comprehensive disaster investigations mean increased safety. They mean positive change. NASA knows it. The NTSB knows it. Does FEMA know it?
No. Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the "official investigation" blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce that may already have been commandeered by political forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation committee members- described by one close source as a "tourist trip"-no one's checking the evidence for anything.
As things now stand and if they continue in such fashion, the investigation into the World Trade Center fire and collapse will amount to paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals.
However, respected members of the fire protection engineering community are beginning to raise red flags, and a resonating theory has emerged: The structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers.
The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately. The federal government must scrap the current setup and commission a fully resourced blue ribbon panel to conduct a clean and thorough investigation of the fire and collapse, leaving no stones unturned.
Firefighters, this is your call to action. Visit WTC "Investigation"?: A Call to Action , then contact your representatives in Congress and officials in Washington and help us correct this problem immediately." - Fire Engineering (Editorial, January 4, 2002)
Three months later, the Science Committee of the House of Representatives reported that the WTC investigation was "hampered" by the destruction of crucial evidence. The committee report of March 6 says, "Some of the critical pieces of steel...were gone before the first investigator ever reached the site." The investigation Manning called for never happened and never will, because the essential evidence is now destroyed.
Prof. Glenn Corbett of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City wrote. "We are literally treating the steel removed from the site like garbage, not like crucial fire scene evidence."
Reasons adduced for the removal of the steel
The House Committee on Science held a hearing on the investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Witnesses from industry, academia, and government testified on the collapses and the subsequent efforts to find out how and why they occurred. The hearings charter points out several problems that have severely hampered investigations. It says, "Early confusion over who was in charge of the [WTC collapse] site and the lack of authority of investigators to impound pieces of steel for examination before they were recycled led to the loss of important pieces of evidence that were destroyed early during the search and rescue effort.... Some of the critical pieces of steel--including the suspension trusses from the top of the towers and the internal support columns--were gone before the first BPAT [Building Performance Assessment Team] team member ever reached the site"
No one was brought to account for the "early confusion" that allegedly occurred at Ground Zero. That no investigator allegedly possessed the authority to impound pieces of steel, defies credulity. FBI investigators routinely obtain subpoenas to impound evidence from a crime scene. FBI investigators swarmed over Ground Zero on 9/11. The steel found on Ground Zero was clearly criminal evidence.
If it was necessary to remove steel to another location to accommodate rescue and recovery efforts, the steel easily could have been preserved. Any steel pieces to be removed should first have been meticulously documented through the use of coordinate grids and photographs. WTC Nr. 7 was evacuated long before it collapsed, and it fell into a tidy pile that did not even block adjacent roadways. There was no urgency in removing its rubble, and certainly not in destroying all the steel from that building. That the authorities hid their crime behind talk of rescue and recovery is exploitation of the most reprehensible kind. In fact, families and friends of the victims vocally protested the destruction of the Ground Zero evidence.
Responsibility for the removal not determined
Officials in New York mayor's office declined to reply to written and oral requests for comment over a three-day period about who decided to recycle the steel and the concern that the decision might be handicapping the investigation.1
Before the dust had settled on Sept.11, the mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, and Kenneth Holden of the city's Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC), contracted 4 major construction management companies to begin the removal of the debris from the World Trade Center. Three of the four major companies involved in the clean-up were foreign owned: AMEC, Bovis Lend Lease, both headquartered in London; and Turner, a subsidiary of Germany's Hochtief. AMEC was also responsible for debris removal at the Pentagon. Tully Construction of Flushing, N.Y., is an American-owned company.
On Dec. 25, 2001, the New York Times reported, "Officials in the mayor's office declined to reply to written and oral requests for comment over a three-day period about who decided to recycle the steel and the concern that the decision might he handicapping the investigation." (Bollyn)
Christopher Bollyn reported that he asked Michael Chertoff, who on 9/11 headed the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, who authorized the destruction of the steel from the WTC site. Chertoff responded to him that he did not know. Here is the exchange of emails between Bollyn and Chertoff, as publicized by Bollyn:
I am a journalist working on an article about the destruction of the steel from the World Trade Center. The questions that I am posing herewith are for the purpose of this article.
When Kenneth Holden of the Department of Design and Construction of New York City gave his statement to the 9/11 Commission on April 1, 2003, he said that he had received "verbal permission" to send the steel to scrap yards in New Jersey, but failed to name the person who had authorized the move.
Did you give the permission to send the steel from the World Trade Center to the scrap yard? If you did not authorize the destruction of the steel, who did?
Chertoff responded the same day:
From: Chertoff, Michael
Subject: Re: Question for M. Chertoff on WTC Steel
Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 11:39 AM
No. No idea.
Christopher Bollyn then followed-up this response by another email:
Why U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, which you headed, allowed Mayor Giuliani to 'seize control' of the crime scene and make decisions that resulted in the hasty destruction of crucial evidence before it could be properly examined?
He said he received no answer to that follow-up.
Indeed, it was revealed, inter alia by the New York Times, that Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani had „seized control" of the World Trade Center site and „largely limited the influence of experienced federal agencies."2 Mr. Giuliani assigned the ground zero cleanup to a „largely unknown city agency, the Department of Design and Construction." Kenneth Holden, the department's commissioner until January 2004, said in a deposition in the federal lawsuit against the city that „he initially expected FEMA or the Army Corps to try to take over the cleanup operation. Mr. Giuliani never let them." Suzanne Mattei, director of the New York office of the Sierra Club, said that „there was a unified attempt to do everything [including the clean-up] as fast as possible."3 The four large construction companies that had been hired to clear debris worked around the clock, but „that was not fast enough for the city, especially after the rescue operation formally ended on September 29, ."4 The frantic pace of cleaning up Ground Zero was thus not predicated on the rescue needs, but on other reasons.
The disintegration of the North and South Towers of the WTC and the collapse of building WTC Nr. 7, were puzzling events. At no time did such steel-reinforced buildings collapse or disintegrate except as a result of an earth-quake or explosions. These events were also the result of criminal acts. It was therefore imperative to document and preserve all possible evidence from the crime scene for future investigation. No particular expertise was needed for such awareness. Officials of the New York City knew perfectly well that destroying criminal evidence verges on felony and that destroying the steel beams from the buildings would impair the investigation of the buildings' demise. They were actually warned by no less than the editor-in-chief of Fire Engineering Magazine. If they nevertheless decided to have the steel beams sold abroad as scrap, they had an overriding reason for doing so. We could only imagine one such reason: By destroying the beams, they could eliminate metallurgical evidence that the buildings were destroyed by explosives. This tentative conclusion could be rebutted, but only by a more plausible reason.
2. Evidence was removed from crime scene at Pentagon
Shortly before noon on September 11, 2001, i.e. merely two hours after the explosion at the Pentagon, about 20 FBI agents lined up and linked arms, moving in step across the lawn and roadways several hundred yards away from the Pentagon, mopping up evidence.5 See photograph below and note the distance from the impact point. According Creed and Newman, some pieces allegedly belonging to the aircraft were found nearly 1,000 feet away from the building.6 The authors also report that agents „found what looked like a big Plexiglas windowpane on the lawn, which might have been part of an airplane window, except it was too big...Somebody suggested it could be one of the blast-proof windows from the Pentagon, somehow blown 500 feet from the building."7
What items were found and removed from the lawn, how did these objects get there and what became of these items? These questions have not been answered by the 9/11 Commission or by the Pentagon.
Another photograph from the Pentagon shows two agents, perhaps from the CIA, FBI or the Secret Service, removing what appear to be metallic shreds that might belong to some airborne vehicle. Who are these men? Is it normal for rescue workers to wear ties? What do they remove? What became of these items, which were never produced as evidence?
Photo credit: Carmen Burgess
The anomalies surrounding the 9/11 episode affecting the Pentagon, widely conflicting testimonies regarding this episode, the failure to prove whether an aircraft actually crashed on the Pentagon and if so, which aircraft it was, suggest that the U.S. Government wants to hide the facts. The removal of criminal evidence by well-dressed agents, as documented above, supports this view.
3. Recorded testimonies of air traffic controllers shredded
Shortly after the attacks occurred, Kevin Delaney, the New York Center's quality assurance manager, was instructed to make a tape recording of six air traffic controllers at the center who had been involved in handling or tracking two of the hijacked aircraft, flights AA11 and UA175, giving their personal accounts of what happened.8
According to Mark DiPalmo, the local president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, "We sat everyone in a room, went around the room, said, 'What do you remember?'" The controllers give their statements in the group setting, with a microphone being passed from one of them to the next. They describe their actions interacting with, or tracking, the two hijacked aircraft. According to DiPalmo, the session is informal, and sometimes more than one person is speaking at a time. The resulting tape lasts about an hour, with each recorded statement lasting about five to 10 minutes.
As well as the six controllers, approximately 10 other FAA employees are present during the session. (A signing-in sheet will show that about 16 center personnel are there. However, some witnesses will later indicate there may be additional individuals who do not sign in.) Two quality assurance specialists take notes, but these are sketchy, amounting to just three pages in total. After the tape of the session has been made, it is logged into the New York Center's formal record of evidence.
Matthew L. Wald of the New York Times reported that this hour-long tape had been shredded into small pieces a few months later by Delaney at the NY Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma.9,10 Neither the Center Manager, Mike McCormick nor Delaney, informed the FBI about the existence of the tape. According to Air Safety Week, when ”one of the six controllers asked to listen to the tape (...) in order to prepare her written statement, her request was denied.”11 A former criminal investigator, interviewed by Air Safety Week remarked, ”[blind musician] Ray Charles could see that this was a cover-up.”12 The 9/11 Commission did not mention Delaney’s name in its Final Report.
4. Videotapes of detainee interrogations destroyed
CIA director General Michael Hayden has confirmed that his agency destroyed videotapes taken during the interrogations of two al-Qaeda suspects soon after 9/11. 13 Gen Hayden said to keep these tapes posed a security risk: they could expose the CIA interrogators shown on them to al-Qaeda reprisals. Reporters apparently took this answer at face value. The general also said that their contents had been documented in detail and they were not pertinent to any of the legal investigations and court cases that have requested from the CIA details of detainee interrogations.
It was comfirmed by the New York Times that Alberto Gonzales and David Addingtion -- the top legal representatives of George Bush and Dick Cheney, respectively -- participated in discussions as to whether those videotapes should be destroyed.14
Speaking on CNN, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley outlines the criminal offenses that may have been committed in the scandal surrounding the destruction of CIA videotapes showing detainee interrogations: "There are at least six identifiable crimes from obstruction of justice to obstruction of congress, perjury, conspiracy and false statements. What is often forgotten, the crime of torturing suspects. Now, if that crime was committed, it was a crime that would conceivably be ordered by the president himself, only the president can order those types of special treatments or interrogation techniques."15
The U.S. government revealed in 2009 for the first time the extent of the destruction of videotapes in 2005 by the Central Intelligence Agency, saying that agency officers destroyed 92 videotapes documenting the harsh interrogations of two Qaeda suspects in C.I.A. detention. The disclosure came in a letter filed by federal prosecutors investigating the destruction of the tapes in November 2005.16
5. ABLE DANGER files destroyed
According to author Peter Lance “in late 1999 and early 2000, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and the head of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Command (SOCOM) had authorized a data-mining operation called Able Danger, in which vast amounts of classified and open-source intelligence on al Qaeda was being processed using powerful 'search bots' that surfed the Web around the clock...By mid-2000, working out of For Belvoir, Virginia, the Able Danger investigators had found key links to four of the 9/11 hijackers. They also found direct ties between Osama bin Laden and the New York cell of Ramzi Yousef and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman....The active pursuit of that intelligence in the early fall of 2000 could have...tipped Bureau agents to the 9/11 plot more than a year before the attacks. But for reasons as yet undetermined, this vast cache of data-mined intelligence was ordered destroyed. Worse, when two decorated Able Danger operatives, an army lieutenant colonel and a navy captain, sought to share this scandal with the 9/11 Commission, they were effectively spurned.”17
Peter Lance also claims that that according to FBI 302 memos he tried to share with the 9/11 Commission, the FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department “had affirmatively covered up evidence of an active al Qaeda cell in New York City."18
In 2005, Associated Press revealed that a Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks. Rep. Curt Weldon said that Mohamed Atta and three other alleged hijackers had been identified in 1999 by Able Danger, a classified military intelligence unit, which determined they could be members of an al-Qaida cell.
Army Maj. Paul Swiergosz, a Pentagon spokesman, said "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. He added that certain data had to be destroyed in accordance with existing regulations regarding "intelligence data on U.S. persons."19 Rep. Weldon said a former Army officer is willing to testify that "in the summer of 2000, he was ordered and, he would go to jail if he didn't comply, to destroy 2.5 terabytes of data specific to Able Danger, the Brooklyn [terror] cell and Mohammad Atta. He will name the person who ordered him to destroy that material."20
6. NSA evidence destroyed
The National Security Agency (NSA) was founded in 1952. It has over 30,000 employees at its Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters. It focuses on electronic surveillance, operating a large network of satellites and listening devices around the globe. More even than the CIA, the NSA is the most secretive of US intelligence organizations.21 After it is disclosed during the 1970s that the NSA spied on political dissenters and civil rights protesters, the NSA will be restricted to operating strictly overseas, and will be prohibited from monitoring US citizens within US borders without special court orders.22 On October 27, 2001, the Boston Globe disclosed that "analysts at the NSA, acting on advice from the organization's lawyers, have been destroying data collected on Americans and US companies since the September 11 attacks, angering other intelligence agencies seeking leads in the antiterrorist probe."23 "In heated discussions with the CIA and congressional staff, NSA lawyers have turned down requests to preserve the intelligence because the agency's regulations prohibit the collection of any information on US citizens. The lawyers said that preserving the information would invite lawsuits from people whose names appear in the surveillance reports." Although the NSA claims it destroyed such data because it is not allowed to collect data on American citizens, such a claim cannot be taken at face value in the light of the emphasis placed on the war on terrorism after 9/11, including far more serious breaches of the law.
Oddly enough, this is the same excuse used by the secretive National Security Administration--the NSA--in revealing that they had destroyed tapes with 9.11 evidence, including conversations between Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Mohamed Atta, just weeks after the 9.11 attack.
"Analysts at the super-secret National Security Agency, acting on advice from the organization's lawyers, have been destroying data collected on Americans or US companies since the Sept. 11 attacks - angering other intelligence agencies seeking leads in the antiterrorist probe, according to two people with close intelligence ties," reported the Boston Globe.24 ( Spy agency destroys data, angering others in probe .)
7. FBI destroyed evidence regarding an Al Qaeda investigation
In March 2000 agents in the Bin Laden and at the International Terrorism Operations Center destroyed significant quantities of e-mail intercepts for a case connected to Al Qaeda. The explanation given for the destruction of material of both evidentiary and intelligence value was that an e-mail surveillance system called Carnivore had mistakenly intercepted e-mails from innocent parties whose privacy had been violated. As a result, so the tale, „the FBI technical person was apparently so upset that he destroyed all the e-mail take, including the take on the suspect..."25 „Take means raw intelligence that has been collected but not yet analyzed.
Michael Ruppert, a former Los Angeles Police Department detective and author, finds this explanation „absurd, transparent, laughable, and offensive. It plainly contravenes 80 years of known FBI practice.(...) [T]here was, in fact, a legal requirement that they not destroy anything at all."26 He refers to a Washington Post story that confirms the above details but does not ask the obvious questions about why the entire take had been destroyed in direct violaion of legal requirements and adds:
„What was described [in that story] was not some frustrated, untrained agent knowingly destroying material out of an offended sense of dignity over a loss of privacy by victims who never even knew about it. What more likely happened was a deliberate destruction of intelligence information leading to Osama bin Laden that someone could not afford to have in any files where a dedicated agent might find it and start asking questions or putting people in jail."27
8. Visa applications of alleged hijacker destroyed
On April 3, 1999, Nawaf al Hazmi applied for a U.S. B-1/B-2 visa in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Hazmi's passport was new - issued in March 21, 1999, and it contained an undisclosed indicator of extremism that has been associated with al Qaeda. Four days later, Khalid al Mihdhar applied for the same visa. His new passport issued on April 6, 1999, also contained the same indicator of extremism as Nawaf al Hazmi's.28
According to the 9/11 Commission staff, the indicator of extremism in the applicants' passports was unknown at the time to U.S. intelligence consular officials. Therefore they issued visas to the applicants. Both visa applications "were destroyed before September 11, according to routine State Department document destruction practices in place in Jeddah."29
1 James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “Experts Urging Broader Inquiry In Towers’ Fall”, New York Times, December 25, 2001
2 Anthony DaPalma, Ground Zero Illnesses Clouding Giuliani's Legacy, New York Times, May 14, 2007
5 Pentagon officials expect no more survivors, PBS, September 12, 2001 (last visited May 15, 2011)
6 Patrick Creed and Rick Newman, Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11, Ballantine Books (2008), p. 29
7 Ibid. p. 180 (emphasis added)
8 9/11 Commission, October 1, 2003; Washington Post, May 6, 2004; Air Safety Week, May 17, 2004
9 Matthew L. Wald, F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements, New York Times, 6 May 2004.
10 Cassette Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Recollections Destroyed, Air Safety Week, May 17, 2004
13 Adam Brookes, “CIA chief faces credibility test”, BBC, December 7, 2007
14 Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, “Tapes by C.I.A. Lived and Died to Save Image”, New York Times, December 30, 2007
15 “American Morning”, CNN, December 19, 2007
16 Mark Mazzetti, “U.S. Says C.I.A. Destroyed 92 Tapes of Interrogations”, New York Times, March 2, 2009
17 Peter Lance, Triple Cross, p. xix-xx
18 Ibid. p. xxi
19 Donna De, “Weldon: Atta Papers Destroyed on Orders”, ABC News, September 16, 2005
20 Sources: Pentagon Wants ‘Able Danger’ Hearings Closed, Fox News, September 16, 2005
21 New York Times, A Half-Century of Surveillance, 16 December 2005, at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16programbox.html?_r=2&ex=1186200000&en=d5fcbbd45ace750a&ei=5070
23 John Donnelly, Spy Agency Destroys Data, Angering Others in Probe, Boston Globe, October 27, 2001, at
24 John Donnelly, “Spy Agency Destroys Data, Angering Others in Probe”, The Boston Globe, October 27, 2001
25 Francie Grace, Memo Reveals FBI E-Mail Snafu, CBS News, May 29. 2002, at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/05/29/attack/main510393.shtml
26 Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon, New Society Publishers, Canada (2004), p. 215
28 9/11 and Terrorist Travel, Staff Report of the 9/11 Commission, by Thomas R. Eldridge, Susan Ginsburg, Walter T. Hempel II, Janice L. Kephart and Kelly Moore, August 21, 2004. p. 9
29 Ibid. Emphasis added