PBS: NSA could have prevented 9/11 hijackings

Discussion in 'Conspiracy Theories' started by QUENTIN, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. QUENTIN
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    QUENTIN VIP Member

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    PBS: NSA could have prevented 9/11 hijackings
    Reporting by Muriel Kane

    The super-secretive National Security Agency has been quietly monitoring, decrypting, and interpreting foreign communications for decades, starting long before it came under criticism as a result of recent revelations about the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Now a forthcoming PBS documentary asks whether the NSA could have prevented 9/11 if it had been more willing to share its data with other agencies.

    Author James Bamford looked into the performance of the NSA in his 2008 book, The Shadow Factory, and found that it had been closely monitoring the 9/11 hijackers as they moved freely around the United States and communicated with Osama bin Laden's operations center in Yemen. The NSA had even tapped bin Laden's satellite phone, starting in 1996.

    "The NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington," Bamford told PBS.

    PBS also found that "the 9/11 Commission never looked closely into NSA's role in the broad intelligence breakdown behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. If they had, they would have understood the full extent to which the agency had major pieces of the puzzle but never put them together or disclosed their entire body of knowledge to the CIA and the FBI."

    In a review of Bamford's book, former senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey wrote, "As the 9/11 Commission later established, U.S. intelligence officials knew that al-Qaeda had held a planning meeting in Malaysia, found out the names of two recruits who had been present -- Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi -- and suspected that one and maybe both of them had flown to Los Angeles. Bamford reveals that the NSA had been eavesdropping for months on their calls to Yemen, yet the agency 'never made the effort' to trace where the calls originated. 'At any time, had the FBI been notified, they could have found Hazmi in a matter of seconds.'"

    Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told PBS, "None of this information that we're speaking about this evening's in the 9/11 Commission report. They simply ignored all of it."

    Not only was then-Director Michael Hayden never held accountable for the NSA's alleged failure, but he went on to oversee the Bush administration's vast expansion of domestic surveillance. In 2006, he was appointed as director of the CIA.

    When asked whether the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping violated FISA law, Hayden insisted, "I have an order whose lawfulness has been attested to by the attorney general, an order whose lawfulness has been attested to by NSA lawyers who do this for a living. No, we're not violating the law. ... I'm asserting that NSA is doing its job."

    NSA's power to eavesdrop on ordinary Americans has vastly increased since 2001, and the government's secret watch list now includes over a half a million names. PBS raises serious questions about whether important clues are still being missed simply as a result of the sheer volume of data being collected.

    The Spy Factory will be shown over most PBS stations on February 3, 2009 at 8 pm.


    Here's a preview for the program: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWtEp3fLLvo]YouTube - NOVA | The Spy Factory | PBS[/ame]

    Further evidence of what should have been blatantly obvious but was largely ignored, glossed over, and minimized by the self-assessment reports: Our government failed us big time in allowing 9/11 to happen. Perhaps even worse, it has done little to correct the problem since and may have even exacerbated problems.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    hindsight is 20/20 and there are a lot of big "IFs" in there.
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Clinton CREATED a wall between each agency ON PURPOSE. They were officially restricted from talking to each other BY order of the Clinton Administration.
     
  4. DiveCon
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    that was part of my point

    it wasnt a matter of the NSA "wanting to" as it was they were legally restrained from sharing their intel with other agencies
     
  5. Modbert
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    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

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    I wonder, does placing the entire blame on Clinton make Republicans sleep better at night? (Note to self, do a study on that one day).

    You'd think if Dubya was such a Great President as many make him out to be that this would of been one of the first things he'd reverse while in office.

    But nope, THIS is what happened:

    FBI Budget Cut After Sept. 11 Attacks

    How Sept. 11 Changed Goals of Justice Dept.

    Going back to Clinton for a moment:

    And of course Bush when it comes to those who were affected health wise by the 9/11 attacks:

    Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney - Bush Budget Cuts 9/11 Health Funding by 77%

    Was Clinton partly at fault at the very least for what happened on 9/11? In my mind, yes he was.

    However, Bush fucked up just as much if not worse then Clinton for not only not learning from the mistakes of Clinton but he along with the rest of his administration were the Inaction group before 9/11 and even somewhat after.
     
  6. QUENTIN
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    QUENTIN VIP Member

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    How is this a conspiracy theory? Or is this just more of the heavy bias apparent on the site where anything critical of the government that doesn't come from the far right is relegated to "The Taunting Arena" even when it is important and directly about politics and government?

    A fair-minded admin who can conduct themselves professionally must be too hard to come by?
     
  7. DiveCon
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    wow, what a knee jerk reaction, typical for you
     
  8. QUENTIN
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    QUENTIN VIP Member

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    This isn't an issue of hindsight really. The primary directive of the FBI, CIA, and NSA in all of their actions is to ensure and maximize the safety and security of the American people. They all completely and totally failed in as miserable a way as imaginable on 9/11 and have not been held to account nor radically changed in the time since.

    Where are there any, or especially big "Ifs" in there? The only ones I see are "the 9/11 Commission never looked closely into NSA's role in the broad intelligence breakdown behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. If they had, they would have understood the full extent to which the agency had major pieces of the puzzle but never put them together or disclosed their entire body of knowledge to the CIA and the FBI." which isn't even about prevention of the attack, but the understanding of how it came to happen and "the agency 'never made the effort' to trace where the calls originated. 'At any time, had the FBI been notified, they could have found Hazmi in a matter of seconds.'" which seems pretty obviously true since the FBI is more than equipped to locate the source of a phone call on a line already tapped and monitored and arrest whomever possesses it.

    So what did you mean?
     
  9. Modbert
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    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

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    As usual, another "thoughtful" and "insightful" answer from Dive.

    Well Dive, you and Sarge seem to be falling over one another in trying to blame just Clinton for what happened on 9/11.

    Notice I put blame on Clinton too. Though hells bells I've never seen you blame one Republican for a simple thing wrong with this country ever.

    But of course, you'll sit there and call me the partisan hack while I actually vote for Republicans in the future who I feel are more qualified then the Democrat running. (Such as in the Mayor contest in my city this election cycle who I would of voted for if old enough. By the way, the Republican won).
     
  10. QUENTIN
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    I keep hearing this from conservatives about blame on 9/11 and the abject failure of the intelligence community. It's always intrigued me, but I was never able to find any sources on it or articles of evidence. It only seemed to pop up on message boards and pundit websites and always as an argument from individuals who seem to place the blame of all government failure on Clinton, now I understand why: It isn't true.

    Right wing uses ABC docudrama to push debunked claim blaming Clinton administration for 9-11


    Memo to NY Post, et al: So-called Gorelick "wall" could not have been responsible for military failure to share alleged Atta intel

    Limbaugh falsely blamed Clinton administration for "wall" that purportedly prevented intelligence sharing about 9-11 hijackers

    David Bossie: embraced by his posse

    This "wall," however, was built before Gorelick became deputy attorney general and was retained by Attorney General John Ashcroft's own deputy, Larry Thompson. The joint House and Senate Intelligence Committees' report of pre-September 11 intelligence failures did not find that the "wall" originated in the Clinton administration; their report states: "The 'wall' is not a single barrier, but a series of restrictions between and within agencies constructed over 60 years as a result of legal, policy, institutional and personal factors." Similarly, a ruling by the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review -- when it met for the first time ever in 2002 -- traces the origin of the "wall" to "some point during the 1980s."

    Most recently, in his April 12, 2004, testimony before the 9-11 Commission, Ashcroft conceded that his own deputy attorney general, Larry Thompson, reauthorized the "wall" in August 2001.


    I'm not defending Clinton Administration failures here, I'm sure they bear some responsibility, but it's certainly not the fault of some fabricated wall he created to shield himself from the Chinese money investigation. Debunked BS that is. I think it's a failing of the three agencies that is largely related to the way they've been tasked and how they've operated since their inception. They fundamentally do not do their job and as total organizations are astoundingly incompetent.
     

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