In this second part we’ll take a look at possible 9/11 insider trading in Stratesec and Raytheon stock; talk about a trading anomaly on September 11, 2001 connected to transactions in 10-year U.S. bonds; present research related to the legendary PROMIS software; and “follow the money” with respect to the 9/11 plot funding.
by Lars Schall
You can download the 2nd part of this article series here as a PDF document.
“The Indian knew that deer moved in circles…that if the hunter calculated his moves with skill, he could run the swift deer into submission. Its hooves would bleed, and the animal stumbled. The Indian was to kneel above his dying prey, putting his mouth to that of the deer, stealing its last breath. While he had earned the swiftness of the beast in its death, he was struck by its peace and stillness, and by his own.”
– Opening Sequence of “The Indian Runner”, 1991 –
What Rickards Doesn’t Tell You
According to a report published by Bloomberg in early October 2001, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began a probe into certain stock market transactions around 9/11 that included 38 companies, among them: American Airlines, United Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., American Express Corp., American International Group, AXA SA, Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Corp., Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Morgan Stanley, General Motors, and Raytheon. (1)
In the same month, however, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the SEC took the unprecedented step to deputize hundreds, if not even thousands of key stakeholders in the private sector for their investigation. In a statement that was sent to almost all listed companies in the US, the SEC asked the addressed companies to assign senior staff for the investigation, who would be aware of ”the sensitive nature“ of the case and could be relied on to ”exercise appropriate discretion“. (2)
In essence, it was about controlling information, not about provision and disclosure of facts. Such a course of action involves compromising consequences. Mike Ruppert explains in his book, “Crossing the Rubicon” (2004):
“What happens when you deputize someone in a national security or criminal investigation is that you make it illegal for them to disclose publicly what they know. Smart move. In effect, they become government agents and are controlled by government regulations rather than their own conscience. In fact, they can be thrown into jail without a hearing if they talk publicly. I have seen this implied threat time after time with federal investigators, intelligence agents, and even members of United States Congress who are bound so tightly by secrecy oaths and agreements that they are not even able to disclose criminal activities inside the government for fear of incarceration.” (3)
Just ten days after the 9/11 attacks, the SEC passed some findings to the FBI and recommended that it should “investigate two suspicious transactions. We know about this thanks to a 9/11 Commission memorandum declassified in May 2009 which summarizes an August 2003 meeting at which FBI agents briefed the commission on the insider trading issue. The document indicates that the SEC passed the information about the suspicious trading to the FBI on September 21, 2001.”
U.S.-author Mark Gaffney elaborates: “Although the names in both cases are censored from the declassified document, thanks to some nice detective work by Kevin Ryan we know whom (in one case) the SEC was referring to. The identity of the suspicious trader is a stunner that should have become prime-time news on every network, world-wide. Kevin Ryan was able to fill in the blanks because, fortunately, the censor left enough details in the document to identify the suspicious party who, as it turns out, was none other than Wirt Walker III, a distant cousin to then-president G W Bush.
Several days before 9/11, Walker and his wife Sally purchased 56,000 shares of stock in Stratesec, one of the companies that provided security at the World Trade Center up until the day of the attacks. Notably, Stratesec also provided security at Dulles International Airport, where AA 77 took off on 9/11, and also security for United Airlines, which owned two of the other three allegedly hijacked aircraft. At the time, Walker was a director of Stratesec. Amazingly, Bush’s brother Marvin was also on the board.
Walker’s investment paid off handsomely, gaining $50,000 in value in a matter of a few days. Given the links to the World Trade Center and the Bush family, the SEC lead should have sparked an intensive FBI investigation. Yet, incredibly, in a mind-boggling example of criminal malfeasance, the FBI concluded that because Walker and his wife had ’no ties to terrorism … there was no reason to pursue the investigation.’ The FBI did not conduct a single interview.” (4)
In early 2012, I’ve asked Kevin Ryan via e-mail if he could send me a link for his “nice detective work”. Ryan, who’s in my humble opinion one of roughly 10 people around the world who have to be taken seriously regarding 9/11, replied: “You are referring to my paper ‘Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11.’ (5) The following two references from the paper are relevant to what you are describing, 9/11 Commission memorandum entitled ’FBI Briefing on Trading’, prepared by Doug Greenburg, 18 August 2003. (6).
The 9/11 Commission memorandum that summarized the FBI investigations refers to the traders involved in the Stratesec purchase. From the references in the document, we can make out that the two people had the same last name and were related. This fits the description of Wirt and Sally Walker, who were known to be stock holders in Stratesec. Additionally, one (Wirt) was a director at the company, a director at a publicly traded company in Oklahoma (Aviation General), and chairman of an investment firm in Washington, DC (Kuwam Corp). Here are two other recent articles on Stratesec and its operators.” [See here and here.]
The stock of Stratesec, I should add by myself, increased in value from $0.75 per share on September 11 to $1.49 per share when the market re-opened on September 17. As a firm that provided technology-based security for large commercial and government facilities, Stratesec benefited from the soaring demand of security companies right after 9/11.
As to the question “who is related to who”, Ryan told me at a later stage that this is an “irrelevant issue” to him. He wrote: “Wirt Dexter Walker is a distant relative of the Bush family, although not through the Walker branch unless the full story of George Walker (Bush’s ancestor) and Solomon Walker (Wirt’s ancestor) can reveal it. One example is that Elia A Marsh’s cousin Betsey (Betty) Ransom married Claghorn Robinson, who is related to Dr. Lathrop (G.W. Bush family).
Much more importantly, Wirt D. Walker is the most obvious example of a deep state operative that we know of with regard to 9/11. Not only is he an (as-yet uninvestigated) SEC suspect in 9/11 insider trading, he and Barry McDaniel ran security for the WTC (and Dulles Airport, and UAL), were previously colleagues of William Casey and Frank Carlucci, and now work with people who have top secret clearances or are associates of Dick Cheney. Additionally, Walker occupied the exact same offices as the man who trained Zacarias Moussaoui. It’s long past time to stop pretending that Walker’s association to 9/11 is a matter of who he is related to.”
It should be noted that Stratesec repeatedly used premises in the Watergate building in Washington D.C., which were rented by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the years before 9/11. Stratesec and the aircraft construction company Aviation General, associated with it, held their annual shareholders‘ meetings in the Suite 900 of the Watergate from 1999 to 2001, then rented by the Saudi Embassy. In 2002 the shareholders‘ meetings were held in the Suite 500, which was held by the Embassy of Kuwait. (7)
Stratesec and Aviation General shared top executives, including Wirt D. Walker III, described in one report as “a distant relative ‘in the Walker branch of the Bush family’.” (8) Walker, together with Kuwait’s Prince Mishal Yousef Saud Al Sabah, also led the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm), the owner of Stratesec and Aviation General. Walker, who held the position of director in all three companies, was CEO and chairman of the board at Stratesec at various times, while at the same time serving as managing director at KuwAm. (9) Walker and Al Sabah founded KuwAm in 1982, after they became acquainted with each other in the mid-1970s.
Not mentioned in any academic study (and for sure also neither in the 9/11 Commission Report nor in Rickards’ “Death of Money”) is one specific case of call-option trades prior to the events of September 11.
Among the people who benefited from 9/11 happened to be the arms manufacturer Raytheon, whose share price gained directly from the 9/11 attacks. Trading of the shares of Raytheon, the producer of Tomahawk and Patriot missiles (and parent company of E-systems, whose clients include the National Security Agency and the CIA), experienced an abrupt six-time increase of call option purchases on the day immediately before September 11. (10)
The outright purchase of call options implies the expectation that a stock price will rise. In the first week after 9/11, when the New York Stock Exchange opened again, the value of Raytheon stocks actually shot up considerably. Looking at the development of the stock price, the impression is a very weak performance before the attacks – and then, after resumption of trade, a ”gap“ (at substantial volume) upwards. In other words: just under $25 on September 10, the low in the period between August 20 to September 28, at $31,50 on September 17, and up to $34,80 on September 27, 2001.
With regards to government bonds, buyers of U.S. Treasury securities with a maturity of five years were also winners. These securities were traded in an unusually large volume shortly before the attacks. The Wall Street Journal reported at least in early October 2001 that the Secret Service had started an investigation into a suspiciously high volume of US government bond purchases before the attacks. The Wall Street Journal explained:
“Five-year Treasury bills are the best investments in the event of a global crisis, in particular one like this which has hit the United States. The papers are treasured because of their safety, and because they are covered by the US government, and usually their prices rise if investors shun riskier investments, such as shares.” (11)
A major trading anomaly seems to have occurred on September 11, 2001 connected to transactions in 10-year U.S. bonds.
According to Dino Kos, at the time of 9/11 a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), the transfers of bonds were managed via JP Morgan Chase and Bank of New York (BONY) through the Fedwire system – a hub which is used by banks to settle their government bond transactions. Operator of the Fedwire is the NY Fed (in concert with other regional Federal Reserve Banks). On September 11, according to Kos, the lines between the banks and Fedwire were capped. (12)
During an interview, which was conducted for the 9/11 Commission in January 2004, Dino Kos described the 12 regional Fed Banks as ”basically private entities with a special set of customers“. (13) The interviewer, Emily Walker, writes about her briefing with Kos, who was back then at the FRBNY responsible for open market operations, foreign exchange trading, treasury auctions, the discount window, and the correspondent banking services provided by the FRBNY to other central banks:
“He gave me a general overview of the Federal Reserve System in order to clarify the role of the FRBNY versus the other regional fed banks as well as the differentiation with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. He said that the Washington Federal Reserve is a Government agency, not a bank. It does not have means to execute payments, make loans, trade etc. It provides policies on how the reserve banks should operate. It makes the critical decisions. Below the Federal Reserve Agency in DC are the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. They have accounts, manage portfolios, have stockholders (commercial banks), and are basically private entities with a special set of customers.”
For it has no means of its own, the FRBNY is an operating arm of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. in the markets, explained Dino Kos.
“They buy or sell securities to drain or add liquidity to the marketplace and set the interest rate. The Federal Reserve in DC makes the policy and the FRBNY executes. The FRBNY operates the FEDWIRE which is the technological mechanism which banks can make payments to each other. (He added that it was unaffected by 9-11 because it was in East Rutherford NJ). …. He did say that the Fedwire is the hub to the rest of the banks and if those links are cut (from the banks – which they were on 9-11), the banks have to call and manually make the payments. He also said that the CHIPs system is the private sector clearing house system that pulls together the payment instructions and nets them out at the end of the day and send the remaining to be settled to the FEDWIRE.” (14)
Later on, Kos spoke about problems that became manifest on 9/11:
“In the case of the FEDWIRE operating system, it is fine if everyone can make and receive payments. If someone can make, or receive payments, but not the reverse, the balances get out of whack. Some bank can have a huge overdraft and they won’t know if it will be covered. In the case of Government securities, there is no central clearing corporation. … Each broker-dealer has a bank they use. When BONY was disrupted on 9-11, the dealers did not know if their positions were covered. They wired payments to BONY but did not know if they were received. BONY did not know what funds they had received. Dino showed me data that indicated that BONY had a huge surplus and the rest of the banks in the system were in a huge deficit. Furthermore, a number of trades were ’lost’ in the morning when the Broker-dealers were lost in the WTC.” (15)
Relating to certain issues after 9/11, the “Memorandum for the Record” (MFR) states:
“He spoke about the securities ’fails’, when the two sides of a trade could not be reconciled. He said that this was ’huge’. He said that even once the immediate disruptions normalized, the volume of ’fails’ increased through the end of September. … Because of the number of ’fails’, the Treasury had to issue an unscheduled auction of 10 year bonds. In Dino’s view, the ’fails” did not really having any adverse effect on the market, but it was an issue that had to be dealt with and was cleared up with the Treasury auction.” (16)
In addition, the Federal Reserve pumped liquidity into the markets on a massive scale. (17)
As mentioned, the bonds transfers were managed via JP Morgan Chase and BONY through Fedwire, and according to Dino Kos the lines between the banks and Fedwire were topped. However, a comprehensive textual document called „September 11 Commission Report Revised“ shows that – with the exception of the telecommunication capabilities at BONY – all relevant systems for the settlement of bond transactions remained intact – not just Fedwire, but also Cantor Fitzgerald’s eSpeed system, that connected Cantor Fitzgerald with Deutsche Bank. Jamie B. Stewart, then-vice president of the New York Fed, is quoted as saying that the Fedwire operations ran through a backup facility outside of Manhattan; therefore, they were not cut. (18) The ability to handle transactions also worked smoothly through CHIPS (the Clearinghouse Interbank Payments System); the same applies to the banking system as a whole. (19)
Cantor Fitzgerald, in turn, handled roughly 50 percent of all U.S. government bonds. When the twin towers collapsed, that did not destroy too much computer data, because that data was not even lost in the case of Cantor Fitzgerald – as there was a backup that was working just fine. (20) However, it might have been the case that old paper certificates of government bonds had been destroyed, which Cantor Fitzgerald – like Garbon Inter-Capital and Eurobrokers – kept in vaults in the WTC. (21) Among these bonds were possibly government bonds from 1991 with a 10-year maturity and a value of up to 240 billion US dollars, which were backed by dubious gold securities and Swiss gold bars – so-called „Durham / Brady bonds“. Cantor Fitzgerald’s headquarters were located in the North Tower of the WTC (floors 101-105). On 9/11, the company lost nearly two-thirds of its entire workforce, more than any other tenant in the WTC. In total, about 40 per cent of all the dead on the WTC site were securities brokers. As a result of 9/11, according to the document’s assumption, enough chaos was created in the bond market to create a situation where hidden bonds worth 240 billion US dollars could be electronically handled without anyone asking too many questions. (22)
By declaring a state of emergency on September 11, the normal regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the settlement of government bonds could be suspended by the Federal Reserve. (23) For example, SEC rule „15c3-3“ has been suspended which, among other things, defines the physical possession or control of securities. In addition, the Government Securities Clearing Corporation (GSCC) sent a memo to various banking houses regarding the exchange of securities that were immediately due. Also, the GSCC allowed the „blind broker“ settlement of securities practice, in which both sides of the trade remain anonymous. (24)
The U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Federal Reserve subsequently issued new bonds to the bond market through a special government bond auction. Moreover, banks were provided with additional liquidity (more than 100 billion US dollar).
U.S. government bonds are mainly managed by the New York Fed. According to U.S.-economist Edward Flaherty, in the year 1997 the eight largest New York Fed member banks were as follows:
Chase Manhatten Bank,
Morgan Guaranty Trust Company,
Bankers Trust (in June 1999 taken over by Deutsche Bank),
Bank of New York (BONY),
Marine Midland Bank, and
Summit Bank. (25)
Chase Manhatten Bank and Morgan Guaranty Trust Company subsequently merged into JP Morgan Chase (in the year 2000) – and as seen, Chase and BONY were the banks through which the NY Fed ran its Fedwire to organize the government bond trading. The clearance spots to discreetly deal with the dubious „Durham / Brady bonds“ would have been BONY and GSCC.
Officially, the extraordinary auction of 10-year government bonds was necessary due to unsuccessful transactions (the so-called „fails“); the sellers were not able to provide the securities on-time. After 9/11, the number of „fails“ on individual days jumped to over 190 billion US dollars. Remarkable: those „fails“ apparently took place only at BONY; Chase did not experience anything comparable. At the time of 9/11, BONY was responsible for the clearing of approximately 50 percent of all U.S.-traded securities. The „fails“ at BONY supposedly occurred because of communication problems. However, this can’t be really the explanation, for BONY was able to maintain all operations through a backup facility in Utica, New York. (26)
Looking at the body of source material, only an auction for government bonds with a maturity of 10 years took place; the same for government bonds with shorter or longer maturities is not known. Philippa Malmgren, the chief economic adviser to George W. Bush during the time of the 9/11 attacks, told me that this would be „strange“, if in fact only an auction for 10-year government bonds took place after September 11. (27)
At this point we should return to PROMIS, because as we will see, there seems to be a connection to the Fedwire system.
PROMIS (“Trickery, Fraud And Deceit”)
The PROMIS saga started at the end of the 1970’s, beginning of the 1980’s, when William A. Hamilton’s Washington D.C.-based software firm INSLAW Inc. developed the Prosecutor’s Management Information System (PROMIS). INSLAW became a contractor of the U.S. Justice Department after PROMIS was designed as case-management software for federal prosecutors. However, the U.S. Justice Department broke the contract and stole that sophisticated piece of software from INSLAW in order to give it to the U.S. intelligence apparatus, which in turn would use it covertly. For instance, the Central Intelligence Agency “reconfigured the code and installed it in 32-bit Digital Equipment Corporation VAX minicomputers.” It then “used front companies to sell the new technology to banks and leading financial institutions like the Federal Reserve. Hidden inside the computer was a ‘trapdoor’ that enabled intelligence agencies to covertly monitor financial transactions digitally for the first time.” (28) The modified PROMIS version made it possible to penetrate “the international banking system, allowing a steady flow of data from the real, secret set of books kept by many foreign banks”. (29) William Casey, the CIA director from 1981 to 1987, called the secret money-tracking system “one of his proudest achievements”. (30)
At the time it was developed and distributed, PROMIS “was not state of the art – it was the art.” (31) The power derived from “a staggering 570,000 lines of computer code” – for they enabled PROMIS to “integrate innumerable databases without requiring any reprogramming. In essence, PROMIS can turn blind data into information. And anyone in government will tell you that information, when wielded with finesse, begets power. Converted to use by intelligence agencies, as has been alleged in interviews by ex-CIA and Israeli Mossad agents, PROMIS can be a powerful tracking device capable of monitoring intelligence operations, agents and targets, instead of legal cases.” (32)
While being interviewed by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) for a July 1989 television documentary entitled “Follow the Money,” the former senior national security official Dr. Norman A. Bailey stated that the Reagan White House tasked the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in 1981 with implanting “powerful computing mechanisms” in three major wire transfer clearinghouses: CHIPS (the Clearing House Interbank Payment System) in New York City, which reportedly records payments and settlements for foreign trade, foreign exchange, and syndicated loans for its member banks in various countries; CHAPS in London, which reportedly performs similar functions for Sterling-denominated transactions; and SIC in Basel, Switzerland, which reportedly records the same types of transactions when they involve Swiss Francs. Dr. Bailey described the new NSA signal intelligence (SIGINT) penetration of the banking sector as allowing the U.S. to track the money flowing from foreign governments to international terrorists through the international banking system – by intercepting the fund transfer messages from one bank to another as they occurred in real time. He further acknowledged that the NSA program enabled the U.S. to detect illicit transfers of technology to the Soviet bloc (of integrated circuits that had been engineered for use in military and defense applications, buying them illegally through front companies in three European countries – Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria), and also the indebtedness to Western banks of governments in danger of defaulting on their obligations. (33)
The Reagan NSC staff members that were interviewed for the PBS documentary provided considerable details about the use of NSA’s bank surveillance project in the fight against international terrorism, including the decision by President Reagan to bomb Libya based on Follow the Money SIGINT evidence that the Libyan government had provided funding for a terrorist attack in Germany that killed an American soldier and wounded two hundred civilians. (34)
Secretly and illegally INSLAW’s PROMIS software was employed in this special NSA program, after the NSA had obtained in 1981 an unauthorized, copyright-infringing copy of the IBM mainframe computer version of PROMIS from the U.S. Department of Justice. INSLAW had licensed that PROMIS version earlier in 1981 to Justice’s Land and Natural Resources Division.
The Reagan National Security Council (NSC) sought in 1986 a legal opinion for a major expansion of NSA’s bank surveillance project to add approximately 400 major commercial banks that comprise the interbank system. A June 5, 1986 email message from David Wigg to Colonel Oliver North, originally classified SECRET/CODE WORD, discussed a Reagan NSC staff proposal to that effect. The email message reported on a meeting that same day with the two top officials of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to obtain a legal opinion, binding on the Executive Branch and authorizing the planned expansion. David Wigg, who had served as CIA Director Casey’s liaison from the CIA to the NSC staff before transferring to the NSC staff, (35) described its objective as helping to “track financial flows through Syria, Libya, Iran, etc. through the 400 or so principal banks that make up the interbank market; to notify and work with European Govs. To fill gaps in our coverage and to cooperate with us in freezing/seizing assets as appropriate (all on a confidential basis).” (36)
In May 1998, Dr. Bailey published a monograph entitled, “The Strategic Plan That Won The Cold War,” which references the importance of NSA’s Follow the Money SIGINT mission and also includes a Foreword written by William P. Clark, President Reagan’s National Security Advisor in 1982 and 1983, extolling the role of Reagan’s NSC staff in “bringing about the end of the cold war.” (37)
Ten years later, when he was interviewed for an article by Tim Shorrock in Salon, Dr. Bailey said on the record that the PROMIS database and search application had been given to the NSA to deploy it for the “Follow the Money” program. He was quoted as stating that INSLAW’s “PROMIS was the principal software element used by the NSA” for its real-time surveillance of bank transfers. As Shorrock wrote about it: “His admission is the first public acknowledgement by a former US intelligence official that the NSA used the PROMIS software.” (38)
In a personal message that I received from him in June 2013, Dr. Bailey told me:
“I was appointed Director of Planning and Evaluation on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House in early 1981, when Ronald Reagan took over the presidency. In that capacity I coordinated national security planning throughout the government and evaluated the results of operations undertaken as a result. One of the projects I personally initiated was the tracing of the funding of activities contrary to the national security interests of the United States back to their sources. This activity was given the nickname ’follow the money’. I worked especially with the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board and the National Security Agency in carrying out this project (which is very much ongoing today). During this period I visited the NSA twice, and during my visits was told that the principal software utilized for the purpose of tracing money movements was PROMIS. At that time this meant nothing to me, as I was not a computer specialist, but rather a financial and monetary economist. Only much later did I realize that the NSA must have been given this software by the Department of Justice, which had originally utilized it to track cases. I had little to do with the Justice Department in my position, and even if I had known that such a transaction had taken place I would have found nothing wrong with it in principle, assuming the laws regarding patent protection and payment for patented products had been processed normally. That is absolutely all I know from personal experience: the NSA began to use PROMIS software sometime in 1981.”
William A. Hamilton, who worked for NSA in Vietnam in the 1960s, had developed PROMIS in the 1970s through funds given by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). Later Hamilton founded INSLAW and made major changes to the public domain version of PROMIS so that it now ran on 32-bit VAX computers (instead of 16-bit computers as before). (39) It is sometimes assumed that PROMIS was (at least in part) a government-owned software; however, as Hamilton pointed out to me, under amendments which U.S. Congress passed in January 1976 to the U.S. Copyright Law, every version of PROMIS created after January 1978 – when the amendments took effect – was effectively owned exclusively by the author of PROMIS, i.e., by INSLAW.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, during its annual oversight hearings on the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Chairman Edward Kennedy, announced in 1979 a DOJ plan to license PROMIS from INSLAW for use in one if its Headquarters legal divisions, the Land and Natural Resources Division, and also for a pilot test in two of the largest U.S. Attorney Offices, New Jersey and San Diego. Following independent evaluations, both projects were later deemed successful. Thus, in March 1982, DOJ entered into a new contract with INSLAW, worth almost $ 10 million. Hamilton’s company for its part fulfilled the contract, but had to realize that DOJ ceased payments in the spring of 1983. It also refused to give the software back to its owner. Instead, INSLAW was driven into bankruptcy. The case landed in court. Judge George Bason ruled in 1987 that DOJ had used “trickery, fraud and deceit” to take possession of PROMIS. (40) As a result, Judge Bason handed down the verdict that INSLAW should receive a compensation sum of $7 million. DOJ appealed and a panel headed by a former DOJ official decided not to extend Judge Bason’s expiring term. He was replaced by a lawyer from DOJ who had previously been involved in the INSLAW case. (41) The Court of Appeals, on the other hand, dismissed Judge Bason’s ruling on legal grounds; it did not object, however, that „the Government acted willfully and fraudulently to obtain property that it was not entitled to under the contract.“ (42)
Two years after Judge Bason had delivered his verdict, Congressman Jack Brooks of Texas began to initiate an investigation into the INSLAW affair which lasted for three years. The subsequent report of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, published on September 10, 1992, “not only agreed with Bason’s findings but went further”, insofar the accusation was made that some senior government officials were involved in the international sale of PROMIS, as witnesses testified under oath. Accordingly, the purpose of the PROMIS sale was to reap financial profits and to promote intelligence and foreign policy objectives. (43) In an interview that appeared at the time, Brooks said: “[Inslaw] was ravaged by the Justice Department.” The owners of the company were „treated like dogs“. (44)
I’ve asked William Hamilton to give me an explanation on what it was that made PROMIS attractive to the U.S. intelligence apparatus. You can download his answer as a PDF document.
In November 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed William Barr as United States Attorney General. For dealing with the INSLAW affair, Barr assigned Nicholas J. Bua, a former federal judge, as special adviser. The report, which Bua produced, cleared DOJ officials of misconduct against INSLAW. Hamilton’s lawyer Elliot L. Richardson, a former U.S. Attorney General and partner at the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, immediately rejected the Bua report by pointing to errors and falsehoods. Documents that were later made public suggest that DOJ actively interfered in the process leading to the Bua report to cover up aspects of the alleged suicide of journalist Danny Casolaro, who researched the PROMIS case on behalf of William Hamilton. (45)
Another utilization of the PROMIS software about which we know beyond NSA’s usage, has been its use at the beginning of the 1980s by Oliver North in connection with Continuity of Government (COG) planning lists of potential threats to U.S. national security. PROMIS was a proper tool for this because of its capacity to be used as a trawl „to detect and collect data about persons – about terrorists and drug traffickers as well as about political opponents and dissidents.“ PROMIS could be employed to “specifically hunt for people“, and it „was also suitable for electronic dragnet investigation.“ (46)
During the Iran Contra Hearings, North was questioned about the charge made in news reports that he was working with a “virtual parallel government” to develop “a secret contingency plan that called for suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the United States over to FEMA.” North was “prevented by the Committee Chairman, Democratic Senator Inouye, from answering in a public session.” (47)
In the coming years, a large network of business people and individuals who were close to, or belonged to, the Reagan / Bush administration (especially Earl Brian, Peter Videnieks and Edwin Meese) sold the extended versions of PROMIS to companies, banks, intelligence agencies and governments. The journalist Danny Casolaro called this network „The Octopus“.
Terry Miller, a friend of the Hamilton family, was the head of a firm that advised companies about how to navigate federal government procurement laws and regulations to sell their computer hardware, software, and services to the government. Terry Miller and Danny Casolaro had been friends for many years and cooperated: Casolaro owned and edited a newsletter on federal computer procurement, and Miller would bring him leads about federal procurement fraud – which he would investigate and then write expose articles about in his newsletter. Miller asked Casolaro in August 1990, which turned out to be one year before his death, to investigate the INSLAW affair. In that month, Casolaro and Hamilton talked with each other for the first time.
When asked about it, Hamilton could not remember exactly when Casolaro first told him about what he called „The Octopus“, but he was confident it was sometime in the fall of 1990. Hamilton: “I remember Danny telling me in the early months of his investigation that he could see what had happened in the INSLAW Affair but that he had not yet figured out how to obtain the proof. By sometime in the early part of 1991, he had become confident that he would be able to prove what he was seeing. As I remember what Danny told me, what he described as ‘The Octopus’ was a group of former covert intelligence operatives from the United States and allied governments who, for personal financial gain, would sell on the black market guns, stolen software, illicit drugs, and national secrets, and also engage in murder for hire. Danny believed the head of the Octopus was George Pender, who then lived in the Los Angeles area and who had himself once been employed as a CIA covert intelligence operative.”
The “Octopus“, according to Casolaro’s research, went „back to a dirty CIA ‘Old Boys’ network“, which began to exist in the 1950s and included people who were in the center of Iran-Contra and the BCCI scandal, for example Adnan Kashoggi. (48) Casolaro’s „presumption was that this group within the CIA had been involved not only in the Iran-Contra affair, but was also engaged in large scale arms and drug trafficking as well as been linked to organized crime, the Cosa Nostra, driving companies into bankruptcy and been involved in illegal deals of all kinds. With some considerations Casolaro was quite right, as it turned out later.“ (49)
Shortly before completing his investigation of the INSLAW affair, Casolaro’s life found an mysterious end: in early August 1991, his corpse was found in a hotel room in Martinsburg, West Virginia. He lay naked in a bathtub filled with his blood. On his wrists and arms were extremely deep cuts caused by a razor blade. His death was ruled suicide. (50) There was no trace of Casolaro’s “Octopus” records, which he always had with him in a suitcase. According to reports, he had been in the hotel room to meet an important informant.
Casolaro’s corpse was embalmed – contrary to applicable laws – before his family was informed of the alleged suicide, which happened two days later. Moreover, his hotel room was professionally cleaned within a very short time, which made any further forensic investigation impossible. The German investigative journalist Egmont R. Koch, who researched the case of PROMIS / Casolaro for many years, writes: „Something about this death remained … extremely dubious. It raised more questions than the authorities were able and ready to answer. Friends and acquaintances persistently asserted that a murder had been committed here because Casolaro had put his nose in affairs that highly influential officials of the government of President George Bush operated extremely profitable. Casolaro was said to be on the verge of revealing the biggest government scandal in the history of the U.S., relative to which Watergate or the Iran-Contra affair would seem downright ludicrous.“ (51)
With respect to the cuts found on Casolaro’s arms, I’ve explicitly asked William Hamilton:
Question: To my understanding, Danny Casolaro had extreme deep cuts. Even if he would have wanted to commit suicide, these would have been extreme deep cuts, correct?
William Hamilton: To believe the death was a suicide, you would have to believe that Danny disabled one of his two arms by severing the tendons in that arm but then magically used the disabled arm to sever the tendons in the one remaining arm that was still working. My understanding is that both incisions were deep cuts and Danny, more than most people, was always very averse to blood.
Koch reports that modified PROMIS versions were sold in a total of 88 countries. „It did not seem to matter in the dealings at all whether they were hostile intelligence services or countries that even waged war against each other like Iran and Iraq. This had its secret reason.“ (52)
The reason was the „back door“, which was included in the modified PROMIS version; it functioned as some sort of „Trojan horse“. According to reports, it is said to have been added by computer programmer Michael Riconosciuto „on an Indian reservation in California“. (53)
That course of action followed this calculation: „If a ‘trapdoor’ could be installed into the program, a sort of backdoor through which everyone could sneak unrecognized into the data records who was able to reach that door and open it by code word, the stored ’secrets‘ of the user would be openly accessible.” However, a lot of people puzzled over the question throughout the years how that “backdoor” had been actually designed. Ari Ben-Menashe, who worked for former senior Israeli intelligence officer Rafi Eitan, reported later that a modem was necessary – and then you only had “to enter certain code words to get the desired access to the computer. According to computer experts, who asked Ben-Menashe, this trapdoor or backdoor cannot be found. The description is somewhat ‚meager‘, though” – for it left the question unresolved “how the manipulation was exactly designed.” The manipulation could be done “by changing where the access authorization to this particular program is regulated. If an unauthorized person wants to misuse the program as he wishes, he must first have access to the computer. As an insider it’s simple for him, because the computer is in front of him and he would only need to open the program. As an intruder from the outside, he would first need to select the computer and then ‚crack‘ it before he can open the program and command over the stored data.
There is, however, another solution to the problem. PROMIS could have been manipulated in such a way that the program was accompanied by a component which affects the system software and significantly modifies it. The system software controls the internal operation of the system from the microprocessor to the terminals and the storage capacities, and manages the access authorizations to the entire computer with its programs and data stocks – not just to a single program. Therefore, it also grants and controls authorization privileges and passwords. An intrusion at this point is the better option: by using a type of ‚door‘ in the system software, the whole computer can be opened with a code or ‚key’” – and then it was possible to activate the PROMIS program. “In fact, the manipulation of the system software via PROMIS could be done in such a way that the ‘trapdoor’ is not to be discovered. Only the source code written by humans in a coding language is also readable for humans. However, the program is usually not delivered with the source code, but only in the machine-readable object code.
Rafi Eitan and the other beneficiaries of the Trojan version of PROMIS did not have to care how the ‚backdoor‘ functioned, though – the main point was, the manipulation was effective and remained undetected.” (54)
It’s a fact that INSLAW supplied the source code of PROMIS to the U.S. Department of Justice in 1983. Previously, DOJ Contracting Officer Peter Videnieks contrived in November 1982 a sham justification to force INSLAW to deliver a copy of its latest version of PROMIS, i.e., the version for operation on VAX 11/780 computers – “even though none of the U.S. Attorney Offices ever had a VAX computer”, as William Hamilton explained to me.
Hamilton also told me: “In February 1983, C. Madison Brewer, DOJ’s PROMIS Project Manager, telephoned me to ask that INSLAW provide a demonstration of VAX 11/780 PROMIS to someone he claimed at the time was ‘Dr. Ben-Or’ from the Ministry of Justice in Tel-Aviv, so ‘Dr. Ben-Or’ could evaluate the possible purchase of that version of PROMIS by the Israeli Ministry of Justice for the project to computerize the Israeli public prosecution offices which Brewer claimed to me that ‘Dr. Ben-Or’ was then heading. ‘Dr. Ben-Or’ visited INSLAW in February 1983 for a live demonstration of VAX 11/780 PROMIS” – which was a version of PROMIS that INSLAW had not yet licensed to the U.S. Government.
As we know from a sworn statement of investigative author Gordon Thomas (“Gideon’s Spies – The Secret History of the Mossad”, 1999), it was Israeli intelligence officer Rafael „Rafi“ Eitan, who had visited INSLAW in February 1983 under the identity of Dr. Ben-Or. (55)
A short time thereafter, in mid-April 1983, DOJ Contracting officer Videnieks modified INSLAW’s three-year contract to obtain delivery of VAX 11/780 PROMIS. He then concocted a series of sham contract disputes as justification for withholding increasingly larger amounts of money from INSLAW. Hamilton: “By February 1985, Videnieks withheld almost $1.8 million in contract payments owed to INSLAW, forcing INSLAW to seek federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.”
In the meantime, a copy of the source code was passed on by Peter Videnieks to Earl Brian, who organized the profitable sale of PROMIS through his company Hadron. „Brian had hooked up with the sale of PROMIS into a complex of espionage and arms trafficking, which developed into the largest intelligence service operation ever. He has to be seen probably primarily as a marketing manager, who sold PROMIS software to intelligence agencies in countries like Australia, South Korea or the UK.
While Earl Brian marketed the ‚computer program with the backdoor‘ on the spot, the threads ran elsewhere together: for instance with CIA chief William Casey at his headquarters in Langley near Washington. Others were simply using the software, for example, Iran-contra specialist lieutenant colonel Oliver North in the U.S. National Security Council. In Israel, Rafi Eitan maintained the interests of his country. He opened a new distribution channel for PROMIS with the help of press tycoon Robert Maxwell, who earned millions in business with banks and intelligence services. In particular via Maxwell the traces of PROMIS continued to lead into the direction of Europe and Germany.
Many of the participants in the PROMIS business knew each other from intrigues and shady dealings for power and money. Several of them belonged to the Reagan-outfit from his days as California’s governor, who then re-established themselves in the administration of the President in Washington. Others came from the field of intelligence agencies. One example for sinister scheming are the covert negotiations of important ‚election campaigners‘ for Ronald Reagan with Iran. Behind the back of former President Jimmy Carter, they used the drama of the hostages in the American Embassy in Teheran in 1980 apparently in such perfidiousness that Carter lost the election. Participants in the negotiations were William Casey, Rafi Eitan, Earl Brian and Ari Ben-Menashe from the PROMIS milieu.” (56)
Looking at the background of all of this, you find the accusation that the Reagan team ensured that the hostages in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran would be released only after the US presidential election in 1980 was over. For this favor the new regime of Iran would later receive arms deliveries. “The essence of this plot was to frustrate Carter’s efforts to repatriate the hostages seized in the U.S. Tehran Embassy, by negotiating a Republican deal with the Iranians that would be more to their liking.” (57) Reportedly it has been Alexandre de Marenches of the so-called “Safari Club” – a member of the Cercle Pinay and just as William Casey a Knight of Malta –, who enabled Casey to meet with Iranians and Israelis in Paris in July and October 1980 to negotiate the delivery of U.S. weapons in exchange for a delay of a solution to the hostage crisis. (58) In fact, the U.S. hostages were released after Ronald Reagan had ended his inauguration speech on January 20, 1981 in Washington, D.C.. „Unquestionably the illicit contacts with Iran established by the October Surprise Group in 1980 became, as Alfonso Chardy wrote, the ’genesis’ of the Iran-Contra arms deals”, which then took place between 1984 and 1986. (59)
“In an important interview with journalist Robert Parry, the veteran CIA officer Miles Copeland claimed that a ’CIA within the CIA’ inspired the 1980 plot, having concluded by 1980 that Jimmy Carter (in Copeland’s words) ’had to be removed from the presidency for the good of the country.’ Copeland made it clear to Parry that he shared this view that Carter ’represented a grave threat to the nation,’ and former Mossad agent Ari Ben-Menashe told Parry that Copeland himself was in fact ‘the conceptual father’ of the 1980 arms-for-hostages deal, and had ’brokered [the] Republican cooperation with Israel.’” (60)
In his book “The Road to 9/11” (2007), Peter Dale Scott suggests “that this CIA network overlapped with a so-called ‘Project Alpha,’ working at the time for David Rockefeller and the Chase Manhattan Bank on Iran issues, which was chaired by the veteran establishment figure John J. McCloy.” (61) Another key role was played by Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, a cousin of Kermit Roosevelt, who had conducted the coup d’etat in Iran in 1953. Archibald Roosevelt, a CIA figure himself and friend of Copeland, was an opponent of Carter and a senior employee of the Chase Manhattan Bank. (62)
Ari Ben-Menashe, the Israeli agent who later became a Whistleblower, is also a chief witness to the existence of CIA slush funds filled by earnings from Iran-Contra dealings. (63) According to Ben-Menashe, one of these was given to the hands of Robert Maxwell, a Mossad agent, as Seymour Hersh revealed, who had important connections to both George H. W. Bush and Russia. (64) Another witness was the banker Erle Cocke, who had managed such a CIA slush fund himself. His statements in this regard were filed in April 2000 before the New York District Court. (65)
During a Senate hearing conducted in 1987 on the Iran-Contra affair, Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii said:
“There exists a shadowy government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.” (66)
Earl Brian’s company Hadron, the PROMIS sales center, was later renamed Analex and became owned by QinetiQ, a provider of information security and electronic warfare. According to William Hamilton, with whom I talked about this issue, the Reagan team gave Earl Brian deliberately the opportunity to enrich himself personally through the sale of PROMIS in order to reward him for the services he had rendered in the negotiations with the Iranians in 1980. (67) Hamilton also told me how Dominick Laiti, then CEO of Hadron, approached him in April 1983, when Hadron was trying to acquire INSLAW. Laiti told Hamilton on the phone that the company was expecting to overtake the case management software business of the federal government due to its friendship with Edwin Meese, but first Hadron would need to have title to PROMIS. When Hamilton replied that he was not interested in selling INSLAW, he heard Laiti say at the other end of the line: “We have ways of making you sell.“
One month later, in May 1983, the U.S. Department of Justice broke the contract with INSLAW by suspending payments to Hamilton’s company and unjustifiably retaining the PROMIS software.
From several directions and sources, Hamilton over the years learned that Earl Brian, a friend of Edwin Meese, would control Hadron through a firm by the name of Biotech Capital Corporation (subsequently known as Infotechnology, Inc.). As was later made public, Ursula Meese, the wife of the U.S. Attorney General in 1985-88, borrowed a certain sum of money to buy shares in the Biotech Capital Corporation, where Brian was the main owner. (68)
The largest shareholder of QinetiQ, the buyer of Hadron / Analex, became the Carlyle Group. The chair of the Carlyle Group was then Frank Carlucci. At the time when Hadron had the modified PROMIS program sales hit on offer, Carlucci happened to be the director of Wackenhut, before he became U.S. Secretary of Defense in November 1987. (69) William Casey, in turn, had been a member of the board and legal adviser to Wackenhut before becoming Reagan’s CIA director in 1981.
Journalist Cherie Seymour (“The Last Circle”, 2011), who investigated the “Octopus” research undertaken by Danny Casolaro for more than a decade and a half, reports that a considerable part of Casolaro’s work was concerned with secret activities that Wackenhut performed on the same Indian reservation, on which Michael Riconosciuto had apparently installed the desired „backdoor“ into PROMIS. Riconosciuto, who had already been in touch with Casolaro, told Seymour that it was the Cabazon reservation in Indio, California. Wackenhut carried out on site secret developments and tests of new weapons. Casolaro was interested in the homicide cases of Fred Alvarez, Ralph Boger and Patricia Castro, who were connected to these weapons tests. For his research, Casolaro planned to make a trip to the Cabazon reservation. There wouldn’t be such a trip. Seymour’s research reveals that during the last week of his life, Casolaro discovered that there was a link between Mike Abbell, a former director of international affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Cali cartel in Colombia, and the intelligence officer Robert Booth Nichols. The latter was involved in the Wackenhut activities on the Cabazon reservation. He ranked among Casolaro’s most important informants. Casolaro’s friend Bob Bickel later confirmed that a discussion had been held shortly before Casolaro’s death about all of this, but nothing of it can be found in the official reports on the death of Danny Casolaro. Abbell was tried in 1995 for money laundering and organized crime in connection with the Cali cartel.
Over the years, many deaths have been associated with PROMIS. For my research, I asked William Hamilton, which of those cases were assumingly indeed related to PROMIS. You can download his answer as a PDF document.
Upon my request to tell me about connections between PROMIS and international financial markets, Hamilton informed me that his lawyer, Elliot Richardson, had learned during the 1990s that the VAX 11/780 version of PROMIS one day mysteriously popped up in the World Bank in Washington, D.C. in 1983. Richardson asked the General Counsel of the World Bank to investigate the matter. He ultimately told Richardson that he had not been able to find any traces of PROMIS in the World Bank. However, Richardson and Hamilton learned from an affidavit given by a man named William Turner that he had stored documents from the World Bank and BCCI, which came from NSA’s „Follow the Money“ mission. He presented records of transfers to accounts in Switzerland and on the Cayman Islands, which belonged to people who benefitted from the illegal distribution of PROMIS software. Turner also claimed that he had given copies of those documents to Danny Casolaro, the night before Casolaro had been found dead in his hotel room in Martinsburg, West Virginia, at the beginning of August 1991.
William Hamilton: Most of the unauthorized, copyright-infringing uses of PROMIS appeared to me to be NSA projects, possibly because NSA, according to Executive Order 12333 of December 1981, was named as the Executive Agent for the Secretary of Defense for the Communications Security of classified database systems of the U.S. Government.
Regarding the World Bank and PROMIS, a World Bank computer systems contractor told me the VAX 11/780 PROMIS simply appeared one day in the summer of 1983 in the „humongous“ computer center of the World Bank where the source did his contract work. Charles Trombetta, the number two official in the Justice Department’s Office of Security, allegedly regaled colleagues with his account of driving Associate Attorney General D. Lowell Jensen and VAX 11/780 PROMIS to the HQ of the World Bank during the summer of 1983 for a meeting with Stanley Sporkin, Casey’s CIA General Counsel, and two U.S. Senators on the Senate Banking Committee. Eugene Mixon, a former CIA employee working in DOJ’s Office of Security, told me he witnessed Trombetta’s account.
When I spoke to him about the Fedwire system, Hamilton mentioned another informant of Casolaro, a man by the name of David Bruce, and this David Bruce had told him (Hamilton) that the Federal Reserve had used the PROMIS software to monitor the Fedwire system.
This is of interest, of course, with respect to the noted problems on the U.S. government bond market, which occurred as a result of the 9/11 attacks, and subsequently required an extra auction of 10-year government bonds. In a serious effort to find out what exactly happened and why, investigators would need to take a thorough look at the monitoring data of the Fedwire system. They would also have to figure out whether the New York Fed was still using PROMIS to monitor Fedwire in 2001. Hamilton’s hypothesis is that PROMIS was still in use by then, because “it is not easy to replace such systems.”
Hamilton found out that William Turner had sought contact with Danny Casolaro to inform him about alleged cases of fraud at Hughes Aircraft, formerly one of the largest defense and aviation companies in the United States. Turner told Hamilton that he had kept PROMIS-related documents for Casolaro in his home in Warrenton, Virginia. By the agency of Turner, Hamilton then met David Bruce, who had just been released from federal prison. At that time, Turner and Bruce were direct neighbors. Bruce had previously run a financial services firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Scott Financial Services), before being convicted of fraud related to the BCCI branch in Atlanta.
William Hamilton: Bruce told me that Danny Casolaro had contacted him in prison and that Casolaro had a very detailed understanding of what the U.S. Government did with PROMIS in the banking sector. Bruce also told me about a former CIA computer systems engineer who had installed PROMIS at BCCI Atlanta and other BCCI branches as an independent contractor for Systematics, Inc. of Little Rock, Arkansas, which was the bank software company that distributed PROMIS to banks under NSA’s “Follow the Money” bank surveillance project. Bruce quoted that former CIA person as claiming that there would be another American Revolution if the American people ever discover what the government has done to the integrity of the U.S. banking system through NSA’s installations of PROMIS under the “Follow the Money” project.
In the second half of the 1990’s, INSLAW’s legal counsel sought to make a deal with the former CIA computer systems engineer, about whom Bruce claimed that he would still have a copy of the source code of the PROMIS software that was used in the banking system. The attempt failed, for the informant said he would need to be resettled in another country if he cooperated with INSLAW because of what the U.S. Government would seek to do to him.
At that time, a novel entitled „Black Money“ had been published by Michael M. Thomas, a former partner of the Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers. His novel dealt with the idea of insider trading through using highly sophisticated banking software. The U.S. Government forces banks in „Black Money“ to employ specific software for their systems, which enables the U.S. intelligence agencies to track the daily money flows inside of the banks. The private contractor, with whom the government cooperates in this endeavor, generates over time billions of dollars through insider trading activities. Portions of those earnings go to the White House to fund hidden political ventures. The threads for collecting and managing this money run together with a top consultant of the Vice President, who is finally killed in a manner that looks like suicide. (70)
“Black Money” seemed to peddle heavily with motifs of the PROMIS saga; not just like a fictionalized version of the usage of PROMIS software in the banking sector, but also of the death of White House legal counsel Vince Foster in July 1993. (71)
Foster’s White House secretary, Debroah Gorham, immediately prior to working for him in the Clinton White House, had been the secretary to the Managing Partner at one of the law firms working for INSLAW throughout the years. After Vincent Foster’s death, William Hamilton telephoned the Managing Partner and told him that he had heard from multiple sources that Webster Hubbell, at the time the Associate Attorney General of the U.S., had sent a document to Vincent Foster at the White House the week before Foster’s death and that, immediately after Foster’s death, the document was covertly removed from the safe in Foster’s White House office by military intelligence officials from Ft. Meade. The Managing Partner informed Hamilton, that Debroah Gorham had recently returned to his law firm from the Clinton White House, following Foster’s death, and, while she was no longer working directly for him, he would ask her whether there was any truth to what Hamilton had been told.
William Hamilton: Gorham’s answer to the Managing Partner was that Hubbell had indeed sent a document in an inter-agency mailer to Foster the week before Foster’s death, that she and Foster were the only two people authorized to open Foster’s mail and she had opened the mailer from Hubbell and read the first several pages, as was her standard practice so she would be able to recognize the document were Foster later to ask her for it. She told the Managing Partner that she immediately realized the document was about INSLAW, Inc. and Bill and Nancy Hamilton whom she remembered from her time as the secretary for the Managing Partner when he was doing legal work for INSLAW. She never volunteered any more information, however.
Webster Hubbel, it turns out, had been with Vincent Foster and Hillary Rodham Clinton previously a partner in a law firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. That law firm had represented the software company Systematics, when it faced legal problems related to BCCI at the end of the 1970’s.
In 1978, Financial General Bankshares, which was later known as First American Bank, sued Systematics, BCCI, Jackson Stevens, and Bert Lance (the former Director of Office of Management and Budget, OMB, under President Carter) in federal district court for the District of Columbia. Three partners in the Little Rock-based Rose Law Firm were the attorneys of record for Systematics in the lawsuit: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Webster Hubbbell, and Joseph Giroir (the Managing Partner). The lawsuit accused the defendants of having conspired to help BCCI effect a hostile takeover by BCCI of Financial General Bankshares and then force Financial General Bankshares to replace its existing computer hardware and software systems with systems procured from Systematics. Financial General Bankshares defeated the hostile takeover, but BCCI later took over the bank anyway after its name had changed to First American Bank. (72)
As has been already noted, Hamilton was told by a “consistently reliable” source that the software firm Systematics in Little Rock, Arkansas “was the main NSA contractor for its ‘Follow the Money’ Signal Intelligence real-time electronic surveillance of bank transfers, and the CIA contractor for real-time surveillance of stock market trading.” As was also already mentioned before, in 1986 Reagan’s National Security Council (NSC) wanted to introduce NSA’s bank surveillance SIGINT mission via PROMIS into the approximately 400 major banks of the interbank system. Previously to that, Systematics allegedly collaborated with IBM and Brian Bruh of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the adaptation of PROMIS to the additional requirements of large money center banks. The IRS Criminal Investigations Division was then one of the major “consumers” of NSA’s “Follow the Money” bank intelligence information.
William Hamilton told me that according to his sources, Systematics worked in particular on this project with IBM client Chase Manhattan Bank – e.g. that banking powerhouse about which we know that it was crucial for operating the Fedwire system of the Federal Reserve.
Later on, the IRS Criminal Investigations Division under Brian Bruh allegedly arranged for the award of a very lucrative PROMIS-related contract to IBM Federal Systems Division by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), i.e, providing software support at FEMA’s Mt. Weather, Virginia computer center for back-up copies of the PROMIS software and associated databases from the three main U.S. intelligence agencies (the CIA, the NSA, and the DIA) and the FBI. “The value of that IBM contract over the years allegedly aggregated to approximately $600 million”, said Hamilton. Brian Bruh joined the IRS’ Criminal Investigations Division as its Director in 1985. Five years later, he was the founding director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) in 1990. FinCEN became a primary “consumer” of banking industry intelligence information in the U.S. Government, including, of course, NSA’s “Follow the Money” signal intelligence information.
Chase Manhattan for its part is the bank where Roger Robinson, who drafted the National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 66 and was the deputy and successor to Dr. Norman A. Bailey on the NSC staff, had been a Vice President before joining the Reagan NSC staff in March 1982. Chase Manhattan also reportedly had experience in working with European banks on multi-billion dollar loans to the Soviet Union. In fact, it was David Rockefeller who arranged for Chase Manhattan to be the first U.S. bank that had a branch in the USSR since 1929. The Chase branch was opened in Moscow at Karl Marx Square 1, nearby the Kremlin, in 1973. In the same year, Chase gave a first loan of $86 million to the Soviet Union for constructing a truck factory at the Kama. (73)
Hamilton pointed out to me that John Steuri, an IBM Group Executive, left IBM to become Systematics’ new Chief Executive Officer in October 1988. Soon thereafter, the American Banker reported the first fruits of the success of Steuri’s new strategy to focus Systematics’ software sales on large international banks. For example, in an article on February 9, 1989 entitled “Hanover Connecting Back Office Systems to IBM,” the American Banker reported that Manufacturers Hanover Bank in New York City and the Bank of Tokyo were two large international banks that had just signed contracts with Systematics for its software products. Manufacturers Hanover, the fifth largest U.S. bank at the time, thereby became Systematics’ largest account, according to the American Banker. There is also some published corroboration for the claim that Chase Manhattan was the first very large bank customer for Systematics, which had earlier installed software “at a few sites at Chase Manhattan Bank, the nation’s third largest bank,” as stated in the same article. Moreover, as Assistant IBM Group Executive for the U.S. Marketing and Services Group, Steuri had directly supervised IBM’s strategic business unit that developed application software products, including software for banks, again according to the article in American Banker. (74)
The principal owner of Systematics was Jackson Stevens, a former roommate of Jimmy Carter at the U.S. Naval Academy. He was a billionaire, a major financial supporter of Presidential campaigns, and the owner of the Little Rock-based Worthern Bank that extended a $3.5 million line of credit to Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign when it ran out of funds – which enabled Clinton to become President. (75)
After she was sworn in as U.S. Attorney General in March 1993, Janet Reno assigned the INSLAW case to Webster Hubbell. In June 1993, Hubbell informed Elliot Richardson in a letter that Reno had appointed him to conduct „a full and fair review“ of comments from INSLAW and others about the edited and redacted version of the delayed Bua Report that Reno had just publically released. Three months later, INSLAW met with Hubbell. He asserted, according to William Hamilton, that „Judge Bua has done a great investigation“ and that he (Hubbell) did not intend to „revisit“ any issues with the exception of the question of whether the FBI’s FOIMS case management system was based on PROMIS and the death of journalist Danny Casolaro.
Hubbell reportedly completed his review of the INSLAW case by the time he left the Justice Department in disgrace in April 1994 on his way to pleading guilty to felonies committed while he was a partner in the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock prior to the start of the Clinton Administration. Janet Reno did not release Hubbell’s work product, however, until House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks called for a meeting to vote on a Congressional Reference resolution on INSLAW. That same day, Reno had a letter hand-delivered to every member of the Committee urging them to vote against the Chairman’s resolution. Without mentioning the disgraced Hubbell, she cited the new report, confirming that the government had never stolen PROMIS and asserting that INSLAW did not deserve another day in court. In the end, every Democrat on the Committee voted with the Chairman for the resolution and every Republican voted with Reno, the Democratic U.S. Attorney General. The resolution passed the Committee but Republicans, lobbied by both Meese and Reno, blocked a vote in the full House.
Follow The Money
In the PBS Television documentary, „Follow the Money,“ that was aired on July 12, 1989, former Reagan National Security Council staffers explained that prior to the start of NSA’s real-time electronic surveillance of the banking system, the only U.S. intelligence coverage of the banking sector was through the CIA’s „HUMINT“ – whereby computer systems contractors working for the CIA stole copies of bank data from banks for which they were doing contract work. (76)
Then at the early stages of the Reagan presidency, NSA began to penetrate the international banking system via PROMIS software, in order to trace “the funding of activities contrary to the national security interests of the United States back to their sources”, as Dr. Norman A. Bailey, the initiator of this program, explained to me. “This activity was given the nickname ’follow the money’. I worked especially with the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board and the National Security Agency in carrying out this project (which is very much ongoing today).”
The idea behind this approach is basically this: by following the movement of money, e.g. from one person to another, from one organization to another, from one bank account to another, you can find out what is really happening behind the scenes – for example, who had financed a terror attack. In fact, as has been shown, the “highly classified initiative, known as ‘Follow the Money,’ had allowed the Reagan administration to trace the Libyan government’s secret funding of a terrorist group that had bombed a disco in Berlin in 1986, killing an American soldier and wounding two hundred civilians.“ (77)
So when it comes to the 9/11 terror attacks, you would think the 9/11 Commission went into the matter, for it is a tried and tested approach in an investigative pursuit.
In the Preface of the 9/11 Commission Report, released in 2004, the 9/11 Commission made right near the very beginning a paradoxical statement: “Our aim has not been to assign individual blame. Our aim has been to provide the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9/11 and to identify lessons learned.“ It was a paradoxical statement because “the declaration not ‘to assign individual blame’ (…) makes it inherently impossible to ’provide the fullest possible account.’” (78)
Given the soundness of the “follow the money” approach, it seems also paradoxical, when the 9/11 Commission stated in Chapter 5 with respect to the funding issue of the 9/11 attacks: “To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately, the question is of little practical significance.”
Now, ask yourself: if the funding issue of the 9/11 attacks was “of little practical significance”, why is it then that NSA’s “Follow the Money” SIGINT mission “is very much ongoing today”, as pointed out by Dr. Bailey?
Nowadays, NSA has a financial database named Tracfin to collect “the ’Follow the Money’ surveillance results on bank transfers, credit card transactions and money transfers”. In an internal report, such transfers were seen by NSA analysts as “the ‘Achilles‘ heel’ of terrorists”. Documents that were made public via NSA Whistleblower Edward Sowden further “reveal the close involvement of the US Treasury in selecting the program’s spying targets. Indeed, according to the documents, there is an exchange of personnel in which NSA analysts are transferred for a number of months to the relevant department in the US Treasury.“ (79)
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has a long-lasting interest in financial intelligence. Already since April 1990 it has operated the “quasi-secretive” Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In the December 1992 issue of Wired Magazine, Anthony L. Kimery reported that FinCEN “is the US government’s (perhaps the world’s) most effective financial crime investigation unit.” Kimery continued: “Its mission is to map the digital trails of dirty money, be it the laundered profits from drug sales, stolen S&L loot, hidden political slush funds, or the financing conduits of terrorists. It’s the only federal unit devoted solely to the systematic collation and cross-analysis of law enforcement, intelligence, and public databases.” (80)
At the time Kimery’s article was published, FinCEN was on the verge of moving into “a gleaming high-rise office building down the road from the CIA in Vienna, Virginia (otherwise known as ’Spook City’)”, where inter alia “the talents of the IRS, FBI, DEA, Secret Service” were also to be found. “According to senior intelligence officers”, with whom Kimery spoke to, there was access to “the resources of the CIA, the National Security Agency (which intercepts data on electronic currency movements into and out of the United States, some of which make their way into FinCEN’s analyses), and the Defense Intelligence Agency.” Unofficially, several intelligence agents acknowledged “that, in addition to the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) have also joined FinCEN’s impressive intelligence crew. In short, FinCEN is a one-of-a-kind cauldron containing all the available financial intelligence in the United States. FinCEN’s mission required the involvement of the intelligence community, said Kimery, “particularly in tracking the financial dealings of terrorists and in conducting financial counterintelligence”, but only few officials were “willing to discuss the trend openly.” (81)
Kimery reported that FinCEN was working on a database project called Deposit Tracking System (DTS) to track cash transfers to and from U.S. bank accounts in real-time. “Regardless of the form it takes, the sources said, the DTS and any other financial databases that come down the pike could be easily interfaced to FinCEN’s Artificial Intelligence/Massive Parallel Processing (AI/MPP) program, a criminal targeting system that will go online in a few years.” (82) FinCEN developed this „money flow model“ together with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The artificial intelligence-based software “will look for unexplained, atypical money flows. Coupled with a massively parallel computer system, the AI/MPP could perform real-time monitoring of the entire US electronic banking landscape.” Moreover, it was planned for the near future to interface all existing government databases via AI/MPP, including the CIA terrorists‘ Database DESIST. “The justification for creating such a system is compelling”, wrote Kimery, as “it would identify scores of previously unknown financial conduits to terrorists.” If the DESIST/FinCEN system would be “hooked into” the Deposit Tracking System, it would “be able to identify terrorist financial movements in real-time, thus providing early warning of potentially imminent terrorist actions.” (83)
After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 had taken place inside of the United States, even though advanced money flow tracking systems were in place, the financial intelligence apparatus within the U.S. Treasury Department only grew bigger. In 2004 – the same year in which the 9/11 Commission Report was released – it established a special branch called the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), which oversees the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (TFFC). Its mission: “to combat terrorist financing domestically and internationally.” (84) Six years later, the office had “more than 700 attorneys, investigators, analysts and financial experts. And the financial intelligence unit is housed with other Treasury teams, such as the financial crimes unit, that need intel on alleged dirty money transactions.” Through its TFI, “Treasury is the world’s only government finance agency with its own in-house intelligence unit. It has offices as far flung as Riyadh, Islamabad, Kabul and Abu Dhabi.” (85)
On September 20, 2001, ABC News reported: “The Treasury Department’s Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center has launched an effort to track financial transactions of members of bin Laden’s terrorist network. The FBI today asked banks to check their records and report any transactions with any of the named terrorist suspects.” (86)
Already one day after 9/11, “the White House asked the Treasury what the department could contribute to the response.” (87) Twelve days later, “Treasury’s role became clearer when President Bush announced, ’We will direct every resource at our command to win the war against terrorists: every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence. We will starve the terrorists of funding, turn them against each other, rout them out of their safe hiding places, and bring them to justice.’
This meant going after Al Qaeda’s money.” (88)
For its part, the White House responded, inter alia, by launching “a National Security Council policy coordination committee (PCC) specific to terrorist financing to ensure coordination among the various actors in the US government.” (89) The PCC was headed by David Aufhauser, at the time the General Councel of the U.S. Treasury.
With respect to U.S. Treasury’s efforts to trace the funding of the 9/11 terror activities back to their sources, we can take a closer look into Juan C. Zarate’s book, “Treasury’s War – The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare” (2013). Zarate, who worked at the time of 9/11 directly for Paul O’Neill, then-Secretary of the Treasury, writes in his book that the U.S. Treasury tried to make it difficult to operate for the individual who was as “Al Qaeda´s money man” and “chief financial officer” in charge of “the organization´s books.” His nom de guerre: Sheikh Said. (90)
Zarate tells us: “Sheikh Said was a trusted confidant of both bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, and he managed the organization`s finances like a hawk. He was stingy with Al Qaeda`s budget—requiring expense reports and receipts from key lieutenants—and would often be angered by sloppy recordkeeping and cost discipline. He set out rules for the operational budget, with requirements for approval from him and Al Qaeda headquarters before major expenditures could be made.” (91)
Zarate and the people he worked with defined the Egyptian Sheikh Said “as our arch-nemesis—the chief enemy moneyman to be countered. He was an important pivot point around which we could build pressure on the network.” (92)
By 2004, intelligence agencies confirmed the real name of “Al Qaeda´s money man”, Mustafa al Yazid. But the intelligence agencies “wanted to keep his name quiet—in part to protect the methods by which we had acquired the name. This was a method that was worthy of protection, because it revealed other things about Sheik Said and what he was doing to invest and diversify Al Qaeda´s assets.” (93) In the meantime, his role “would grow in importance, especially as other senior Al Qaeda leaders were killed”, and the U.S. Treasury continued “to track him and to watch the directions he took and the measures he put into place with the organization.” (94) To “squeeze and distort Said’s budgetary decisions” became “the ultimate measure of whether we were succeeding”, says Zarate, and explains: The “hopes for success” within U.S. Treasury “put a premium on finding financial trails so that we could understand Al Qaeda’s network, disrupt its operations, and constrict its global reach and most strategic and threatening ambitions. Following Al Qaeda’s financial footprints became a new discipline and formed the backbone of our efforts to crush the organization and its operations.” (95)
However, after Zarate has told all of that at the beginning of “Treasury’s War”, he never comes back to Sheikh Said / Mustafa al Yazid during the remaining part of his book. And more importantly, he does not mention any funding operations of “Al Qaeda´s money man” related to 9/11 itself, although 9/11 supposedly legitimized the kind of financial warfare that he writes about in the first place.
If you pick up the 9/11 Commission Report to get some information on the financial operations of “Al Qaeda´s money man” related to 9/11, you do so in vain. The same is true, of course, when it comes to information about the “Follow the Money” program and its purpose; it does not get mentioned once. Not mentioned once are additionally “Vulgar Betrayal”, a pre-9/11 investigation of terrorist financing at the FBI, and “Operation Green Quest”, a post-9/11 investigation of terrorist financing at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. At one point, a 9/11 Commission’s “Staff Monograph on Terrorist Financing” made even a blatant misrepresentation, when it said “that the National Money-laundering Strategy Report for 2001 ’didn’t mention terrorist financing in any of its 50 pages’,” whereas in fact that report “mentions it 17 times”. (96)
Also left unaddressed in the 9/11 Commission Report is a specific financial operation connected to the September 11 attacks that involved a former student of the London School of Economics. His name: Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.
Let’s take a quick look into Mike Ruppert’s book, “Crossing the Rubicon”. For we read there:
“The FBI confirmed in late September 2001, in an interview with ABC News (which went virtually unnoticed) that the 9/11 ring leader, Mohammed Atta, had been financed from unnamed sources in Pakistan:
‘As to September 11th, federal authorities have told ABC News they have now tracked more than $100,000 from banks in Pakistan, to two banks in Florida, to accounts held by suspected hijack ring leader, Mohammed Atta … Time Magazine is reporting that some of that money came in the days just before the attack and can be traced directly to people connected to Osama bin Laden. It’s all part of what has been a successful FBI effort so far to close in on the hijacker’s high commander, the money men, the planners, and the mastermind.’” (97)
Reportedly, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was later accused of having played a pivotal role in the murder of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, took personally part in this bank transfer from Pakistan to Mohammed Atta. (98)
Sheikh, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, was allegedly “recruited by MI6 as an agent in the Bosnian War” in 1992, “while he was a student in London.” (99) Ultimately, he never entered the Bosnian War scenery to support the Muslim fighters though. Instead, he ended up in Kashmir as a fighter of the Pakistani terror network Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA), after “meeting a HUA activist who persuaded him to join the group.” (100)
While active in Kashmir, “Britain … ignored Sheikh’s support of HUA operations”, (101) and this attitude of ignorance would only continue after 9/11. “Whether Sheikh was recruited by MI6 remains unclear,” writes British historian and journalist Mark Curtis, “yet there is evidence that Sheikh became an agent of Pakistan’s [Inter-Services Intelligence] ISI.” (102)
In that regard, Curtis points out in his book, “Secret Affairs – Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam” (2010):
“After 9/11, the Times of India reported that Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed, the director of the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, and a strong supporter of the Taliban, had ordered the wiring of $100,000 to the leader of the 9/11 terrorist group, Mohammed Atta. Ahmed’s contact in sending the funds was said to be Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Briton of Pakistani origin, who had developed links to the HUA network and whom [former Pakistani President Pervez] Musharraf later accused of being an MI6 agent. Subsequently, various media reported that the FBI and Western intelligence sources believed that Sheikh had indeed transferred the money to Atta and that the FBI had tracked more than $100,000 from Pakistan to two banks in Florida.” (103)
Ahmed retired from his role in the ISI as director general on October 8, 2001 – “some reports suggesting that this was due to the FBI’s uncovering of credible links between him and Sheikh in the wake of 9/11”, says Curtis. “Sheikh is reported to have told the then Pakistani army corps commander in Peshawar and later Director of ISI, General Ehsanul Haq, that he had learned of plans for terrorist strikes in the US on a visit to Afghanistan before 9/11. Furthermore, Sheikh later said he was an ISI agent”, and intelligence and police officials in the United States “have also said that Sheikh has been a ‘protected asset’ of the ISI. There are suspicions that Sheikh had been recruited by the ISI as long ago as 1992 while he was a student in London. In this light, it is barely credible that the ISI did not have foreknowledge of 9/11.” (104)
Curtis, a former researcher at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), identifies Sheikh as “the most intriguing possible British connection to 9/11.” (105) About his background, we’re told that Sheikh was complicit in kidnapping four Britons and an American in India to demand the release of HUA’s leader, Maulana Masood Ashar, who had been captured by Indian forces in 1994. However, Sheikh himself got captured and “spent the next five years in an Indian jail.” (106) In December 1999, he was released, after “the Indian government had agreed to a hostage deal whereby Sheikh and two other militants (one of them, HUA leader Maulana Masood Ashar) were freed in return for the release of 154 passengers on an Indian Airlines jet hijacked by the HUA.” (107)
During the time in prison, Sheikh was reportedly visited nine times by “a British diplomat, with his lawyer present, to check on his ‘living conditions and general welfare. Yet British intelligence also reportedly tried to do a deal with Sheikh.” One report stated “that Whitehall officials told Sheikh that he could ‘live in London a free man if he told them all he knew’.” The reports about Sheikh’s contacts with British intelligence while in jail noted “that Sheikh refused the offer”, but Mark Curtis sees “reason to question this.” (108)
He explains: “For one thing, two days after Sheikh’s release in early January 2000, the Foreign Office issued an extraordinary statement:
‘It is quite possible that Mr Sheikh will come back to this country where his family is. And as a full British national he has every right to return. He has not contacted us but obviously, if he was to contact us, and asked us for passport facilities, then provided he could prove who he was, we would issue him with a passport. He has not been convicted of any offenses. He has not even brought to trial.’
Sheikh is reported to have visited his family in London that month, and again in early 2001, without the British authorities charging him (for the 1994 kidnapping of the Britons) or the police launching an investigation. The Foreign Office statement can be interpreted in one of two ways. Either it showed that the British had done a deal with Sheikh, revealing that Whitehall was prepared to secretly collaborate with a known Islamist terrorist. Or, if a deal was never done, it illustrates how tolerant the British authorities were towards terrorism even when the victims were British.” (109)
As a free man, Sheikh visited Afghanistan, “where he devised a secure, web-based communications system for al-Qaida, served as a guerilla warfare instructor at training camps and met Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, as well as Bin Laden.” (110)
In summer of 2001, British intelligence asked “their Indian counterparts to apprehend Sheikh for questioning.” The reasons for this course of action are unknown. Yet, it is “instructive that the British turned to India for information on Sheikh and not Pakistan, giving further credence to the view that the Pakistanis were protecting him.” (111)
Soon thereafter, the money transfer of $100,000 from Pakistan to two accounts that were hold by Mohammed Atta in Florida took place. A few weeks later, Sheikh was involved in “orchestrating the gruesome beheading of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, in Karachi, a murder sometimes explained by Pearl’s possible uncovering of links between the Pakistani intelligence establishment and al-Qaida.” In early 2002, “Sheikh surrendered to a former official of the ISI”, and he lives in a Pakistani prison to this day. (112)
The former British cabinet minister Michael Meacher found it strange that neither Saeed Sheikh nor ex-ISI director general Mahmood Ahmed were further bothered by U.S. authorities: “It is extraordinary that neither Ahmad nor Sheikh have been charged and brought to trial on this count [of financing 9/11]. Why not?” (113)
Members of the Pervez Musharraf government suspected that Saeed Sheikh may not only have co-operated with ISI and MI6, but also with the CIA. “In a little-noted article on Saeed’s murky background in March 2002, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that: ’There are many in Musharraf’s government who believe that Saeed Sheikh’s power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA.’ Officials believe that ’Saeed Sheikh was bought and paid for.’” (114)
John Newman, formerly a senior member of the US Army Intelligence and Security Command, said about Sheikh, that he “was probably a triple agent” (ISI, MI6, CIA). Newman pointed at the fact “that despite Sheikh Saeed’s kidnapping of British citizens and related terror offenses, he faced no indictments from the US or Britain, and was even able to travel back to London in January 2001. He had also kidnapped American citizens, but faced no indictments from the US until after 9/11. ‘Did the United States not indict Saeed Sheikh because he was a British informant? Did the agency [CIA] receive information provided by Saeed Sheikh from British or Pakistani intelligence?’ asked Newman rhetorically at a 2005 Congressional briefing on the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report. ‘This would help explain why Saeed Sheikh was not indicted and escaped justice for his crimes and traveled freely around England.’” (115)
In his book “The Road to 9/11” (2007), Canadian political scientist and ex-diplomat Peter Dale Scott is rather skeptical vis-à-vis the story of Saeed Sheikh. He writes:
“In October 2001, shortly after the catastrophic events of 9/11, U.S. and British newspapers briefly alleged that the paymaster for the 9/11 attacks was a possible agent of the Pakistani intelligence service ISI, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (or Sheik Syed). There was even a brief period in which it was alleged that the money had been paid at the direction of the then ISI chief, Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad. (116) The London Guardian reported on October 1, 2001, that ’U.S. investigators believe they have found the ‘smoking gun’ linking Osama bin Laden to the September 11 terrorist attacks. . . . The man at the center of the financial web is believed to be Sheikh Saeed, also known as Mustafa Mohamed Ahmad, who worked as a financial manager for Bin Laden when the Saudi exile was based in Sudan, and is still a trusted paymaster in Bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization.’ (117) This story was corroborated by CNN on October 6, citing a ’a senior-level U.S. government source’ who noted that ’Sheik Syed’ had been liberated from an Indian prison as a result of an airplane hijacking in December 1999.
The man liberated in this way was Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a notorious kidnapper raised in England and widely reported as a probable agent of the ISI. (118) One newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, suggested he may have been a double agent, recruited inside al Qaeda and the ISI by CIA. (119) Others have since argued that Saeed Sheikh worked for both the United States and Britain, since ’both American and British governments have studiously avoided taking any action against Sheikh despite the fact that he is a known terrorist who has targeted U.S. and UK citizens.’ (120)
Several news stories that followed “reported on the undoubted relationship of Saeed Sheikh to the ISI”, or on the “FBI claims that he wired $100,000 to 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta’s bank account,” (121) and CNN said “that these funds came from Pakistan.” (122) The accusation that attracted the most attention, namely “that Saeed Sheikh had wired the money to Atta at the direction of Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad, then director of the ISI”, ultimately came from Indian intelligence sources. (123)
Scott notes about this:
„All these important and alarming charges are ignored in the 9/11 Commission Report, in which the Saeed Sheikh born in London is not mentioned. (124) Instead, the report assured its readers in a carefully drafted comment that ’we have seen no evidence that any foreign government—or foreign government official—supplied any funding.’ (125) It was later reported, however, that ’the Pakistan foreign office had paid tens of thousands of dollars to lobbyists in the U.S. to get anti-Pakistan references dropped from the 9/11 inquiry commission report.’ (126) The U.S. government and the mainstream media’s decisions to drop the Saeed Sheikh story in October 2001 were clearly political. On September 20, 2001, President Bush delivered his memorable ultimatum to ’every nation, in every region. . . . Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.’ There was probably no leader for which the choice was more difficult, or the outcome more unpredictable, than General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. But on October 7, Musharraf fired his pro-Taliban ISI chief, General Mahmoud Ahmad, along with two other ISI leaders. (127) As the historian John Newman, a former U.S. Army Intelligence analyst, has commented: ’The stakes in Pakistan were very high. As Anthony Zinni explained to CBS on 60 Minutes, ‘Musharaf may be America’s last hope in Pakistan, and if he fails the fundamentalists will get hold of the Islamic bomb.’ Musharaf was also vital to the war effort, and was the key to neutralizing Islamists and rounding up Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan.’ (128)
A number of books, in reporting the Saeed Sheikh story, have focused on the fact that General Ahmad was in Washington on 9/11, meeting with such senior U.S. officials as CIA director George Tenet. (129) In my opinion the mystery of 9/11 must be unraveled at a deeper level, the ongoing groups inside and outside governments, in both Pakistan and America, which have continued to use groups like al Qaeda and individuals like Ahmad, for their own policy purposes. (…) They [the relationships between these groups] are far too complex to be reduced to two or three individuals. The ongoing collaboration of the ISI and CIA in promoting terrorist violence has created a complex conspiratorial milieu, in which governments now have a huge stake in preventing the emergence of the truth.” (130)
While the 9/11 Commission stated in its final report that the question of where the money used for the 9/11 attacks came from had been “of little practical significance”, a look at the work of some of their staffers tells a slightly different story. For instance, the 9/11 Commission took an interest in the pre-9/11 activities of the National Security Agency. In a document entitled, “Monograph on Terrorist Financing – Staff Report to the Commission”, the authors say: „Before 9/11, the National Security Agency had a handful of people working on terrorist financing issues. The terrorist-financing group had no foreign-language capability. As a result, its collection had to focus on targets most likely to use the English language. The NSA’s effectiveness was limited by sparse lead information from other elements of the intelligence community on financing and, like the rest of the intelligence community, by the wall between intelligence and law enforcement that gave it only limited access to law enforcement information.“ (131)
They also tell this in their “Monograph on Terrorist Financing”: “Virtually all of the plot funding was provided by al Qaeda. There is no evidence that any person in the United States, or any foreign government, provided any substantial funding to the hijackers.” (132)
However, in summer of 2015, NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake noted at the National Whistleblower Appreciation Day in Washington, D.C. that “NSA was the one agency that literally provided little or no information” to the 9/11 Commission. (133)
Therefore, it seemed reasonable to me to ask Thomas Drake:
Question: If NSA was the one intelligence agency that was most unwilling to work with the 9/11 Commission, is this of relevance for the evaluation of what NSA did when it comes to the issue of terrorist financing?
Thomas Drake: Extremely relevant. Saudi Arabia was a key cutout financier, channel broker, and launderer of monies and other material support mechanisms enabling the heart of the unique brand of radical Islamic terrorism. NSA has much to hide – and chose to deliberately obfuscate what it knew, could have known or refused to share or release to the investigators. That gave „following the money” new meaning.
NSA was also protected by very powerful interests – because the inconvenient truths of Saudi Arabia would have raised even more questions. The Kingdom’s “deep state” role was kept in the shadows. This was not the only reason why NSA was the most unwilling to work with the 9/11 Commission investigators, but certainly one of the factors. NSA obstructed justice and official investigations deliberately and willfully as acts of commission – not omission. (134)
As far as the FBI is concerned, we know that staffers of the 9/11 Commission talked with FBI Supervisory Special Agent Adam Drucker about the question how the 9/11 terror attacks were funded. (135) Drucker participated also in a hearing panel of the 9/11 Commission on the same issue together with FBI Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire and FBI Special Agent James N. Fitzgerald. (136)
So, yes, the 9/11 Commission stated that the funding of the 9/11 attacks “was of little practical significance”; yet, you can demonstrate with their own material that they were interested in this topic somehow.
At the website of DML Associates, LLC, a Landsdowne, VA-based consulting firm which provides financial intelligence services, you read something with respect to that particular issue, when it says about the company’s principal, Dennis M. Lormel:
“After the tragedy of 9/11, Mr. Lormel realized that the terrorists needed a financial infrastructure to accomplish the attacks. He immediately established an investigative organization within the FBI that, within days, identified the funding stream that supported these attacks.” (137)
Now, that’s most certainly a remarkable statement relative to what the 9/11 Commission had to say in its final report, e. g. that “the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks.” But first of all, who is Mr. Lormel, and what has he to do with money flows regarding 9/11?
In order to “uncover the networks tied to 9/11”, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation established a special task force named Financial Review Group (FRG) – which was led by none other than “veteran financial investigator, Dennis Lormel, to direct terrorist financing investigations stemming from the 9/11 attacks. The FRG, which attempted to bring together the best financial investigators of the US government to trace the credit cards and bank accounts of the 9/11 hijackers, would later be converted into the Terrorist Financing Operations Section (TFOS). Lormel would lead the effort within the FBI to integrate financial analysis and investigation into counterterror investigations.” (138)
Ultimately, Mr. Lormel is a key witness for the money transfer involving Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh that took place shortly before 9/11. Asking, why British authorities were not dealing in court with Sheikh, who was allegedly involved in planning the July 7, 2005 London bombings “from his jail in Pakistan“, former British cabinet minister Michael Meacher said: „This is all the more remarkable when this is the same Omar Sheikh who, at the behest of General Mahmood Ahmed, head of the ISI, wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, the leading 9/11 hijacker, before the New York attacks, as confirmed by Dennis Lormel, director of FBI’s financial crimes unit.“ (139)
In fact, Mr. Lormel seemed to have “confirmed the $100,000 transaction, if not the source”, (140) while answering questions at the Committee on Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives. (141) When asked in 2008 by researcher Jon Gold about specifics regarding the $100,000 transfer to Atta – i.e. the Sheikh-Ahmed angle –, Dennis Lormel did not respond to his questions for the public record. (142)
In Chapter 5 of the 9/11 Commission Report we read: “Our investigation has uncovered no credible evidence that any person in the United States gave the hijackers substantial financial assistance. Similarly, we have seen no evidence that any foreign government – or foreign government official – supplied any funding.”
The corresponding footnote, namely Footnote 131 of Chapter 5, makes clear that both conclusions are based on information primarily provided by two FBI senior officials, Adam Drucker and Dennis Lormel. The footnote says: “On domestic U.S. and foreign government funding, see, e.g., Adam Drucker interviews (Jan. 12, 2004; May 19, 2004); Dennis Lormel interview (Jan. 16, 2004); FBI response to Commission question for the record, July 13, 2004.”
If you then read the “Memorandum for the Record” of the interview with FBI Supervisory Special Agent Adam Drucker from January 2004, you note that it is heavily redacted, as it contains classified information. For example, the entire part under the heading “Origin of the Funds” is redacted. However, somewhere else in the document we are allowed to see Drucker’s assessment that “there is no evidence that any person in the U.S. wittingly provided financing or assistance to the hijackers.” (143)
The follow-up memo from May 2004 is even more redacted. On its last page, we find these two sentences: “There is absolutely no evidence Atta received a wire transfer from the Pakistani ISI. There is no unexplained wire transfer or any unexplained funds at all.” (144) Yet, there are two problems: a) the allegation we’re dealing with implied that the wiring of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta was ordered by Mahmood Ahmed, not by the ISI, and wired via Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh; b) right before and after both these sentences, the surrounding two paragraphs are entirely redacted – which means that you are not allowed to know any further details about this.
Moreover, we can derive from the memo for sure that the 9/11 Commission staffers were aware of the $100,000 transfer issue.
The memo of the interview with Dennis Lormel from January 2004, which is also redacted, does not mention this issue, at least not in those parts that haven’t been redacted for public release. (145)
To put those $100,000 into perspective: in the 9/11 Commission Report, we are given in Chapter 5 a total cost estimate for preparing and executing the terror events of September 11, 2001. “The 9/11 plotters spent somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct their attack.” The already cited “Monograph on Terrorist Financing” says about this statement: “Although we cannot know if this estimate is accurate, it seems to be reasonable, given the information available.” (146)
The 9/11 Commission staffers may concede in their monograph: “(T)he origin of the funds remains unknown”; but that doesn’t mean that they can’t tell their readers then (based on briefings with personal from, inter alia, FBI, CIA, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network): “Al Qaeda funded the hijackers in the United States by three primary and unexceptional means: (1) wire transfers from overseas to the United States, (2) the physical transport of cash or traveler’s checks into the United States, and (3) the accessing of funds held in foreign financial institutions by debit or credit cards. Once here, all of the hijackers used the U.S. banking system to store their funds and facilitate their transactions.” (147)
This leads ultimately to a general discharge, which reads as follows:
“The hijackers and their financial facilitators used the anonymity provided by the huge international and domestic financial system to move and store their money through a series of unremarkable transactions. The existing mechanisms to prevent abuse of the financial system did not fail. They were never designed to detect or disrupt transactions of the type that financed 9/11.” (148)
Juan C. Zarate, the former top official at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, agrees with the total cost estimate brought forward by the 9/11 Commission. He writes in “Treasury’s War”: “In total, the amounts used specifically for the attacks reached only half a million dollar – a modest investment for the mass destruction that was to follow.” (149)
He says furthermore: “In the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda relied on its tried and true financing networks, with Mustafa al-Hawsawi serving as the money manager for that operation.” (150) However, Zarate does not tell his reader anything what Mustafa al-Hawsawi actually did as the operation’s “money manager”; he mentions this man a single time at the beginning of his book, and never comes back to him.
The 9/11 Commission does mention Mustafa al-Hawsawi in its final report regarding the financing of 9/11, but just as “another plot facilitator”, not as that operation’s “money manager”.
A Washington Post article from January 2002, which stated that “the broad outlines of the money trail were clear within weeks of the attacks”, said about al-Hawsawi:
“The central financial figure has been identified by U.S. prosecutors as Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a fugitive who many investigators believe is al Qaeda’s finance chief. Al-Hawsawi, who uses numerous aliases and is believed to have disappeared in Karachi, Pakistan, just before the attacks, allegedly transferred most of the money used to pay for the hijackers‘ pilot training, living expenses and airline tickets in the United States, law enforcement officials said.
The financial hub of this arrangement was the United Arab Emirates, where loose banking regulations and a large population of Islamic militants provided easy cover for the transfers, they said.” (151)
In rather general terms the 9/11 Commission Report proclaimed two years later: “Consistent with the importance of the project, al Qaeda funded the plotters. KSM provided his operatives with nearly all the money they needed to travel to the United States, train, and live. The plotters’ tradecraft was not especially sophisticated, but it was good enough. They moved, stored, and spent their money in ordinary ways, easily defeating the detection mechanisms in place at the time.”
However, after giving that explanation, the report refers in the corresponding footnote, namely Footnote 110 of Chapter 5, to the CIA interrogation process that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) was subjected to. This means, that explanation depends on testimony derived from torture – and “statements arising out of torture have no evidential value”. (152)
I’ve confronted Francis A. Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, with the above cited statement made at the website of DML Associates, LLC, in order to ask him:
Question: Let’s assume it was true that “an investigative organization within the FBI (…) identified the funding stream that supported” the 9/11 attacks; wouldn’t it then be necessary to prosecute the financiers?
Francis A. Boyle: Yes.
Question: And how would a prosecutor call it actually if I pay someone to commit murder – which is basically what we have here? Is there a special terminus?
Francis A. Boyle: Accessory Before the Fact to Murder, which makes you a Principal in the First Degree to Murder.
The 9/11 Commission surely would have had the chance to address this issue seriously. But again, it decided the question of who gave money to whom to commit murder was at the end “of little practical significance“.
Let me perhaps remind you on the idea of “follow the money”, or, alternatively on what is meant with the catchphrase of “the money trail”. Fred Shapiro, author of the book, “The Yale Book of Quotations,” wrote in 2011 for instance: „The forthcoming Dictionary of Modern Proverbs, to be published by Yale University Press, quotes (…) a 1975 book by Clive Borrell and Brian Cashinella, Crime in Britain Today: ‚Mr [James] Crane usually offers this piece of sound advice to all new officers joining his fraud department: ‘Always follow the money. Inevitably it will lead to an oak-paneled door and behind it will be Mr Big.’ It is a tip that has paid off in scores of cases.’” (153)
Notes for Part Two:
(1) Compare “Bank of America among 38 stocks in SEC’s attack probe”, published at Bloomberg News on October 3, 2001, archived under:
(2) Michael C. Ruppert: “Crossing the Rubicon – The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age Of Oil“, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2004, page 243.
(4) Mark H. Gaffney: “Black 9/11: A Walk on the Dark Side”, published at Foreign Policy Journal on March 2, 2011 under:
(5) Kevin Ryan: “Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11”, published at Foreign Policy Journal on November 18, 2010 under:
(6) Among the FBI officials, who spoke to the 9/11 Commission staffers, was Dennis Lormel, then-Chief of Terrorist Financing Operations Section at the FBI. Beyond that, it is also remarkable what Ryan wrote to me regarding a company on which he did some research, too: Viisage Corp, another high-tech security firm. Kevin Ryan: “In late 2005, George Tenet became a director for Viisage, which had been flagged by the SEC for 9/11 trading but never investigated. Viisage was led by Roger LaPenta, formerly of Lockheed. Seven months later, in 2006, FBI director Louis Freeh also joined the Viisage board. One might think that when both the CIA director (on 9/11) and the FBI director (from 1993 to June 2001) joined a company suspected of 9/11 insider trading, we might want to go back and actually investigate the SEC’s flagging of that company. But, of course, that was not the case. In 2009, „Bandar Bush“ hired Freeh as his personal attorney.”
(7) Compare Margie Burns: “Family Business at the Watergate”, published at The Washington Spectator on February 15, 2005 under: http://washingtonspectator.org/family-business-at-the-watergate/
(8) Ibid. Kevin Ryan writes: “Wirt D. Walker III, CEO of Stratesec and managing director at KuwAm, was the son of a career U.S. intelligence officer and a former coworker of William Casey, who later became CIA director. Walker was also a descendant of James Monroe Walker, who ran the businesses of the U.S. deep state organization called Russell & Company. Coincidentally, the brother-in-law of the original Wirt D. Walker, John Wellborn Root, was the long-time employer of Emery Roth, whose company was later the architect of record for both the WTC towers and building 7.” Kevin Ryan: “KuwAm and Stratesec: Directors and Investors That Link 9/11 to a Private Intelligence Network”, published at Dig Within on February 24, 2012 under: https://digwithin.net/2012/02/24/kuwam-and-stratesec-directors/.
(9) Ibid. Another “person of interest“ besides Wirt D. Walker would be Barry McDaniel, who served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Stratesec from 1996 until 2002, before he briefly became the company’s CEO. See Kevin Ryan: “The Small World of 9/11 Players: LS2, Vidient, and AMEC”, published at Dig Within on January 1, 2012 under: https://digwithin.net/2012/01/01/a-small-world/
(10) Compare “Bank of America among 38 stocks in SEC’s attack probe”, lit. cit. The report stated: “A Raytheon option that makes money if shares are more than $25 each had 232 options contracts traded on the day before the attacks, almost six times the total number of trades that had occurred before that day. A contract represents options on 100 shares. Raytheon shares soared almost 37 percent to $34.04 during the first week of post-attack U.S. trading.”
(11) Compare Barry Grey: “Suspicious trading points to advance knowledge by big investors of September 11 attacks”, published at World Socialist Web Site on October 5, 2001 under: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/oct2001/bond-o05.shtml
(12) Compare “National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Memorandum for the Record (MFR) of the Briefing by Dino Kos of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Conducted by Team 8, 01/09/2004”, published at Online Public Access under: http://research.archives.gov/description/2610129.
(17) Ibid. See also James McAndrews / Simon Potter: “Liquidity Effects of the Events of September 11, 2001”, Economic Policy Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, November 2002, online under: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=803387
(18) Compare ”September 11 Commission Report Revised December 2008“, page 186, published at Scribd under: http://de.scribd.com/doc/16970135/September-11-Commission-Report-Revised-December-2008
(19) Compare ibid., page 187.
(21) Compare Mark H. Gaffney: „Black 9/11 – Money, Motive and Technology”, TrineDay, Walterville, 2012, pp. 77, 85. For the context of 9/11 and the trade of U.S. government bonds, see also pp. 73-89 and 125-143.
(22) Ibid., page 77.
(23) Compare „September 11 Commission Report Revised December 2008“, lit.cit., page 196.
(24) Ibid., page 197.
(25) Edward Flaherty: “Debunking the Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories“, Part “Myth #5: The Federal Reserve is owned and controlled by foreigners“, published at PublicEye.org under: http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/flaherty/Federal_Reserve.html, respectively:
(26) Vgl. Mark H. Gaffney: „Black 9/11“, lit. cit., page 132. Gaffney refers to statements made by Thomas Gibbons, senior risk management employee at BONY.
(27) Philippa Malmgren, at the time of 9/11 member of the National Economic Council in the White House, during a personal conversation with the author in May 2015. It may be of general interest to take notice that the interaction of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., Alan Greenspan, with officials of the White House “increased sharply” after George W. Bush’s inauguration in January 2001. „Fed records show that Greenspan has called on the White House Council of Economic Advisers about as often during Bush’s years as he did in the four years of President Clinton’s second term. However the number of appointments with other White House officials jumped sharply with the new administration, from an average of three per year from 1996 through 2000, to 44 per year in 2001 through 2003. The chairman has already made 12 such visits in the first three months of this year, the latest data available. The chairman has met with Vice President Cheney at least 17 times since early January 2001; Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, 11 times; Rice, 12 times; Card, six times; Powell, once; Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, twice; and Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, once, according to the Fed’s copies of Greenspan’s schedule. Greenspan had at least four official appointments with Cheney and one with Rumsfeld before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to the Fed records.“ Nell Henderson: “A More Frequent Visitor – Greenspan’s White House Trips Increased Sharply in Recent Years”, published at The Washington Post on May 27, 2004 under: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58864-2004May26.html.
(28) Guy Lawson: “Octopus – Sam Israel, The Secret Market, and Wall Street’s Wildest Con”, Crown Publishers, New York, 2012, page 144.
(29) Compare Elliot L. Richardson: “INSLAW’s ANALYSIS and REBUTTAL of the BUA REPORT: Memorandum in Response to the March 1993 Report of Special Counsel Nicholas J. Bua to the Attorney General of the United States Responding to the Allegations of INSLAW, Inc.”, published online under: http://textfiles.com/law/rebuttal.txt. Richardson quotes from Bob Woodward’s book, “Veil – The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987”.
(30) Guy Lawson: “Octopus”, lit.cit, page 144..
(31) Richard L. Fricker: “PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner”, published at Consortium News on July 11, 2013 under: https://consortiumnews.com/2013/07/11/prisms-controversial-forerunner/.
(32) Richard L. Fricker: “The INSLAW Octopus”, published at Wired on January 1, 1993 under: https://www.wired.com/1993/01/inslaw/. William Hamilton said to me about this particular quote: “Fricker’s praise of the staggering number of lines of software source code in early 1980s PROMIS, i.e., 570,000 lines, is not very important. The following generation of PROMIS, i.e., the late 1990’s client/server generation, consisted of approximately two million lines of software source code by comparison. It was not the number of lines but the innovation in software engineering, especially the software subsystem known initially as Online Tailoring and later as Online DESIGN that made it possible to adapt the off-the-shelf versions of PROMIS to the unique requirements of each customer organization without the conventional, expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone methods of coding, testing, and debugging such modifications. The same innovative subsystem also made it possible to adapt PROMIS from existing application domains such as public prosecution, jails, or municipal civil law departments to additional application domains such as covert intelligence operations, inventory tracking of nuclear materials and long-range missiles, orders of battle and so forth.”
(33) Compare Lars Schall: “Follow the Money – The NSA’s real-time electronic surveillance of bank transactions”, published at LarsSchall.com on February 2, 2014 under:
(35) David Wigg also earlier worked with William Casey when Casey headed the Export/Import Bank (1974-76).
(36) The National Security Archives at George Washington University published a collection of White House emails that Iran-Contra investigators had recovered from the Reagan National Security Council IBM mainframe computer after the NSC staff had deleted them as the Iran-Contra scandal began to unfold. See here: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/white_house_email/. The documents were later also published as a book, see Tom Blanton (ed.): „White House E-Mail – The Top Secret Computer Messages The Reagan/Bush White House Tried to Destroy“, New Press, New York, 1995. For an online reference to the email message from David Wigg to Oliver North see J. Orlin Grabbe: “Plot to Spy on Banks Outlined in White House Email”, January 2, 1997, published at Mem Research under: https://www.memresearch.org/grabbe/email.htm
(37) See Norman A. Bailey: “The Strategic Plan that Won the Cold War – National Security Decision Directive 75”, published here: http://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/book/the-strategic-plan-thatwon-the-cold-war
(38) Tim Shorrock: “Exposing Bush’s historic abuse of power”, published at Salon on September 23, 2008 under: http://www.salon.com/2008/07/23/new_churchcomm/
(39) Compare Richard L. Fricker: “PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner”, lit.cit. When I asked him for details related to the LEAA funding to develop PROMIS, William Hamilton replied: “In April 1982, a couple of weeks after INSLAW won its competitive, three-year, $10 million contract to implement a previously licensed version of PROMIS for 20 of the largest U.S. Attorneys Offices, INSLAW Counsel Roderick Hills arranged for me to prepare a memo on the history of government grants and contracts for our development of PROMIS and on the necessity, in light of the decision by Congress in 1980 to gradually liquidate LEAA, to find a new way of financing the ongoing software support and enhancement work, through INSLAW charging for the first time PROMIS software license fees and annual PROMIS software support fees, i.e., converting PROMIS into a fee-generating proprietary PROMIS software product.
Hills sent my memo to Deputy Attorney General Edward Schmultz and arranged for me to meet with the Deputy AG about my memo. Hills asked Schmultz for a DOJ ’sign-off’ letter confirming that the government understood INSLAW’s claim of proprietary rights to PROMIS and the Company’s plans to begin marketing for license fees versions of PROMIS containing enhancements that INSLAW had developed with private, non-government funds. Deputy AG Schmultz appointed Stan Morris, his Associate Deputy AG, to shepherd the DOJ review and to solicit comments and concerns from any DOJ components that had previously helped finance PROMIS or had used PROMIS. The same Stan Morris later served as the Director of FINCEN at the Treasury Department.
The DOJ review process dragged on for five months because of intractable objections from only one component and one official, i.e., the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and C. Madison Brewer. Hills finally complained to Stan Morris that Brewer’s constantly changing objections may be the product of animosity because I had, several years earlier, fired Brewer for cause as an employee of the Institute for Law and Social Research. Morris ordered the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys to recuse Brewer from any further role in the review of INSLAW’s memo and Hills firm produced a legal opinion explaining that INSLAW, as the author of every version of PROMIS, was automatically vested with certain exclusive PROMIS copyright rights under amendments to the U.S. Copyright Law that became effective in January 1978.
Hills partners delivered a copy of the legal opinion to the top DOJ copyright lawyer, and briefed him on it. That top DOJ copyright lawyer then advised Morris that INSLAW was entitled to proceed with its plans as a matter of U.S. Copyright Law. On August 11, 1982, Stan Mortis sent the requested ’sign-off’ letter to Hills law firm. What none of us at INSLAW knew at the time, of course, is that DOJ had been, since at least early 1982, covertly selling many hundreds of millions of dollar worth of PROMIS licenses in violation of INSLAW’s PROMIS copyright rights.”
Hamilton also pointed out that in 1978 the developers of PROMIS (William A. Hamilton and Charles R. Work) received the John D. Rockefeller Award for Public Service at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Moreover, the Rand Corporation designated INSLAW’s development of PROMIS as among the seven most significant accomplishments during the first 20 years (1967-1987) of federal financial support for improvements in the administration of justice at the state and local levels. Compare Joan R. Petersillia: “The Influence of Criminal Justice Research”, Rand Corporation, June 1987, online under: http://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/R3516.html
(40) Ibid. See also “U.S. Stole Software, Judge Rules” published at The New York Times on September 29, 1987 under: http://www.nytimes.com/1987/09/29/business/us-stole-software-judge-rules.html
(41) Compare Elliot L. Richardson: “A High-Tech Watergate”, published at The New York Times on October 21, 1991 under:
(43) Compare Richard L. Fricker: “PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner”, lit.cit.
(45) Compare Michael Best: “Documents Reveal Interference in Investigation of the Death of Journalist Danny Casolaro”, published at Glomar Disclosure on August 15, 2016 under: https://glomardisclosure.com/2016/08/15/documents-reveal-doj-interference-independent-investigation-death-journalist-casolaro/. Bill Hamilton told me personally about Nicholas J. Bua’s investigation: “Charles Cooper, the Assistant Attorney General in the Meese Department of Justice for the Office of Legal Counsel, after leaving the government for private legal practice, served as the criminal defense attorney for Earl W. Brian in the federal grand jury investigation conducted in 1991 and 1992 by Justice Department Special Counsel Nicholas J. Bua, who uncritically accepted Earl Brian’s protestations of innocence.
Attorney General William Barr, who appointed Bua at the time of Barr’s confirmation as Attorney General in the fall of 1991, recused himself on the INSLAW case right after Bush lost the November 1992 election to Clinton and declined to take delivery of the Bua Report on the grounds that Barr was about to return to the Shaw Pittman law firm, for Charles Cooper, Earl Brian’s criminal defense attorney in the Bua investigation of the INSLAW Affair, was then also a partner at Shaw Pittman.
As a result, the Special Counsel was unable to deliver his Final Report to Attorney General Barr but instead Bua had to wait until Janet Reno, Barr’s successor under Clinton, was sworn in in mid-March 1993 to present his Investigative Report on the INSLAW Affair. On her second day as Attorney General, Special Counsel Bua and his staff of Assistant U.S. Attorneys and FBI Agents from Chicago spent half the day briefing Attorney General Reno on their investigation of the INSLAW Affair, according to an article at the time in the Washington Business Journal.
In late May 1993, the Washington Post published its ninth and final editorial on the INSLAW Affair asking why Attorney General Reno, who had received the Investigative Report from Bua in mid-March, had still not released the report. The editorial quoted Reno’s official spokesperson as claiming that the delay was caused by the need of the Reno Justice Department to edit the report to remove information relating to national security. In late June 1993, the Reno Justice Department released its edited version of the Bua Report from which it had redacted the federal grand jury testimony of all six witnesses who had claimed to INSLAW to know about the misappropriation of PROMIS for intelligence projects.”
For the INSLAW / PROMIS Bua Report and the Bua Report Draft Paper go to: https://archive.org/details/DOJReportOnDanielJCasolaro,
(46) Egmont R. Koch / Jochen Sperber: “Die Datenmafia – Geheimdienste, Konzerne, Syndikate: Computerspionage und neue Informationskartelle“, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1995, page 66.
(47) Peter Dale Scott: “The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11”, published at WhoWhatWhy on October 5, 2014 under: http://whowhatwhy.org/2014/10/05/the-hidden-government-group-linking-jfk-watergate-iran-contra-and-911/. You can watch that specific segment of the Iran Contra Hearings at Youtube, “Oliver North Questioned – Rex 84 Exposed During Iran Contra”, under: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug0IL7k3elQ&app=desktop. North was questioned by Jack Brooks, who later headed a U.S. Senate investigation of the INSLAW affair.
(48) Cherie Seymour: “The Last Circle – Danny Casolaro’s Investigation into The Octopus and the PROMIS Software Scandal”, TrineDay, Walterville, 2011, page 41.
(49) Koch / Sperber: “Die Datenmafia“, lit.cit., page 46.
(50) You can read press releases on Danny Casolaro’s death here: https://archive.org/details/CasolaroDeathPressReleases. One of the DOJ/FBI’s main reasons for concluding Casolaro’s death was suicide was the expert that was brought down, Dr. Henry C. Lee – the same expert from the Vince Foster suicide case. Only this time, he concluded it was a suicide after watching a „video reenactment“ of the suicide – prepared by Martinsburg PD with Dr. Jack Frost – the West Virginia Deputy State Medical Examiner who did the autopsy and happened to serve earlier at the CIA. Regarding the reenactment, see page 136: https://archive.org/details/DOJReportOnDanielJCasolaro. Mike Best filed recently a FOIA request for the video tape of the reenactment, since it probably won’t be included with the 1,000+ page main FBI file on Casolaro (release pending): https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/casolaro-reenactment-33603/. See also Michael Best: “New Questions Arise About the ’Suicide’ of a Reporter”, published at Glomar Disclosure on June 5, 2016 under: https://glomardisclosure.com/2016/06/05/new-questions-arise-about-the-suicide-of-a-reporter/
(51) Koch / Sperber: “Die Datenmafia“, lit.cit., page 45.
(52) Ibid., page 74.
(53) Ibid., page 43.
(54) Ibid., pp. 77-79.
(55) Compare “Affidavit of Gordon Thomas”, published online at Archive.org under: https://archive.org/details/AffidavitOfGordonThomas. The second sworn statement says: “According to Hamilton, Rafi Eitan visited INSLAW on the pretense that he was a visiting prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice in Tel Aviv, Israel coming to INSLAW to see a demonstration of the version of PROMIS that operated on VAX 11/780 computers. (…) I, therefore, telephoned Rafi Eitan at his home in a suburb north of Tel Aviv on 20 February 1999 to ask him whether it was true that the U.S. Justice Department had arranged for him to visit INSLAW under the guise of being a visiting public prosecutor from Israel and for the purpose of witnessing a demonstration of the version of PROMIS that the U.S. Justice Department was then about to steal from INSLAW. Without revealing the slightest embarrassment, Rafi Eitan confirmed the essential facts in INSLAW’s account, including the fact that he had visited INSLAW’s offices under an assumed name and met with William A. Hamilton and other INSLAW staff while witnessing a demonstration of and briefing on the PROMIS software. Rafi Eitan further told me that he had taken a taxi from the U.S. Justice Department to INSLAW for the meeting.”
(56) Koch / Sperber: “Die Datenmafia“, lit.cit., pp. 107-108. Michael Riconosciuto for example had informed William Hamilton in May 1990 “that the Inslaw case was connected to the October Surprise affair. Riconosciuto claimed he and Earl Brian had traveled to Iran in 1980 and paid $40 million to Iranian officials to persuade them not to release the hostages before the presidential election in which Reagan became president of the United States.” Cherie Seymour: “The Last Circle”, lit. cit., page 57.
(57) Peter Dale Scott: “The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11”, lit. cit.
(58) Compare Robert Parry: “Trick or Treason – The October Surprise Mystery”, Sheridan Square Press, New York, 1993, pp. 154–155.
(59) Peter Dale Scott: “The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11”, lit. cit.
(61) Ibid. See Peter Dale Scott: “The Road to 9/11”, lit. cit., pp. 81-83, 88. For details of the “October Surprise” see also the pages 90-113.
(63) Mark H. Gaffney: “Black 9/11“, lit. cit., page 79.
(64) Ibid., page 82.
(65) Ibid, page 101 et seq.
(66) Compare “Re: Senator Daniel Inouye on the shadow government”, published at YouTube under:
(67) See also Elliot L. Richardson: “A High-Tech Watergate”, lit.cit. Richardson wrote: “Then, in 1990, the Hamiltons received a phone call from Michael Riconosciuto, an out-of-fiction character believed by many knowledgeable sources to have C.I.A. connections. Mr. Riconosciuto claimed that the Justice Department stole the Promis software as part of a payoff to Dr. Brian for helping to get some Iranian leaders to collude in the so-called October surprise, the alleged plot by the Reagan campaign in 1980 to conspire with Iranian agents to hold up release of the American Embassy hostages until after the election. Mr. Riconosciuto is now in jail in Tacoma, Wash., awaiting trial on drug charges, which he claims are trumped up.
Since that first Riconosciuto phone call, he and other informants from the world of covert operations have talked to the Hamiltons, the Judiciary Committee staff, several reporters and Inslaw’s lawyers, including me. These informants, in addition to confirming and supplementing Mr. Riconosciuto’s statements, claim that scores of foreign governments now have Promis. Dr. Brian, these informants say, was given the chance to sell the software as a reward for his services in the October surprise. Dr. Brian denies all of this.
The reported sales allegedly had two aims. One was to generate revenue for covert operations not authorized by Congress. The second was to supply foreign intelligence agencies with a software system that would make it easier for U.S. eavesdroppers to read intercepted signals.”
(68) Elliot L. Richardson: “A High-Tech Watergate”, lit.cit.
(69) Compare Kevin Ryan: ”Another Nineteen – Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects”, Microbloom, 2013, page 277.
(70) Compare Michael M. Thomas: “Black Money”, Crown Publishers, New York, 1994.
(71) Some aspects of Vince Foster’s death remain unclear to this date. For example, CIA documents that were made public by the efforts of researcher Mike Best, show a “cover-up that included lying to Congress about Vincent Foster, Barry Seal, Iran-Contra and the Inslaw case.” See for details Michael Best: “CIA lied to Congress about Vince Foster, Barry Seal and the Inslaw Scandal”, published at Glomar Disclosure on August 28, 2016 under: https://glomardisclosure.com/2016/08/28/cia-lied-to-congress-in-their-briefing-about-vince-foster-barry-seal-and-the-inslaw-scandal/.
(72) Contributing to BCCI’s acquisitions such as of Financial General Bankshares / First American Bank was Clark Clifford, the author of the National Security Act of 1947, which created the CIA. During the 1980’s up until it was closed in 1991, the CIA worked with BCCI to support the mujaheddin in Afghanistan – one result of which happened to be the formation of al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden supposedly used BCCI as a blueprint for his network. The Washington Post reported in February 2002: “William F. Wechsler, who monitored bin Laden’s finances at the National Security Council during the last two years of the Clinton administration, told Congress in September that bin Laden initially rose to prominence for building ‚a financial architecture that supported the mujaheddin in Afghanistan against the Russians.’“ According to Wechsler, “it’s this financial architecture that is at the heart of how al Qaeda today gets its finances.“ The Washington Post report cited French, Pakistani and American investigators, who stated that this architecture was “modeled on the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). BCCI was founded by Pakistanis and bankrolled largely by leaders of the UAE. In the 1980s it was used to launder drug money, harbor terrorist funds and buy illegal weapons. Its collapse in 1991 was a major global financial scandal. (…) A 70-page French intelligence report (…) outlined some details of this network. ‚The financial network of bin Laden, as well as his network of investments, is similar to the network put in place in the 1980s by BCCI for its fraudulent operations, often with the same people (former directors and cadres of the bank and its affiliates, arms merchants, oil merchants, Saudi investors),‘ the report said. ‚The dominant trait of bin Laden’s operations is that of a terrorist network backed up by a vast financial structure.‘ The French report highlighted the role of Saudi banker Khalid bin Mahfouz, a former director of BCCI, whose sister is married to bin Laden. In 1995 bin Mahfouz paid a $225 million fine in a settlement with U.S. prosecutors for his role in the BCCI scandal and went on to serve as director of the National Commercial Bank, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest.“ See Douglas Farah: “Al Qaeda’s Road Paved With Gold – Secret Shipments Traced Through a Lax System In United Arab Emirates“, published at The Washington Post on February 17, 2002, online under: http://collectiondevelopment.library.cornell.edu/mideast/qdagold.htm. An audit of National Commercial Bank revealed that Khalid bin Mahfouz had given money to Osama bin Laden / al Qaeda. However, the Saudi government did not let U.S. investigators talk to BCCI’s former Chief Operations Officer. Meanwhile, bin Mahfouz was the owner of Delta Oil, the Saudi oil company, with which Unocal had partnered to launch the Central Asia Gas Pipeline (CentGas) project, in order to bring oil and gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean.
(73) Compare Nomi Prins: “All the Presidents’ Bankers – The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power “, Nation Books, New York, 2014, page 287.
(74) David O. Tyson: “Hanover converting back-office systems to IBM”, American Banker, February 9, 1989. J. Orlin Grabbe, a former Wharton School professor of international finance and himself a former owner of a bank software company, published a series of articles on the use of PROMIS by Systematics in support of NSA’s “Follow the Money” real-time surveillance of bank transactions, The post “Allegations Regarding Vince Foster, the NSA, and Banking Transactions Spying, Part VI” by Orlin includes his re-posting of his February 1995 bibliography of articles, many from the American Banker, about Systematics and some of its bank customers under:
http://web.textfiles.com/politics/og006.txt. Here’s the full set of Grabbe’s writings on PROMIS et al. https://archive.org/details/VinceFoster-NSA-Banking-Transactions-Spying
(75) For a report on the $3.5 Million Line of Credit to Clinton’s 1992 Presidential Campaign from Stevens‘ Worthen Bank see Howard Fineman: “Big Times In Little Rock”, published at Newsweek on January 24, 1994 under: http://www.newsweek.com/big-times-little-rock-187402
(76) Compare Lars Schall: “Follow the Money – The NSA’s real-time electronic surveillance of bank transactions”, lit.cit.
(77) Guy Lawson: “Octopus”, loc. cit., page 144.
(78) Michael Truscello: “The Response of Cultural Studies to 9/11 Skepticism in American Popular Culture”, lit.cit.
(79) See Laura Poitras / Marcel Rosenbach / Holger Stark: “’Follow the Money‘: NSA Monitors Financial World”, published at Spiegel Online on September 16, 2013 under: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/how-the-nsa-spies-on-international-bank-transactions-a-922430.html
(80) Anthony L. Kimery: “Big Brother Wants to Look in your Bank Account“, published at Wired on January 6, 1993 under: http://www.wired.com/1993/06/big-brother/
(84) Compare “U.S. Treasury Department Announces New Executive Office for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes”, published at the website of the U.S. Treasury on March 3, 2003 under: https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js77.aspx
(85) Compare Jennifer Liberto: “Treasury’s quiet war”, published at CNN on February 16, 2010 under: http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/16/news/international/Treasury_intelligence_office/
(86) Compare “More Attacks Planned? Second Wave of Terrorist Strikes Feared”, published at ABC News on September 20, 2001 under:
(87) Juan C. Zarate: “Treasury’s War – The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare”, Public Affairs, New York, 2015, page 19.
(89) Ibid., page 39.
(90) Ibid., page 42.
(92) Ibid., page 43.
(95) Ibid., page 44.
(96) Jim Hogue: “Follow the Money? God forbid”, published at Baltimore Chronicle on January 29, 2008 under: http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/2008/012908Hogue.shtml. Hogue points in this article also at “an unusual surge in the currency component of the M1 money supply” in the U.S. in July and August of 2001 that was “never investigated”. Related to this specific case see also Lars Schall: “How does ’dirty money’ become ’clean money’?”, published at LarsSchall.com on September 27, 2012 under: http://www.larsschall.com/2012/09/27/how-does-dirty-money-become-clean-money/, and Lars Schall: „9/11: Currency joins insider trade claims“, published at Asia Times Online on September 13, 2013 under: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/GECON-01-130913.html
(97) Michael C. Ruppert: “Crossing the Rubicon“, lit. cit., page 117.
(98) Ibid., page 118. Compare also Nafeez Ahmed: “The Bin Laden Death Mythology”, published at Insurge Intelligence on July 3, 2015 under: https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-bin-laden-death-mythology-9a3776a6e3c3. For more information on Saeed Sheikh see Paul Thompson: “Sept 11’s Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh”, published at From The Wilderness on September 4, 2002 under: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/timeline/AAsaeed.html.
(99) Mark Curtis: “Secret Affairs – Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam”, Serpent’s Tail, London, 2010, page 192.
(100) Ibid., page 213.
(101) Ibid., page 192.
(102) Ibid., page 213.
(103) Ibid., pp. 251-252.
(104) Ibid., page 253.
(108) Ibid., page 254.
(113) Michael Meacher: “The Pakistan connection“, published at The Guardian on July 22, 2004 under: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jul/22/usa.september11.
(114) Nafeez Ahmed: “The bin Laden death mythology”, lit.cit.
(115) Nafeez Ahmed: “The bin Laden death mythology”, lit.cit. Compare also John Newman’s remarks from September 18, 2004 at a public speaking event:
The following footnotes from 116 to 129 are taken from Peter Dale Scott: “The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America”, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2007, pp. 334-335:
(116) Griffin, 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, 104–7; Ahmed, War on Truth, 137–44; and Peter Dale Scott, “The CIA’s Secret Powers: Afghanistan, 9/11, and America’s Most Dangerous Enemy,” Critical Asian Studies 35, no. 2 (2003): 233–58.
(117) Julian Borger and John Hooper, “Trail Links Bin Laden Aide to Hijackers,” Guardian, October 1, 2001, http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,,561001,00.html. Cf. Griffin, 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, 109–10. The investigators were later identified as the FBI (Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2001; CNN, October 28, 2001; and Times [London], November 16, 2001).
(118) For example, Daniel Klaidman, “Federal Grand Jury Set to Indict Sheikh,” Newsweek, March 13, 2002: U.S. officials suspect “that Sheikh has been a ‘protected asset,’ of Pakistan’s shadowy spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.” The story was enhanced by Indian intelligence sources with a more sensational claim: that Saeed Sheikh had wired the money to hijacker Mohamed Atta at the direction of Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad, the director of the ISI at the time (Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2001). Indian sources later downplayed this anti-Pakistani allegation by suggesting that the money came instead from a ransom paid to another terrorist, Aftab Ansari in Dubai, when a Kolkata businessman, Partha Roy Burman, was kidnapped in July 2001 (B. Muralidhar Reddy, “Omar Sheikh Arrested, Says Pearl Is Alive,” The Hindu, February 13, 2002).
(119) “Did Pearl Die Because Pakistan Deceived CIA?” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 3, 2002, http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_20141.html: “There are many in Musharraf’s government who believe that Saeed Sheikh’s power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA. The theory is that with such intense pressure to locate bin Laden, Saeed Sheikh was bought and paid for.”
(120) Ahmed, War on Truth, 142; cf. John Newman, “Omissions and Errors in the Commission’s Final Report: Rep. McKinney 9/11 Congressional Briefing,” August 18, 2005, http://911readingroom.org/bib/whole_document.php?article_id=422; Musharraf, In the Line of Fire, 225: “It is believed in some quarters that while Omar Sheikh was at the LSE [London School of Economics] he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6. It is said that MI6 persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad. At some point he probably became a rogue or double agent.”
(121) Maria A. Ressa, “India Wants Terror Spotlight on Kashmir,” CNN, October 8, 2001, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/south/10/08/india.ressa/.
(122) “Sources: Suspected Terrorist Leader Was Wired Funds through Pakistan,” CNN, October 1, 2001, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/10/01/inv.pakistan.funds/: “As much as $100,000 was wired in the past year from Pakistan to Mohamed Atta.” Subsequent developments lent weight to the Pakistani connection, such as the arrest of Atta’s alleged controls, Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, in Pakistan.
(123) “India Helped FBI Trace ISI-Terrorist Links,” Times of India, October 9, 2001; Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2001.
(124) The appendixes note, in a list of names, a “Sheikh Saeed al Masri” as an “Egyptian; head of al Qaeda finance committee.” Instead, following a previous reversal in the U.S. media, the financial role attributed earlier to Sheikh Saeed is now given to “Mustafa al Hawsawi,” the name (or pseudonym) used for the financial transactions (9/11 Commission Report, 436). The only reference to any Sheikh Saeed in the text says that the Egyptian (or Kenyan) Sheikh Saeed “argued that al Qaeda should defer to the Taliban’s wishes” and not attack the United States directly (9/11 Commission Report, 251). The report treats Sheikh Saeed and al-Hawsawi as two people, whereas earlier they had been identified in U.S. media reports as the same person.
(125) 9/11 Commission Report, 172.
(126) “Pakistan Weekly Spills 9/11 Beans,” Telegraph (Calcutta), March 13, 2006, http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060313/asp/nation/story_5962372.asp. The Telegraph story cited the Friday Times, a Pakistani weekly, which claimed the story was based on “disclosures made by foreign service officials to the Public Accounts Committee at a secret meeting in Islamabad.”
(127) Kamran Khan and Molly Moore, “Leader Purges Top Ranks of Military, Spy Services,” Washington Post, October 8, 2001; Thompson, Terror Timeline, 260–61. It was widely reported that Mahmoud was let go for being too sympathetic to the Taliban (for example, Alan Sipress and Vernon Loeb, “CIA’s Stealth War Centers on Eroding Taliban Loyalty and Aiding Opposition,” Washington Post, October 10, 2001).
(128) Newman, “Omissions and Errors in the Commission’s Final Report.”
(129) For example, Ahmed, War on Truth, 137–46; Griffin, 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, 103–9.
(130) Peter Dale Scott: “The Road to 9/11”, loc. cit., pp. 132-134.
(131) John Roth, Douglas Greenburg and Serena Wille: “National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States – Monograph on Terrorist Financing – Staff Report to the Commission”, page 37, published under:
(132) Ibid., page 13.
(133) Compare “Whistleblower Summit – 30 JUL 2015 [Raw 12]”, published at Youtube on July 30, 2015 under: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LML2NNF0UiE.
(134) When I asked Thomas Drake further: “Would Thinthread have been a great tool in a serious effort regarding money flows / terrorist financing pre-9-11?”, he replied: “Yes.” For more details on Thinthread see Stefania Maurizi: „Things won’t change until we put these people in jail“, Interview with William Binney, published at La Republicca on February 11, 2017 under:
(135) Compare Memorandum for the Record, “FBI-CIA- Briefing on Plot Financing”, July 16, 2003, published under: https://de.scribd.com/document/19414410/MFR-NARA-T4-FBI-CIA-Briefing-on-Plot-Financing-7-16-03-00271, and: Memorandum for the Record, “Interview of SSA Adam Drucker”, January 12, 2004, published under: https://de.scribd.com/document/19985999/Mfr-Nara-t4-FBI-Drucker-Adam-1-12-04-00222
(136) Compare “Sept. 11 hearings: testimony”, 9/11 Commission hearings from June 17, 2004, Parts 5 and 6, published at National Public Radio under: http://www.npr.org/911hearings/testimony.html
(137) Compare “About DML Associates, LLC” under: http://www.dmlassociatesllc.com/aboutus.htm. An article about Mr. Lormel says: “Immediately after 9/11, Lormel was given responsibility for forming and overseeing the government’s FBI-led, multi-agency Financial Review Group, which within days of the attacks had identified the funding stream that had facilitated the hijackers’ activities.” Tom Garry: “Would the 9/11 Hijackers’ Money Trail Raise Red Flags in Today’s System?”, published at Foreign Policy Blogs on September 6, 2013 under: http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2013/09/06/would-the-911-hijackers-money-trail-raise-red-flags-in-todays-system/
(138) Juan C. Zarate: “Treasury’s War”, lit. cit., page 34.
(139) Michael Meacher: “Britain now faces its own blowback”, published at The Guardian on September 10, 2005 under: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/10/terrorism.politics
(140) Compare Paul Sperry: “Did ally Pakistan play role in 9-11?”, published at World Net Daily on January 30, 2002 under: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26249. Cited in Jon Gold: “I’ve Tried Talking To Dennis Lormel”, March 8, 2008 under: http://911blogger.com/node/16927.
(141) Compare “Dismantling of the Financial Infrastructure of Global Terrorism”, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Washington, DC, October 3, 2001 under.
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/bank/hba75656.000/hba75656_0.HTM. Cited in Jon Gold: “I’ve Tried Talking To Dennis Lormel”, lit. cit.
(142) Jon Gold: “I’ve Tried Talking To Dennis Lormel”, lit.cit. By the way, with regards to pre-9/11 money flows, ex-U.S. Department of the Treasury official Juan C. Zarate writes in his book “Treasury’s War” that the “Secret Service’s early work right after 9/11 uncovered the hijacker’s credit-card transactions, leading to the initial confirmation of some of the hijackers’ identities.” See Juan C. Zarate: “Treasury’s War”, lit.cit., page 34.
(143) Doug Greenburg: “Memorandum for the Record – Interview of SSA Adam Drucker,”, January 12, 2004, lit.cit., page 11.
(144) Doug Greenburg: “Memorandum for the Record – Interview with SSA Adam Drucker”, May 19, 2004, page 3.
(145) Doug Greenburg: “Memorandum for the Record – Interview with Dennis M. Lormel”, January 19, 2004.
(146) John Roth, Douglas Greenburg and Serena Wille: “National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States – Monograph on Terrorist Financing – Staff Report to the Commission”, lit. cit., page 144.
(147) Ibid., page 13.
(148) Ibid., page 131.
(149) Juan C. Zarate: “Treasury’s War”, lit.cit., page 20.
(150) Ibid. Some people believe that Mustafa al-Hawsawi is actually Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.
(151) Dan Eggen / Kathleen Day: “U.S. Probe Of Sept. 11 Financing Wraps Up”, published at The Washington Post on January 7, 2002 under:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/01/07/us-probe-of-sept-11-financing-wraps-up/93d2b6c0-df47-4bc6-b298-b6858baeec72/?utm_term=.1c0610315ee9. The same article quoted also then-Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill, saying “investigators used the hijacker transactions as a starting point and are working their way out to better understand the sources of al Qaeda financing. ‘One of the things that we were able to do after we identified all the people who were involved in the hijackings was to retrospectively create a spider web of all their financial connections,’ O’Neill said. ‘By having them identified, it made it possible to go back and reconstruct every place that they touched the financial system.’“
(152) Compare Michael Keefer: ”9/11, Torture, and Law“, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies (ADCS), 2011, published under: http://anarchist-developments.org/index.php/adcs_journal/article/view/34. The same problem as in Footnote 110 of Chapter 5 of the 9/11 Commission Report applies in part to Footnote 131 of Chapter 5 regarding the 9/11 plot funding and the total cost estimate to prepare and execute the attacks.
(153) See Fred Shapiro: “Follow the Money”, published at Freakonomics on September 23, 2011 under: http://freakonomics.com/2011/09/23/follow-the-money/