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9/11 Commission Says U.S. Agencies Slow Its Inquiry

'At a news conference, Mr. Kean described the presence of "minders" at the interviews as a form of intimidation. "I think the commission feels unanimously that it's some intimidation to have somebody sitting behind you all the time who you either work for or works for your agency," he said. "You might get less testimony than you would."'
9/11 Commission Says U.S. Agencies Slow Its Inquiry

By PHILIP SHENON

'WASHINGTON, July 8 — The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks said today that its work was being hampered by the failure of executive branch agencies, especially the Pentagon and the Justice Department, to respond quickly to requests for documents and testimony.

The panel also said the failure of the Bush administration to allow officials to be interviewed without the presence of government colleagues could impede its investigation, with the commission's chairman suggesting today that the situation amounted to "intimidation" of the witnesses.

In what they acknowledged was an effort to bring public pressure on the White House to meet the panel's demands for classified information, the commission's Republican chairman and Democratic vice chairman released a statement, declaring that they had received only a small part of the millions of sensitive government documents they have requested from the executive branch.

While praising President Bush and top aides for their personal commitment to the panel's work, the commission's leaders — the chairman, Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, and Lee H. Hamilton, the former Democratic member of the House from Indiana — said that federal agencies under Mr. Bush's control were not cooperating quickly or fully.

"The administration underestimated the scale of the commission's work and the full breadth of support required," they said. "The coming weeks will determine whether we will be able to do our job within the time allotted. The task in front of us is monumental."

Claire Buchan, a White House spokeswoman, said today in response to the statement from the panel, known formally as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: "The president is committed to ensuring that the commission has all the information it needs. The president has directed federal agencies to cooperate and to do so quickly."

Under the law creating the bipartisan, 10-member panel last year, the commission, which met for the first time in January, is required to complete its investigation by next May. "While thousands of documents are flowing in — some in boxes and some digitized — most of the documents we need are still to come," the statement said. "Time is slipping by."

The criticism today from Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton clearly took senior administration officials by surprise and brought a fresh round of attacks on the White House from Congressional Democrats who have said that the administration is trying to stonewall a politically damaging inquiry.

Although the White House had initially opposed the creation of an independent commission to investigate intelligence and law-enforcement failures before the 2001 terrorist strikes, the administration eventually came around to support the move, and it has repeatedly pledged full cooperation.

The White House chose Mr. Kean to lead the investigation after its first choice, Henry A. Kissinger, the former secretary of state, resigned from the post rather than release a list of clients of his consulting firm. Mr. Hamilton was named vice chairman by Congressional Democrats after their first choice, George J. Mitchell, the former Senate Democratic majority leader, resigned when questions were raised about similar conflicts of interest.

In their statement, Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton said that the "problems that have arisen so far with the Department of Defense are becoming particularly serious." They noted that the Pentagon had not responded to a series of requests for evidence from several Defense Department agencies, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which is responsible for guarding American airspace from terrorist attack.

"Delays are lengthening and agency points of contact have so far been unable to resolve them," the statement said. "In the last few days, we have been assured that the department's leaders will address these concerns. We look forward to seeing the results."

Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton suggested that the Justice Department was behind a directive barring intelligence officials from being interviewed by the panel without the presence of agency colleagues.

At a news conference, Mr. Kean described the presence of "minders" at the interviews as a form of intimidation. "I think the commission feels unanimously that it's some intimidation to have somebody sitting behind you all the time who you either work for or works for your agency," he said. "You might get less testimony than you would."

"We would rather interview these people without minders or without agency people there," he said.

In their written statement, the panel's leaders said that the Justice Department had been "unable to resolve important issues related" to the commission's access to evidence and testimony from the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person facing trial in an American court for conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks.

A Defense Department spokeswoman said tonight that the department would have no immediate response to the criticism.

A Justice Department spokesman, Mark Corallo, said that his department remained "committed to assisting the commission's important work on behalf of the United States." Mr. Corallo added, however, that "assembling the enormous amount of information requested takes significant manpower and time to accomplish."

He defended the administration's requirement that witnesses be present when some executive branch officials are interviewed by the panel. "In any investigation in which federal employees are interviewed, it is standard practice to have another agency representative present for the benefit of the witnesses and to help facilitate the investigation," he said.

Although their intent today was clearly to create discomfort at the White House, Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton said repeatedly that they were optimistic that the panel could complete its work on time and that it would offer the most complete account available of the events that led to the terrorist attacks.'

 http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/09/politics/09TERR.html?hp
9/11 Inquiry Chair Tied To Osama's Brother In Law 09.Jul.2003 08:03

Michel Chossudovsky

Now, "by sheer coincidence", former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, the man chosen by President Bush to lead the 9/11 commission also has business ties with bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi.

Now you would think that being a business partner of the brother in law and alleged financier of "Enemy No. 1" would also be considered a bona fide "conflict of interest", particularly when your mandate --as part of the 9/11 Commission's work-- is to investigate "Enemy No. 1".
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9/11 Inquiry Chair Tied To Osama's Brother In Law

Sunday, 29 December 2002, 4:18 pm
Article: www.UnansweredQuestions.org

Unanswered Questions: Thinking For Ourselves
Presented by...  http://www.unansweredquestions.org/

New Chairman Of 9/11 Commission
Had Business Ties With Osama's Brother In Law

Now you would think that being a business partner of the brother in law and alleged financier of "Enemy No. 1" would be considered a bona fide "conflict of interest", particularly when your mandate --as part of the 9/11 Commission's work-- is to investigate "Enemy No. 1".

by Michel Chossudovsky
globalresearch.ca
From:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO212A.html
27 december 2002


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Unknown to most, UNOCAL's partner in the Cent-Gas trans-Afghan pipeline consortium, the Saudi Company Delta Oil is owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans which allegedly have ties to bin Laden's Al Qaeda.

According to a 1998 Senate testimony of former CIA director James Woolsey, powerful financier Khalid bin Mahfouz' younger sister is married to Osama bin Laden,. (US Senate, Senate Judiciary Committee, Federal News Service, 3 Sept. 1998, See also Wayne Madsen, Questionable Ties, In These Times,12 Nov. 2001)
 http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD202B.html

Bin Mahfouz is suspected to have funnelled millions of dollars to the Al Qaeda network.(See Tom Flocco, Scoop.co.nz 28 Aug. 2002)
 http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0208/S00148.htm

Now, "by sheer coincidence", former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, the man chosen by President Bush to lead the 9/11 commission also has business ties with bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi.

Thomas Kean is a director (and shareholder) of Amerada Hess Corporation  http://www.hess.com/index.html which is involved in the Hess-Delta joint venture with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia (owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans). Delta-Hess "was established in 1998 for the development and exploration of oil fields in the Caspian region...In Azerbaijan Delta Hess is involved in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli PSA (2.72%) and the Garabaghli-Kursangi PSA (20%). It is also an equity holder in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline":

"An air of mystery hangs over Delta- Hess, which... is registered in the Cayman Islands. Hess is in no hurry to reveal the terms of the alliance, which it says are subject to confidentiality clauses. 'There's no reason why this should be public information,' a Hess spokesman says."
-(Energy Compass, 15 Nov. 2002)

Coincidentally, the former Governor of New Jersey is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, together with another prominent member of the board of directors of Amerada Hess, former Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady:

In other words, Delta Oil Ltd. of Saudi Arabia --which is a partner in the Hess-Delta Alliance--is in part controlled by Khalid bin Mafhouz, Osama's brother in law.

And former Governor Thomas Kean not only sits on the board of directors of a company which has business dealings with Khalid bin Mahfouz, he also heads the 9/11 Commission, which has a mandate to investigate Khalid's brother in law, Osama bin Laden.

Dr. Kissinger had a conflict of interest and resigned! The vice chairman of the Commission, former Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, resigned for the same reason. (See Xymphora, 19 Dec 2002)
 http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/XYM212A.html

Now you would think that being a business partner of the brother in law and alleged financier of "Enemy No. 1" would also be considered a bona fide "conflict of interest", particularly when your mandate --as part of the 9/11 Commission's work-- is to investigate "Enemy No. 1".

And the corporate media applauds. Without acknowledging his Saudi business connections, Thomas Kean is heralded as "a man of extraordinary integrity, decency and intellect." In the words of the Baltimore Sun: "he lacks obvious conflicts of interest" (26 Dec.2002). To which I respond: "how more obvious can you get"!

It is also worth mentioning that Thomas Kean also sits as co-chairman of the Homeland Security Project (HSP)  http://www.homelandsec.org/ABOUTUS/aboutusprojcomm.htm under the auspices of the Century Foundation. In this capacity, Kean has played a key role in the draft recommendations of the Century Foundation, which laid the groundwork of the Office of Homeland Security legislation.


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The Saudi Connection

Thomas Kean, described as a "moderate Republican" is not alone in this Saudi business relationship.

Extensively documented, other prominent members of the Republican party including the Bush family have had business dealings with the bin Laden family. (See George W. Bush Financial Scams: CRG selection of articles)
 http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG207A.html

Moreover, it would appear that Delta officials (involved in the UNOCAL trans-Afghan pipeline consortium) played a key role in negotiations with the Taliban. In turn, Enron, the infamous energy giant — whose former CEO, Ken Lay, had close connections to the Bush family — had been contracted in a cozy relationship to undertake feasibility studies for the Unocal-Delta consortium. Enron Corporation had also been entrusted --in liaison with Delta-- with pipeline negotiations with the Taliban government.

Carefully documented by Wayne Madsen, George W. Bush also had dealings with Osama's brother in law Khalid bin Mafhouz  http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD202B.html when he was in the Texas oil business. Both George W. Bush and Khalid bin-Mahfouz were implicated in the Bank of Commerce International (BCCI) scandal:

"Other links between Bush and Mahfouz can be found through investments in the Carlyle Group, an American investment firm managed by a board on which former president George Bush himself sat. The younger [George W.] Bush personally held shares in one of the components of the Carlyle group, the Caterair company, between 1990-94. And Carlyle today ranks as a leading contributor to Bush's electoral campaign. On Carlyle's advisory board is found the name of Sami Baarma, director of the Pakistani financial establishment Prime Commercial Bank that is based in Lahore and owned by Mahfouz.
- (See Maggie Mulvihill, Jonathan Wells and Jack Meyers: Slick deals; the White House connection; Saudi 'agents' close Bush Friends,Boston Herald, 11 December 2001).

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In the wake of 9/11

In the wake of 9/11, Khalid bin Mahfouz (Osama's brother in law) was carefully exempted from the Treasury investigations (another "sheer coincidence") which led to the freezing of the financial assets of some 150 Saudi businesses, charities and individuals:

"The US Treasury has frozen the assets of 150 Saudi individuals, companies and charities suspected of financing terrorism. It has named Blessed Relief, a Saudi "charity" as a front organisation providing funds to Osama bin Laden. "Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to Bin Laden through Blessed Relief," the agency said.

One rich Saudi patriarch under suspicion is Khaled bin Mahfouz, owner of the National Commercial Bank, banker to the Saudi royal family, US and British authorities have also investigated Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, another billionaire Saudi, for possible financial ties to Bin Laden. Al -Amoudi, who oversees a vast network of companies involved in construction, mining, banking and oil, has also denied any involvement with Bin Laden. His Washington lawyers said he "was unalterably opposed to terrorism and had no knowledge of any money transfers by Saudi businesses to Bin Laden.

Both Al-Amoudi and Bin Mahfouz have been left untouched by the US Treasury Department. The case against them, let alone against the government itself, is unproven. But the post-September 11 spotlight on Saudi Arabia has brought into sharp focus the fundamental question facing the country's rulers."
- (Scotland on Sunday, 11 August 2002)


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The 9/11 Victims Families Law Suit

According to one press report, Thomas Kean --in contrast to Dr. Henry Kissinger-- was selected to head the 9/11 Commission because he was "close to the families of the 9/11 victims, an important credential to the White House, which was coming under increasing criticism from those families" (Scripps Howard News Service, 17 December 2002)

Yet in a cruel irony, the $1 trillion lawsuit filed last August by the families of the victims of the September 11 attacks  http://www.nationalreview.com/mowbray/mowbray122002.asp lists two of Thomas Kean's business partners in the Hess-Delta joint-venture, among the accused: Khalid Bin Mahfouz (Osama's brother in law), and Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi. Both individuals have been tagged in the lawsuit as alleged "financiers" of Al Qaeda. Now, how will Thomas Kean deal with that in the context of the 9/11 Commission?


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Mystery Surrounding the 1998 Embassy Bombings

Former CIA director James Woolsey's testimony confirms that the Sudan pharmaceutical company bombed in 1998 on the orders of President Clinton was owned by Salah Idris, a business associate and protegé of Khalid bin Mahfouz, The bombing was in retribution for the alleged Al Qaeda African Embassy bombings.

The Mahfouz conglomerate, which owns the largest bank in Saudi Arabia, the National Commercial Bank, was preparing to pump money into the trans-Afghan pipeline deal. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, 2002, Chapter VI)
 http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/truth911.html Delta-Hess was also set up in 1998 to explore and develop oil and gas resources in the Caspian Sea basin.

Now why would the Clinton administration order the bombing of a factory which was controlled by a business crony of Unocal Corporation and Amerada-Hess?

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky CRG 2002. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .


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