Big Brother rewrites history again
The narrow boxes through which we find ourselves entering public debate over the rise of a totalitarian government surveillance infrastructure are driving me a little crazy.
“Edward Snowden: Hero or traitor?”
Pick one, now, the question demands, before we learn anything else or think of anything more. In this way, our attention is focused onto Snowden, the man, not Uncle Sam, the secret megastate.
“Traitor!” some cry, never noticing that Snowden's leak makes him a “traitor” to the surveillance state — not the republic of memory. But such a gaffe is fine with our Big Brothers, from President Obama and FBI Director Robert Mueller to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
This new big lie about 9/11 is that the Snowden-leaked programs of data mining and cellphone collection might well have led authorities to identify two key Saudi hijackers in San Diego and roll up the whole al-Qaida plot. As former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who served as co-chairman of the Congressional Joint 9/11 Inquiry, has made abundantly clear, this particular pair, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, was already well known to U.S. intelligence authorities for ties to the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and other hostile activities.
Meanwhile, the information linking 9/11 hijackers to other Saudis in California is information that congressional investigators developed themselves. The FBI, as Graham has long attested, withheld evidence from Congress' Joint Inquiry — and, later, the 9/11 Commission. Why? More Saudi cover-up, it seems.
In 2011, reporters Anthony Summers and Dan Christiansen broke the news in the Broward Bulldog that the FBI withheld more information from the Congress' inquiry: its investigation into another Saudi 9/11 support network, this one in Sarasota, Fla. The FBI rejected the claim, insisting the agency had informed the 9/11 Commission about its investigation at the time, which it also claimed had gone nowhere.
“This assertion by the FBI was not credible,” Graham wrote in a sworn declaration dated May 31, 2013 attached to a new Freedom of Information Act request by the reporters. Graham contacted 9/11 Commission co-chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton and reported that neither of them had ever heard of an FBI investigation in Sarasota, either.
More important, as Graham states, the FBI's failure to call attention to “documents finding ‘many connections' between Saudis living in the United States and individuals associated with the terrorist (attacks) ... interfered with the Inquiry's ability to complete its mission.”
This stonewalling continues under the Obama administration. In his sworn declaration, Graham names names. These include CIA Director John Brennan, who fobbed him off, and deputy FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce, who has blocked Graham's efforts to pursue the Sarasota story at every turn. Graham states that Joyce advised him that he, Joyce, had instructed the FBI agent in charge of the Sarasota investigation (since transferred to Honolulu) not to speak to Graham.
“I am troubled by what appears to me to be a persistent effort by the FBI to conceal from the American people information concerning possible Saudi support of the Sept. 11 attacks,” Graham writes.
Also troubling is watching the U.S. government hide and twist history in real time. We can't let them do this to us again.
Diana West's new book is “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character” from St. Martin's Press.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Liriano, Pirates beat Giants, inch closer to lead in NL Central
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- Starkey: Would one big move kill Pirates’ future?
- Pirates inquire about Red Sox LHP Lester
- Pleasant Hills Night Out attracts large crowd
- McKeesport councilman fined, given probation in gambling ring
- Strike remains possible for East Allegheny teachers
- Whitaker man to serve 2 life sentences for West Mifflin murders
- Tech giants lead rush for profits in foreign countries
- Pirates think Mercer’s defense deserves more credit
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash