9/11 Commission: “One Thousand Days of Continuous Cover-up”

Exactly 1000 days after hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade atta2Center the American people finally heard public testimony, during the final hearings of the 9/11 Commission last week in Washington, D.C., about the plot that took nearly 3000 lives

It wasn’t worth the wait.

“9/11: the Plot” was the subject of a day-long hearing on what were supposed to be the specifics of the conspiracy.

But the distortions, inaccuracies, omissions, and evasions offered during the session suggests that the real 9/11 plot  involves efforts by the FBI to keep the American people in the dark, for whatever reason, about the facts of the attack.

Still, the trickle of new evidence released seemingly cleared up several questions and conspiracy theories some found compelling: the notion that there weren’t any Arab hijackers on the planes, and the suspicion of a NORAD stand-down which allowed the attack to succeed.
 

The man who was and was not there

For the first time, for example, tapes were released of Mohamed Atta’s voice commandeering a cockpit microphone and sternly ordering passengers to avoid doing anything stupid; no doubt something of an embarrassment to aficionados of “The Theory of Remote Control.”

(That is Atta’s voice, we believe.  We vividly remember Amanda Keller mimicking his accent for us one time, because it had left us puzzled, and  unable to place it. When we heard the tape at the 9/11 commission hearings we instantly recognized it was Atta; he sounded EXACTLY the way Amanda had mimicked him sounding.)

Also, the confusion and panic evident in the voices of FAA controllers offers an understandable rationale–bureaucratic incompetence–for what some saw as a “NORAD stand-down.”

Newsflash: We may not be getting everything we thought we were, defense-wise, for the money.

But the testimony also created a major new mystery: Why doesn't the account given by FBI and staff investigators about the final days of the terrorist conspiracy match what's already on the public record?

In the face of this monumental and surreal absurdity, the MadCowMorningNews' two-year investigation is, sadly, beginning to look like the only game in town.

a solid frontThe discrepancies call into question the credibility of the FBI’s basic chronology of the terrorist conspiracy.

On two of the last four days before the attack, for example, the report paints ringleader Mohamed Atta as someone with the apparent ability to be in two places at once.

Written with the cooperation of the FBI, the staff report states that Atta was shuttling between Baltimore and Boston—rather than in the Miami area, as has been widely-reported—on two of the last three days before the attack.

This despite dozens of reports in the major media placing Atta in the Miami area on two of those dates: drinking in Fort Lauderdale on September 7, and returning a rental car in Pompano Beach Sept 9.

We had entered some parallel reality like the one in 1984. Wrong was Right. War was Peace. And Atta was in Baltimore, even though we had proof he was in Miami.

From the Staff Report:

"Atta continued to coordinate the teams until the very end. On September 7, he flew from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore, presumably to meet with 911 commissionthe Flight 77 team in Laurel, Maryland.

On September 9, he flew from Baltimore to Boston. By this time, Marwan al Shehhi and his team for Flight 175 had arrived in Boston, and Atta was seen with Shehhi at his hotel. The next day, Atta picked up Abdul Aziz al Omari, one of the Flight 11 muscle hijackers, from his Boston hotel and drove to Portland, Maine.

For reasons that remain unknown, Atta and Omari took a commuter flight to Boston during the early hours of September 11 to connect to Flight 11."

So here’s the “official story.”  Atta leaves Florida Sept. 7, flying to Baltimore to meet one hijack crew, then from Baltimore to Boston two days later, Sept. 9, for a final rendezvous with sidekick Marwan al shehhi. The next morning he drives to Portland Maine with one of his muscle hijackers…and the rest is history.

That’s the story, anyway.

nobodymovepleaseWe sat stunned as the 9/11 staff’s presentation contradicted known facts and news accounts published in the major media about Mohamed Atta's last days. Its wrong. So wrong, so blatantly wrong, that you wonder what the heck is going on.

On the evening of Sept 7 Atta was—not in Baltimore, as the 9/11 commission says– but still in the Miami area, in a bar in Fort Lauderdale. The FBI didn’t even have to waste gas to discover it, either. It was in the papers. The Associated Press and network news all reported Atta drinking with Marwan.


'Don't do anything foolish, you won't be hurt. We have more planes, we have other planes"

"At 10:45 p.m. (the night of the attack) FBI agents arrived at Shuckums Restaurant in Hollywood, Fla., about 30 miles north of Miami, and began interviewing employees, including Patricia Idrissi," read a typical account, in the Charleston Post and Courier on September 16, 2001.

They showed her pictures of two men. She recognized one. He was the guy who drank the Stolichnaya vodka for three hours one recent Friday and didn't seem to want to pay his $48 bar tab.

"Of course I can pay," the man said, according to restaurant workers. "I'm a pilot."

"As the night wore on, investigators zeroed in on Central and South Florida and two suspects: Mohamed Atta, the man who was drinking vodka, and Marwan al-Shehhi, who was drinking rum," the paper reported.


shuckumsThe story went out on the AP wire.

“We were able to recognize both gentlemen,” said the bar's manager, Tony Amos. He told reporters he had identified a man in a photo bearing the name Mohamed underneath, who, along with two other men, had each consumed at least several drinks apiece. Mohamed said he was a pilot, Amos said.

“Atta drank Stoli vodka for three straight hours,” remembered the bartender, Patricia Adrizi. “The guy, Mohamed, was drunk,” she told reporters. She identified a picture of his sidekick Marwan Al-Shehhi, and said he had been drinking rum.

Was Mohamed Atta really an Islamic fundamentalist?

Maybe Atta was Islamic Stolichnaya

Together with other tales of heavy drinking which were surfacing, the report was at odds with the portrait beginning to emerge of the terrorist ringleader as a fanatic and puritanical Islamic fundamentalist.

What if, instead, Atta was a slick cat? A cool Arab spy? Someone who knows the importance of the authentic Russian heritage of their brand of vodka when you're 'ready to let the night unfold?'

When the Los Angeles Times mentioned the terrorist’s night at Shuckums in a story on the terrorist final days a week later, the reports of heavy drinking were gone. "That same night (Sept 7)  down the coast in Florida, Atta and Al-Shehhi went to Shuckums sports bar in Hollywood along with a still unidentified third man," said the Times.

"The owner, Tony Amos, says Atta sat quietly by himself and drank cranberry juice and played a video game, while Al-Shehhi and the other customer tossed back mixed drinks and argued."


But wait. There's more.

There’s hard physical evidence to prove something is very wrong with the only explanation the American people are ever likely to get..

bradAtta and Marwan returned a rent a car at this rental facility in Pompano Beach on Sept 9. This signed rental car contract is proof.

Pompano Beach is a considerable distance from Baltimore.

Mohamed Atta rented several cars at Warrick Rent a Car during the last month of his life. “They rented two cars over three different contracts, a total of about five weeks,” proprietor Brad Warrick told us.

During his questioning by the FBI, Warrick said, he learned details of the attack which the Bureau has chosen not to tell the American people. “The FBI told me that Marwan almost missed the building. Marwan was flying one hundred miles per hour faster than Atta, they said. And that’s why he flew into the building deeper and that’s why that building came down first, because there was so much fuel deeper into the building.”

“Their explanation was Atta was very cool, calm, collected, just zeroed right in on it, just bingo. And Marwan on the other hand, ten years younger, was just scared to death and he flew erratic, and at the last minute nearly missed the building.”

“Mohamed dressed to the nines,” said Warrick. “Nice, nice pants and shirt. Nice clothes, business like. He carried a briefcase and he had all the credentials he needed… credit card, drivers license, and proof of insurance and he had that, everything matched.”

As we listened to Brad Warrick’s description of Mohamed Atta, it sounded like he was describing—not an Islamic fundamentalist—but a perfect spy. “He had Allstate Insurance,” said Warrick. “The address on his insurance card matched his drivers license. He was a perfect customer.”

So… just what’s being concealed here?  Was the 9/11 commission investigation just incredibly sloppy?  Could there warrickshave been a second Mohamed Atta? This brings up the possibility, slight as it may be.

The FBI report to the 9/11 Commission says nothing about Atta in Miami on Sept 7. For good measure they say nothing about him being back in Miami Sept 9.

  •     If  Atta left Ft. Lauderdale for Baltimore on Sept. 7…how could he have been drinking at Shuckum's raw bar for three hours that afternoon?

     

  •     IF Atta left Ft. Lauderdale for Baltimore on Sept. 7…How could he have been in Fort Lauderdale returning a rental car Sept. 9?

These are not small matters. Imprecision from any branch of the American government in the murder investigation of 3000 people is unacceptable.

The answer that seems right to us—at least at this time—is there’s something’s  very deliberately being concealed from the American people about the hijackers final days. So…the really big question about Mohamed Atta's final days isn’t what was he doing…

Its why are they lying to us about it?

We think at least part of the answer may be in Portland, Maine. Going to Portland wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. The terrorist ringleader booked his ticket from there to Boston two weeks before the attack.

Of course, the FBI told the 9/11 Commission "nobody knows" why Atta went there…

We think that means something pretty juicy happened that they don't want known.

 

NEXT WEEK: THE DRUG RING THE STAFF REPORT SAYS WASN'T THERE.

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Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.