The first hugely shocking revelation in the 28-page secret chapter of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee Inquiry into the 9/11 attack occurs less than half-way down the very first page, and raises the chief question arising out of the release.
The story of the 9/11 attack is a story of Saudis in Florida. But the until-now classified pages report show that fully one year after the attack the CIA and FBI remained inexplicably uncomfortable with the essential fact of any real 9/11 investigation: that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi.
“This gap in U.S. intelligence coverage is unacceptable”
As the report states, the “gap” in U.S. intelligence is unacceptable. But it is also—and more importantly—inexplicable.
The big question is not whether the pages “prove” or “disprove” Saudi government involvement in the 9/11 attack, but what —absent massive bribery—explains what made the Saudis “bulletproof” from investigation for so long, even after the attack?
The Joint Intelligence Committee, which fielded precisely zero investigators of their own, was easily able to discern—just by reading documents submitted by the two agencies —that the terrorist hijackers were in regular touch with representatives from the Saudi Government while they were in the U.S.
Why was the U.S. Intelligence Community—funded more fulsomely than any endeavor in human history—unable or unwilling to inform the American people of this fact?
But first: credit where credit is due
After a 13-year wait, the longed-for release of the 28 pages occurred in Washington D.C. on a Friday afternoon, during the middle of summer, in an election year, when a bowling ball rolled through the halls of the Capital stands little chance of hitting anyone.
Moreover the release was sandwiched between a major terrorist attack in France, and a military coup in Turkey. It was breaking news for all of 15 minutes.
Communist honcho Vladimir Lenin once said, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” But this was ridiculous.
Even before setting eyes on the forbidden pages, what was awesomely obvious was an efficient public relations juggernaut’s ability to successfully obscure, disguise, mask, bury, and keep secret pretty much whatever—no matter how long the build-up—it prefers not become widely known.
And while there presumably remain many equally-explosive revelations about 9/11 still out there, it is this fact—more than any other—which the government of the United States has been at pains to suppress, misrepresent, misstate, conceal and keep under wraps.
The question is why? What gave the Saudis so much juice? While the answer may seem obvious to the more cynical among us, what’s really important is the question is not even being asked.
“Not our job, boss”
Before Americans get their hopes up that Senator Bob Graham’s Joint Intelligence Committee was the bright shining knight the American people have long been waiting for, their report makes a point of immediately going on to disclaim any ambition or interest in ferreting out any evidence the FBI or the CIA hasn’t laid before them.
Why might this be?
Bob Graham’s big secret: Mum’s the word on “Muppet”
Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, the co-chairman of the congressional inquiry who pushed hard for the last chapter of the inquiry’s report to be released, deserves credit for his forthright statements that the hijackers had an extensive Saudi support system while they were in the United States.
But Graham’s “lay it all out attitude” doesn’t extend far beyond that. Take his silence on “Muppet,” the code name for Dr. Abdussattar Shaikh, whom Graham himself once called “the “best chance to uncover the Sept. 11 plot before it happened.”
Yet there is only one reference to “Muppet” in the secret 28 pages.
Of the people who had contact with the hijackers in San Diego, no one was closer to them than Abdussattar Shaikh.History Commons said about Shaikh: “Despite much scrutiny after 9/11, little information will emerge on Shaikh’s background or why he came to the FBI’s notice.”
In newspaper reports, he was described as “a gregarious retired educator who has lived for years in San Diego.” He was identified in wire reports as “a retired professor of English at San Diego State,” and “Vice President for International Projects at American Commonwealth University.”
Any guess about why none of this was ever reported?
Yet a brief trip to San Diego was all it took to discover that Shaikh was nothing of the kind. Every single detail in the biography of Abdussattar Shaikh was a lie. He never taught at San Diego State; has never been a Professor of English anywhere.
He has a phony PhD purchased from a bogus diploma mill run by people with U.S. military and intelligence connections; and the “University” where he was supposed to be “Vice President or International Projects” does not, in fact, exist.
Also his real name is not Abdussattar Shaikh but “Abdussattar Chhipa.” Or, as the FBI apparently called him, “Muppet.“ Muppet was a paid informant in counter-terrorism—of all things—before 9/11, although he supposedly never told his FBI handlers in San Diego of the two terrorist he was harboring in his home.
Much later, while Graham, after retiring from the Senate, was in Sarasota flogging his fictional book about the 9/11 attack , I confronted him with what I’d learned about Muppet. I thought he’d be grateful for the knowledge. He had, after all, attempted to subpoena Muppet to appear before the 9/11 Committee, but the FBI had refused to deliver it to him.
Earlier, author Anthony Summers, who was then in my debt because i’d spent a month showing him around Venice and introducing him to original sources which he somehow completely failed to mention a word about in his book “The Eleventh Day,” solemnly promised to convey to Graham what I’d discovered about Shaik when they met.
Yet in person Graham denied knowing anything about the information I’d learned about Shaikh, which made either him or Anthony Summers a more accomplished liar than one usually encounters.
“Bought off is bought off. Don’t say it can’t happen here.”
QUESTION: If the Saudis could buy off the Jordanians, who else might they be able to successfully bribe?
ANSWER: See my next story on the 28-page report MONDAY.