A Time for Truth
By Susan Lindauer
9/11 Whistleblower and author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq
Some of our leaders think Americans don’t need the truth about 9/11 any more, because Osama’s dead and it’s over.
As somebody who got brutalized at “ground zero” of the 9/11 cover up for most of the past 10 years, I could not disagree more. I’m sick of asking for a proper Congressional investigation. Congress already knows the truth about 9/11. That’s why they’re not poking around. However, it’s a huge mistake for the rest of us who know the truth, or parts of it, to wait for permission to speak. America has trapped itself in a mythic nightmare about terrorism that exaggerates our enemies, while our leaders manipulate our sense of patriotism and effectively blind us to mistakes in national security policy. It’s not a successful policy if it weakens our country.
The United States has reached a tipping point when we have to consider the end of the “American Age.” In which case, an honest examination of 9/11 becomes imperative. Americans must understand 9/11, so that we can puncture the creepy bubble around the War on Terrorism, and sweep away the phony threat that’s got all of Washington plotting Wars in the Middle East, bankrupting our economy with runaway defense spending, and tearing down civil rights in the name of national security.
The lie itself is formidable. Valerie Plame recently tried to assure Bob Tuskin at the Intel Hub that the U.S. government could never keep such a huge and devastating secret as 9/11 for so long. Wanna bet? Myself, I got rewarded with 5 years of indictment as an “Iraqi Agent,” including one year in prison on Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas—without a trial or hearing—after I requested to testify about Iraq and 9/11.
Thirty days after I spoke with top staffers for Senator Trent Lott and Senator John McCain, the FBI showed up with a warrant for my arrest.
My 5-year indictment on the Patriot Act nicknamed me “Symbol Susan.” It was not subtle. The viciousness I suffered was purposefully designed to scare off on anybody else who might consider talking. The cover ups of 9/11 and Iraq distinguished the Patriot Act as the premiere weapon to take down whistle blowers.
To those others I say, they cannot silence us if we refuse to give up our voice. I challenge Congress to put our country on the right track by holdings hearings on 9/11 to take our testimony. I will gladly swear to all of the following under oath:
THE TRUTH: A SUMMER OF ADVANCE WARNINGS
The truth is that our team, which triangulated the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, discussed the 9/11 attack in its exact scenario and time frame throughout the summer of 2001. We talked about it practically every week at our meetings. We also discussed it on the telephone, pointedly joking “Hello NSA! Pick up the phone” – knowing the National Security Agency had wire tapped my lines.
There’s no question that the story of the 9/11 conspiracy was planted months in advance to prep the intelligence community for the government’s reaction. And it unfolded exactly as they told us it would—with a little help from an orphan explosives team. That will be explained in a second article. The two are not contradictory.
Before we get to that, Americans must first accept the motivation for 9/11, and why the U.S. government allowed it to happen. This was a Pearl Harbor Day. And it achieved an agenda, which was already well defined.
From the first moment that I was told about 9/11 in April and May of 2001, I was informed that the United States planned to declare War on Iraq immediately when 9/11 happened. The two were already linked as cause and effect.
Threats of War Against Iraq
I can testify to that absolutely, because I was the Asset commanded to deliver those threats to Iraqi diplomats at the United Nations. I was instructed to say the “U.S. intended to declare War on Iraq if Baghdad failed to provide actionable intelligence to stop the conspiracy involving airplane hijackings and a strike on the World Trade Center. We would bomb Iraq more aggressively than ever before—back to the Stone Age.”
My CIA handler further demanded that I stress the threat of War “originated at the highest levels of government—above the CIA Director and the Secretary of State.” He considered the warnings to have more potency if Iraqi diplomats understood the muscle of those issuing the threats.
As the primary back channel to Baghdad from 1996 through 2003, I delivered that message with all precision from April and May right through August 4, 2001. I can pinpoint the day, because the conversation with my CIA handler took place on the day of the Senate confirmation hearings for Robert Mueller’s appointment to head the FBI.
My CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz speculated aloud that the 9/11 attack might occur before Mueller was formally instated as FBI Director. In the same conversation, Dr. Fuisz warned that I must not go back to New York, because the attack was “imminent” and the CIA expected “mass casualties” and a “possible miniature thermo nuclear device.” Over his objections, I insisted on returning to Iraq’s Embassy at the U.N. one last time to see if diplomats had received any reports from Baghdad. Then I promised I would not go back to New York until after the attack.
My meeting with Iraqi diplomats occurred two days later on Saturday, August 4. I did not return to New York until September 18.
Let me be clear: The threat was not vague or undefined. We fully expected airplane hijackings and some sort of aerial strike targeting the World Trade Center, specifically. No other target or location was ever discussed.
Details of the 9/11 conspiracy and the full history of Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence are disclosed in my book, Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq. It’s a real life spy thriller, and it goes into much greater depth, whereas this article can only scratch the surface.
Extreme Prejudice reveals a truth that’s very different from what America has been told. I challenge Congress to put me under oath and rip me with questions. Americans have the right to hear my direct testimony, which would disclose a complete chronology of our advance discussions about the conspiracy, in addition to our considerable efforts to stop the attack.
It’s nothing like what you expect. As a life-long anti-war activist, I was highly agitated about the threats of war that I was commanded to deliver to Iraqi diplomats. And I’m not a passive individual. Adding to the tension, by the summer of 2001 the international community had developed a deep loathing for U.N. sanctions that were destroying Iraq’s social fabric and community infrastructure. The days of U.N. sanctions on Iraq—which I reviled, too—were closing fast. The international community would have condemned any rogue military action against Iraq.
Unbeknownst to the public, from the opening days of the Bush administration in January 2001, our team had begun hammering out a comprehensive framework for achieving all U.S. objectives, including weapons inspections, so that the U.S could claim a major victory while ceding to pressure for the U.N. sanctions to end. Anti-terrorism was a central part of our peace framework. In fact, Iraq had agreed to invite an FBI Task Force to conduct terrorism investigations by February, 2001. The CIA had also won Iraq’s consent for major reconstruction contracts for U.S. corporations in telecommunications, hospitals and health care, transportation— and oil. Everything the U.S. wanted was ours for the taking. And the CIA wanted it all.
Our Team Efforts to Stop 9/11
When my CIA handler, Dr. Fuisz informed me on August 2 that the 9/11 attack was in play and considered “imminent,” he and I together resolved to take more aggressive action to prevent it.
I’m not telling you what somebody else did that I heard about later. I’m telling what actions I took myself in “real time” to try to stop the 9/11 attack.
On Monday, August 6, I reported to Dr. Fuisz after my trip to New York. I told him that Iraqi diplomats had thrown up their hands. They had nothing to give us. Yes, they assured me, Baghdad was fully aware that Iraq faced a threat of full scale war, if a 9/11 style of attack occurred. They understood that it would be in their greatest interest to provide us with any fragment of intelligence to help stop the attack. They understood that 9/11 would complicate our peace framework exactly at the moment when the international community was ready to throw off U.N. sanctions. Bottom line, they had nothing to give us.
I was an unusual party to this discussion, motivated by deep antipathy for sanctions and war. For those reasons, I informed Dr. Fuisz that I felt super motivated to do everything in my power to stop 9/11, both to protect the people of New York City and to prevent an unnecessary War—exactly at the moment when our team was completing this outstanding peace framework that achieved all U.S. objectives.
At the instructions of Dr. Fuisz on August 6, I personally placed phone calls to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s private staff at the Justice Department on August 7 or 8. Identifying myself as the CIA Asset covering the Iraq and Libya Embassies at the United Nations, I personally requested that Ashcroft’s Office post “an emergency broadcast alert across all agencies, seeking any fragment of intelligence on airplane hijackings, with a known target of the World Trade Center.” I described the attack as “imminent,” with the potential for “mass casualties. I asked for maximum inter-agency cooperation and urged that any information be forwarded to the CIA immediately.
Hearing my request, staff in the inner sanctum of Attorney General John Ashcroft’s office gave me a phone number at the Office of Counter-Terrorism in the Justice Department, and urged me to repeat exactly what I had just told them. I did so without delay. I dialed the number. I spoke to the staff.
I wasn’t taking any chances. A few days later, I visited the home of my cousin, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. I waited in my car while his neighbors peeked out their windows, determined to warn him about our 9/11 scenario, and request cabinet level support to pre-empt the attack. Alas, Andy did not come home. When I drove away after two hours, I did so believing that I might be making the greatest mistake of my life.
There was still plenty of time for action to pre-empt the attack. Americans have a right to know how top leaders in government handled our warnings, and effectively thwarted those best efforts in August of 2001.
There was a lot of action that August—including a second set of events that I would learn about years later, involving an unidentified orphan team that would lay explosives in the Twin Towers. My next article will explain how those two conspiracies converged. Contrary to what the 9/11 Truth Community supposes, these two operations do not cancel out each other.
But first Americans must understand that 9/11 was a “stand down” operation, a true Pearl Harbor Day, meaning that U.S. and foreign intelligence understood what was coming. The leadership at the top of the U.S. government made an active decision to let the attack go ahead— because the decision was already made that 9/11 would provide a pretext for War in Iraq. With peace breaking out in the Middle East at that very moment, the War Party required a massive scale threat to overturn the peace process. Clearly they decided that nothing would be allowed to interfere with that objective.
Once that factor’s understood, 9/11 becomes comprehensible.
Some of my testimony would surprise America—like efforts by Saddam Hussein’s government to guarantee Iraq’s complete cooperation with global anti-terrorism efforts before and after 9/11. That will be addressed in another article.
Finally, my book, Extreme Prejudice provides a full scope of the brutality by the Justice Department to silence me and other Assets, using the Patriot Act as a weapon to guarantee the success of its deception. (A hint: Assets watched the cover ups of 9/11 and Iraq on prison television. And I wasn’t the only prisoner).
Oh it wasn’t all bad! My CIA handler got $13 million tax-free from emergency appropriations for the 9/11 investigation in November, 2001— He built himself a grand mansion a stone’s throw from CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia. Not a dollar or a dime got spent on 9/11. Mind you, the government’s not complaining. But shifting tax dollars away from Iraq’s cooperation with the 9/11 investigation took food off my table. I paid a terrible price for it.
Democracy Requires Accountability
All parts of the 9/11 warnings, the cover up— the arrests and pay offs— should disturb Democrats and Republicans alike who brag about their leadership support for Assets engaged in anti-terrorism. It makes a lie of their pledge of loyalty, for sure. And it denigrates their performance as stewards of national security, which ought to be a litmus test for the 2012 Campaigns. Those who don’t care for the people’s business don’t belong in government.
Simply put, democracy requires accountability to the people. Americans have a fundamental right to possess the truth about 9/11 and the decision to declare War on Iraq months before the attack—because national security does matter in this age. Americans require that knowledge, so as to assess the leadership performance and quality of policy making on our behalf.
Good leaders don’t have to be afraid. Bad leaders should be sent packing for the betterment of government.
Most alarmingly, 9/11’s legacy has proved detrimental to the security of our country. According to the National Journal, fighting this phantom demon of terrorism today involves 1,271 government agencies, producing 50,000 intelligence reports a year that for the most part nobody reads. Meanwhile, “black budgets” for intelligence operations have mushroomed to $75 billion a year, financing both domestic and international surveillance that monitors law-abiding citizens across the country. There’s no federal auditing authority or Congressional oversight over “black budgets.” It’s all tax free and unregulated. It’s a secret government gone wild.
Osama’s death has been a great victory for the CIA. But it will not bring U.S. soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan, where military operations have cost $1.6 trillion and counting. It won’t end the nonsense War against Libya, which has no justification at all.
Osama’s death will not quash the planning stages for future wars against Syria, and God help us, Iran.
Is it really patriotic to stay silent while the military industrial complex devours our economy for its own profits? Without producing benefits for U.S. soldiers? Admiral Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn’t think so. He has described America’s national debt as “the greatest threat to our national security.”
Our country is teetering on the abyss. If we’re going to succeed in restoring the great traditions of liberty and moral authority, we’ve got to relearn the history of 9/11.
We must acknowledge the real threats to our quality of life are not “out there.” They start right here. And those threats are perpetuated by the myths that are leaders invented that tragic morning.
There is no better time for truth than today. The success of our national security policy—and our ability to avoid future wars that are guaranteed to destroy this earth—very well depend on it.
Susan Lindauer is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, which recounts her nightmarish ordeal as the second non-Arab American ever indicted on the Patriot Act, facing secret charges, secret evidence, secret grand jury testimony and threats of indefinite detention.
The next article in this series will show how the detonation theory fits hand in glove with the airplane hijackings and aerial strike on the World Trade Center. Americans will see why the two are not contradictory at all.