WASHINGTON, DC - In an insightful hearing on the questionable handling of intelligence since 9/11, the House Government
Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations examined lax procedures at the FBI
and the Department of Justice's strange handling of the 9/11 Commission monograph on aviation. The hearing marked the first
time FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has appeared before Congress. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), who has repeatedly requested
the full public release of the commission's monograph, also directed sharp questions to Department of Justice representatives
about the delayed release and seemingly spurious redaction of the monograph.
"This hearing confirms for me three unsettling
things - that we didn't have our act together before 9/11, that the FBI didn't get its act together after 9/11 and that our
government doesn't want the truth about that to get out," said Maloney. "Ms. Edmonds's testimony was a disconcerting look
into our intelligence community. You would think that, learning important lessons from 9/11, the FBI would be more diligent
in its work, but it appears that a September 10th mentality is still in place over there.
"52 intelligence reports
from the FAA between April and September 10, 2001 mentioned Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda. Five of the intelligence reports
specifically mentioned Al Qaeda's training or capability to conduct hijackings, and two mentioned suicide operations, although
not connected to aviation. I have concerns that the Bush Administration abused the classification process to improperly withhold
the 9/11 Commission findings from Congress and the public until after the November elections and the confirmation of Condoleezza
Rice as Secretary of State."
Edmonds was fired from her job as an FBI translator after publicly disclosing the incompetence
of many FBI translators hired after 9/11, the close contact between some of her colleagues and organizations under watch by
the FBI and FBI employees' practice of taking classified information home.
Also under scrutiny at the hearing was
the treatment of the 9/11 commission's monograph on aviation threats. A heavily-redacted copy of the monograph was finally
released to the National Archives in late January 2005 - it was the only monograph not released before the election and it
was the only commission report to be redacted. In December, Maloney and Rep. Christopher Shays (CT-04) requested the full
release of the monographhttp://www.house.gov/maloney/press/108th/20041202
and they repeated that request in February after it became public that the redacted monograph was released to the National
Also in February, Maloney and Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-30) requested full hearings into the monographhttp://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/Documents/
Today, Maloney demanded to know why the Department of Justice claimed it was taking its time with the monograph so
as not to release any information that would compromise national security, then ended up redacting parts of the monograph
that were taken from public hearings (for an example of the redactions, click here:http://www.house.gov/maloney/issues/Sept11/030205
The monograph cites scores of ignored warnings to the FAA in the months before 9/11 about the possibility of hijackings
by al Qaeda. Voices of September 11th ("Voices") is a non-profit 9/11 family advocacy group providing information
and resources for 9/11 families and survivors. Voices of September 11th makes every effort to present accurate information
and to provide an open forum to discuss the related issues.
Visit our web site for more informationwww.voicesofsept11.org