MooreCommission.8m.com

Below is an article taken from Michael Moore’s website (around 7:00pm CT on 9/13/04).  The article purportedly explains how the 9/11 Commission Report ‘confirms key facts’ of his movie, Fahrenheit 9/11.  The article was copied as is (grammatical errors, misspellings, and all).

After reading this article, I noticed that some key information was left out from the 9/11 Commission Report.  All text in BLUE are sections from the 9/11 Commission Report that Moore ‘edited’ out from his article’s responses. 

Any text that is NOT BLUE was the original text from Moore’s article.  (Any text not from Moore’s article or the 9/11 Commission Report will be identified by a “NOTE:” in front)

 

Cross-reference this website yourself with the following websites

            -www.michaelmoore.com (Moore’s article)

                        -http://www.gpoaccess.gov/911/ (9/11 Commission Report)

-If there are any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at: moorecommission@gmail.com.


-If you make a negative comment, please understand that I have put no opinion in this site. This site is simply the text from the 9/11 Commission Report combined with Moore’s article

------------------------------------------------------The Article------------------------------------------------------------

August 2nd, 2004 6:37 pm
9/11 Commission Report Confirms Key Fahrenheit 9/11 Facts

For Immediate Release
August 2, 2004

 

9/11 Commission Report Confirms Key Fahrenheit 9/11 Facts

The September 11 Commission's 567-page final report has confirmed key facts presented in Fahrenheit 9/11 .   Here are passages from the film, followed by the 9/11 Commission's findings:

 

I.   Ashcroft Briefing

Fahrenheit 9/11: “One of [John Ashcroft's] first acts as Attorney General was to tell acting FBI director Thomas Pickard that he didn't want to hear anything more about terrorist threats.”

Note 1: The sections of Moore’s report that were never part of the 9/11 Commission Report were shown with a ‘strike-out’ through them (not removed). Please note that the sentences crossed-out do not imply anything other that the fact that they are not in the 911 Commission Report.  

Commission Report, p. 265: Attorney General Ashcroft was briefed by the CIA in May and by Pickard in early July about the danger. Pickard said he met with Ashcroft once a week in late June, through July, and twice in August.  There is a dispute regarding Ashcroft’s interest in Pickard’s briefings about the terrorist threat situation.   Pickard told us the Commission that after two such briefings on the terror threat situation (in May and early July), “Ashcroft told him that he did not want to hear about the threats anymore.” Ashcroft denies Pickard’s charge.  Pickard says he continued to present terrorism information during further briefings that summer, but nothing further on the “chatter” the U.S. government was receiving.  The Report also states that Ashcroft denies this allegation and that Pickard told Ashcroft that   the Attorney General told us he asked Pickard whether there was intelligence about attacks in the United States and that Pickard said no.  Pickard said he replied that   “he could not assure Ashcroft that there would be no attacks in the United States, although the reports of threats were related to overseas targets. Ashcroft said he therefore assumed the FBI was doing what it needed to do. He acknowledged that in retrospect, this was a dangerous assumption. He did not ask the FBI what it was doing in response to the threats and did not task it to take any specific action. He also did not direct the INS, then still part of the Department of Justice, to take any specific action. In sum, the domestic agencies never mobilized in response to the threat. They did not have direction, and did not have a plan to institute.” 

II. Bush in Florida Classroom on the morning of September 11, 2001

Fahrenheit 9/11: "As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida. When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, where terrorists had struck just 8 years prior, Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity.   When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush the nation is under attack.   Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and no Secret Service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush just sat there and continued to read My Pet Goat with the children.   Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything."

Commission Report, p 35: “In Sarasota, Florida, the presidential motorcade was arriving at the Emma E. Brooker Elementary School, where President Bush was to read to a class and talk about education.  White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told us he was standing with the President outside the classroom when Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove first informed them that a small, twin-engine plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. The President's reaction was that the incident must have been caused by pilot error.   At 8:55, before entering the classroom, the President spoke to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who was at the White House. She recalled first telling the President it was a twin-engine aircraft—and then a commercial aircraft—that had struck the World Trade Center, adding ‘that's all we know right now, Mr. President.'”

Commission Report, pp. 38-39: “The President was seated in a classroom when, at 9:05, Andrew Card whispered to him: ‘A second plane hit the second tower.   America is under attack.’ The President told us his instinct was to project calm, The press was standing behind the children; he saw their phones and pagers start ringing. The President felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening.' The President remained in the classroom for another five to seven minutes, while the children continued reading. He then returned to a holding room shortly before 9:15, where he was briefed by staff and saw television coverage.

 

III. Bush Failure to Meet with Head of Counterrorism in 2001

Fahrenheit 9/11: “As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more often? Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counterterrorism [Richard Clarke]?"

Commission Report, p 201: “Within the first few days after Bush's inauguration, Clarke approached Rice in an effort to get her—and the new President—to give terrorism very high priority and to act on the agenda that he had pushed during the last few months of the previous administration.   After Rice requested that all senior staff identify desirable major policy reviews or initiatives, Clarke submitted an elaborate memorandum on January 25, 2001. He attached to it his 1998 Delenda Plan and the December 2000 strategy paper. He attached to it his 1998 Delenda Plan and the December 2000 strategy paper. ‘We urgently need...a Principals level review on the al Qida network,' Clarke wrote.  He wanted the Principals Committee to decide whether al Qaeda was “a first order threat” or a more modest worry being overblown by “chicken little” alarmists.  Alluding to the transition briefing that he had prepared for Rice, Clarke wrote that al Qaeda “is not some narrow, little terrorist issue that needs to be included in broader regional policy.”  Two key decisions that had been deferred, he noted, concerned convert aid to keep the Northern Alliances alive when fighting began in Afghanistan in the spring, and convert aid to the Uzbeks.  Clarke also suggested that decisions should be made soon on messages to the Taliban and Pakistan over the al Qaeda sanctuary in Afghanistan, on possible new money for CIA operations, and on “when and how… to respond to the attack on the USS Cole.”The national security advisor did not respond directly to Clarke's memorandum. No Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda was held until September 4, 2001 (although the Principals Committee met frequently on other subjects, such as the Middle East peace process, Russia, and the Persian Gulf).” But Rice and Hadley bagan to address the issues Clarke had listed.  What to do or say about the Cole hade been an obvious questions since inauguration day.

 

IV. Bush Did Not React to Security Briefing

Fahrenheit 9/11: "Perhaps [President Bush] just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6th, 2001, which said that Osama Bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes.   But maybe he wasn't worried about the terrorist threat because the title of the report was too vague.

Commission Report, pp. 260-262: At the time, Bush says he considered the CIA's August 6th Presidential Daily Briefing entitled   During the spring and summer of 2001, President Bush had on several occasions asked his briefers whether any of the threats pointed to the United States.  Reflecting on these questions, the CIA decided to write a briefing article summarizing its understanding of this danger.  Two CIA analysists involved in preparing this briefing article believed it represented an opportunity to communicate their view that the threat of a Bin Laden attack in the United States remained both current and serious.  The result was an article in the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief titled  Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S. It was the 36th PDB item briefed so far that year that related to Bin Laden or al Qaeda, and the first devoted to the possibility of an attack in the United Stated.  The President told us the August 6 report was to be “historical in nature,” President Bush said that article told him that al Qaeda was dangerous, which he said he had known since he had become President.  The President said Bin Laden had long been talking about his desire to attack America.  He recalled some operational data on the FBI, and remembered thinking it was heartening that 70 investigations were under way.  As best he could recollect, Rice had mentioned that the Yemenis’ surveillance of a federal building in New York had been looked into in May and June, but there was no actionable intelligence.     although the “two CIA analysts involved in preparing this briefing article believed it represented an opportunity to communicate their view that the threat of a Bin Ladin attack in the United States remained both current and serious ” (emphasis added). Bush   He “did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so he said that if his advisors had told him there was a cell in the United States, they would have moved to take care of it.  That never happened.  Although… The following day's SEIB repeated the title of this PDB, it did not contain the reference to hijackings, the alert in New York, the alleged casing…

(NOTE 2: There is a following insert breaks up this sentence.  The insert begins: “ The following is the text of an item from the Presidential Daily Brief received by George W. Bush on August 6, 2001. I am not going to include it because it is summarized in the current sentence it interrupted; I will encourage those to read the 911 Commission Report themselves)

…of buildings in New York, the threat phoned in to the embassy, or the fact that the FBI had approximately 70 ongoing bin Laden-related investigations.  No CSG or other NSC meeting was held to discuss the possible threat of a strike in the United States as a result of this report.… Late in the month, a foreign service reported that Abu Zubaydah was considering mounting terrorist attacks in the United Statesafter postponing possible operations in Europe.  No targets, timing, or methods of attack were provided. We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisors of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States…DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But [CIA director] Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat” between this period. August 17 when Tenet visited Bush in Crawford, and September 10.  Most of the intelligence community recognized in the summer of 2001 that the number and severity of threat reports were unprecedented.  Many officials told us that they knew something terrible was planned, and they were desperate to stop it.  Despite their large number, the threats received contained few specifics regarding time, place, method, or target.  Most suggested that attacks were planned against targets overseas; others indicated threats against unspecified “U.S. interests.”  We cannot say for certain whether the reports, as dramatic as they were, related to the 9/11 attacks.

 

V. The Timing of the Saudi Flights

Fahrenheit 9/11 : “At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.”

NOTE 3: The section in the 911 Commission Reports that discusses this issue was not addressed by the author of this piece.  What is provided is the content from a note to chapter 10.  I will provide the context in which the note is referencing.

 

Flights of Saudi Nationals Leaving the United States

Three questions have arisen with respect to the departure of Saudi nationals from the United States in the immediate aftermath of 9/11: (1) Did any flights of Saudi nationals take place before national airspace reopened on September 12, 2001? (2) Was there any political intervention to facilitate the departure of Saudi nationals? (3)Did the FBI screen Saudi nationals thoroughly before their departure?

First, we found no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 12, 2001.  To the contrary, every flight we have identified occurred after national airspace reopened25.  (NOTE 4: This is where the note comes from as mentioned by the author of this piece.) 

Second, we found no evidence of political intervention.  We found no evidence that anyone at the White House above the level of Richard Clarke participated in a decision on the departure of Saudi nationals.  The issue came up in one of many video teleconferences of the interagency group Clarke chaired, and Clarke said he approved of how the FBI was dealing with the matter when it came up for interagency discussion at his level.  Clarke told us, “I asked the FBI, Dale Watson…to handle that, to check to see if that was all right with them, to see if they wanted access to any of these people, and to get back to me.  And if they had no objections, it would be fine with me.”  Clarke added, “I have no recollection of clearing it with anybody at the White House.” Although White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card remembered someone telling him about the Saudi request shortly after 9/11, he said he had not talked to the Saudis and did not ask anyone to do anything about it.  The President and Vice President told us they were not aware of the issue at all until it surfaced much later in the media.  None of the officials we interviewed recalled any intervention or direction on this matter from any political appointee.

Third, we believe that the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on charter flights28.  (NOTE 5: This is referencing to note 28 which is the topic of the next ‘argument’.) 

 The Saudi government was advised of and agreed to the FBI’s requirements that passengers be identified and checked against various databases before the flights departed.  The Federal Aviation Administration representative working in the FBI operations center made sure that the FBI was aware of the flights of Saudi nationals and was able to screen the passengers before they were allowed to depart.

The FBI interviewed all persons of interest on these flights prior to their departures. They concluded that none of the passengers was connected to 9/11 attacks and have since found no evidence to change that conclusion.  Our own independent review of Saudi nationals involved confirms that no one with known links to terrorism departed on these flights.

Commission Report, p. 556, n. 25: “[A]fter the airspace reopened, nine chartered flights with 160 people, mostly Saudi nationals, departed from the United States between September 14 and 24.”

 

VI. FBI Interviews of Saudis and Bin Ladens Who Left

Fahrenheit 9/11: The FBI conducted “a little interview, check[ed] the passport.”

Confirmed, Commission Report at p. 557, n. 28: “These flights were screened by law enforcement officials, primarily FBI. For example, one flight, the so-called Bin Laden Flight, departed the United States on September 20 with 26 passengers, most of them relatives of Usama Bin Laden.  Screening of this flight was directed by an FBI agent in the Baltimore Field Office who was also a pilot.  This agent, coordinating with FBI headquarters, sent an electronic communication to each of the field offices through which the Bin Laden flight was scheduled to pass, including the proposed flight manifest and directing what screening should occur.  He also monitored the flight as it moved around the country—from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Orlando to Washington Dulles, and to Boston Logan—correcting for any changes in itinerary to make sure there was no lapse in FBI screening at these locations.  Again, each of the airports through which the Bin Laden flight passed was open, and no special restrictions were lifted to accommodate its passage. The Bin Ladin flight and other flights we examined were screened in accordance with policies set by FBI headquarters and coordinated through working-level interagency process…Although most of the passengers were not interviewed, 22 of the 26 on the Bin Ladin flight were interviewed by the FBI Many were asked detailed questions.  None of the passengers stated that they had any recent contact with Usama Bin Laden or knew anything about terrorist activity. See, e.g FBI report of investigations, interview of Mohammed Saleh Bin Laden, Sept. 21, 2001.  As Richard Clarke, noted, long before 9/11 the FBI was following members of the Bin Laden family in the United States closely.  Richard Clarke testimony, Mar. 21, 2004.…Two of the passengers on this flight had been the subjects of preliminary investigations by the FBI, but both their cases had been closed, in 1999 and March 2001, respectively, because the FBI had uncovered no derogatory information on either person linking them to terrorist activity.”

VII. White House Approved Flights

Fahrenheit 9/11: “The White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis.”   [The film also shows a copy of the September 3, 2003, New York Times article by Eric Lichtblau, titled “White House Approved Departure of Saudis After Sept. 11, Ex-Aide Says,” which states, “Top White House officials personally approved the evacuation of dozens of influential Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, from the United States in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when most flights were still grounded, a former White House adviser said today.   The adviser, Richard Clarke, who ran the White House crisis team after the attacks but has since left the Bush administration, said he agreed to the extraordinary plan because the Federal Bureau of Investigation assured him that the departing Saudis were not linked to terrorism.”]

Commission Report p. 329: Richard Clarke approved these flights. (NOTE 6: This was already covered in Section V. “The Timing of the Saudi Flights.”  Again, I will provide the necessary content from the 911 Commission Report)

Second, we found no evidence of political intervention.  We found no evidence that anyone at the White House above the level of Richard Clarke participated in a decision on the departure of Saudi nationals.  The issue came up in one of many video teleconferences of the interagency group Clarke chaired, and Clarke said he approved of how the FBI was dealing with the matter when it came up for interagency discussion at his level.  Clarke told us, “I asked the FBI, Dale Watson…to handle that, to check to see if that was all right with them, to see if they wanted access to any of these people, and to get back to me.  And if they had no objections, it would be fine with me.”  Clarke added, “I have no recollection of clearing it with anybody at the White House.” Although White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card remembered someone telling him about the Saudi request shortly after 9/11, he said he had not talked to the Saudis and did not ask anyone to do anything about it.  The President and Vice President told us they were not aware of the issue at all until it surfaced much later in the media.  None of the officials we interviewed recalled any intervention or direction on this matter from any political appointee.

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