The events on 9/11 were the most traumatic for the United States in this century. We cannot move on until we have learned the lessons of 9/11 and effected the changes needed to keep the American people safe from future terrorist attacks. So what are the real lessons of 9/11, what lessons can we learn?
The 9/11 Commission told us we need to have more imagination. But from the account of 9/11 in "Prior Knowledge of 9/11" it is clear that criminal elements had taken over at the CIA, and had subjugated groups at FBI Headquarters so they could hide critical information from the investigators on the Cole bombing and later shut down investigations of al Qaeda terrorists found to be inside of the US.
The investigation of Mihdhar and Hazmi was shut down by CIA officer Tom Wilshire and FBI HQ Agent Dina Corsi. First they hid from the FBI criminal investigators on the Cole bombing the photograph of Khallad, taken at Kuala Lumpur. The FBI criminal investigators knew Khallad had been the mastermind of the Cole bombing. But without that photograph of Khallad taken at Kuala Lumpur, Bongardt could not directly connect Mihdhar and Hazmi to the planning of the Cole bombing, even though he knew both Mihdhar and Hazmi had been at an al Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur and knew that Mihdhar and Hazmi were al Qaeda terrorists inside of the US. In spite of not having this photograph, Bongardt still felt since all of these terrorists were known to have been in Kuala Lumpur at the exact same time, that he enough information to start an investigate and search for Mihdhar and Hazmi.
He clearly knew when he found out that they were inside of the US on August 28, 2001 that theses al Qaeda terrorists were inside the US to take part in a huge al Qaeda attack since both of these long time al Qaeda terrorists had been involved in the east Africa bombings that had killed over 200 people.
But FBI HQ Agent Dina Corsi told Bongardt on August 28, 2001, that he would not be allowed to take part in any investigation of Mihdhar or Hazmi since the information on Mihdhar would have to come from the NSA and caveats on the front page of NSA information said that this information could not be shared with FBI criminal investigators without written permission from the NSA, since it might have been obtained with FISA search warrant.
But Corsi told Bongardt that he could never be part of any investigation of Mihdhar on August 28, 2001, after she had already received a written release from the NSA caveats from the NSA that very morning. Bongardt was sure that the NSA information had not been connected to a FISA warrant and requested that Corsi get a legal opinion from the NSLU attorneys at FBI Headquarters on this issue. He was confident because no FISA information was involved, that they would rule he could immediately investigate and find Mihdhar before Mihdhar had time to carry out a horrific terrorist attack inside of the US.
But Corsi called on August 29, 2001 and told Bongardt the NSLU had ruled that Bongardt could have nothing to do with any investigation of Mihdhar. But from information entered into the Moussaoui trial we know that Corsi fabricated this legal opinion from the NSLU attorneys. They had ruled the opposite and in fact had ruled and had even told Corsi that Bongardt could take part in any investigation for Mihdhar since the NSA information had not been obtained using any FISA warrant.
Bongardt was unaware that Corsi had fabricated this ruling. As requested by Corsi, he destroyed all of the information he had on Mihdhar and stopped all attempts to further investigate Mihdhar. He and his team had been blocked from taking part in any investigation that could have found Mihdhar in time to head off what was Bongardt clearly thought was going to be a horrific al Qaeda attack inside of the US.
It is now clear that the process of getting a ruling from NSLU attorneys was flawed. FBI HQ agents in this case Dina Corsi were able to talk to NSLU attorneys at FBI HQ when a ruling was requested by FBI field agents with no input to this process from the field agent, in this case, FBI Agent Steve Bongardt. FBI HQ agents were then able to give the legal running back to Bongardt orally, with no written record. Corsi had been working with Tom Wilshire, CIA former deputy chief at the Bin Laden unit at the CIA, to shut down the FBI criminal investigation of Mihdhar by FBI Agent Steve Bongardt and his team of Cole bombing investigators. Corsi was able to shut down Bongardt's investigation of Mihdhar by first hiding the NSA release from the NSA caveats and by then fabricating the NSLU ruling. Both Corsi and Wilshire were involved in criminally obstructing not only Bongardt's Cole bombing investigation but also his investigation of Mihdhar, allowing the al Qaeda terrorist to murder almost 3000 Americans on 9/11.
This process should be fixed. Both the FBI field investigators that want a NSLU ruling and the FBI HQ agent who is blocking his investigation should both be present at any NSLU hearing where this issue is argued in front of a NSLU attorney. This hearing should be transcribed with a written ruling given back to the FBI field agent.
Had this been done in this case, Corsi never could have taken this investigation of Mihdhar away from Bongardt and the 3000 people killed on 9/11 would be alive today.
Had this process been in effect with the investigation of Harry Samit in Minneapolis of Zacarias Moussaoui, it is also possible that criminal elements at FBI HQ who at the very same time were sabotaging Samit's investigation by denying him a search warrant for Moussaoui's possessions would not have gotten away with criminally blocking Samit's investigation, an investigation that also would have prevented the attacks on 9/11.
Why did the 9/11 Commission not come up with this very obvious change to FBI procedures to obtain a legal ruling at FBI HQ?
For the 9/11 Commission to recommend this change to FBI procedures they would have had to show that Corsi had criminally fabricated this ruling from the NSLU attorney, Sherry Sabol. But they were chartered to do an investigation of 9/11 that blamed no one, even people at the CIA and FBI HQ who they found had criminally allowed the al Qaeda terrorists to carry out these attacks, by blocking all investigations of al Qaeda terrorists found inside of the US!
See the book "Prior Knowledge of 9/11" for more in depth information on this.