The author is indebted to the good people at History Commons for their “Complete 9/11 Timeline.” If a reference is not evident below, it can probably be found there.
A recent interview with former “Counterterrorism Czar,” Richard Clarke, is making a splash in the alternative media. In this interview, Clarke speculates about CIA malfeasance related to the pre-9/11 monitoring of two alleged September 11 hijackers. This interview is somewhat interesting due to Clarke’s vague suggestion that the CIA had courted 9/11 suspects as sources, but it is far more interesting for what was not said with regard to Clarke’s personal history and associations.
The seeming point of these new statements from Clarke is that the CIA might have withheld information from him, the FBI, and the Department of Defense (DOD) in the twenty months leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Clarke is not suggesting that the CIA did this maliciously, but only that his good friend, George Tenet, and two others made a mistake in their approach. Clarke says of these CIA leaders — “They understood that al Qaeda was a big threat, they were motivated, and they were really trying hard.” The mild twist that Clarke now puts on the story is that the CIA’s diligent effort to secure much needed sources within the al Qaeda organization was pursued without any suspicion that these sources might turn out to be “double agents.”
Clarke claims that if the CIA had simply told him, the FBI and the DOD, “even as late as September 4th, ” they would have “conducted a massive sweep, we would have conducted it publicly, we would have found those assholes. There’s no doubt in my mind. Even with only a week left.”
There are many obvious problems with these new claims from Clarke. For one thing, the evidence we have indicates that FBI headquarters did everything it could to protect the alleged 9/11 hijackers in the months leading up to 9/11. Another spectacularly obvious problem is that those “assholes” lived with an FBI asset for at least four months and there are reasons to believe the FBI knew that. More importantly, Richard Clarke personally thwarted two of the attempts the CIA made to capture Osama bin Laden (OBL) in the two years before 9/11. It seems disingenuous at best that Clarke would say he didn’t have enough information to capture two of OBL’s underlings in 2000 when he was responsible for preventing the capture of OBL just the year before.
In an attempt to make sense of these matters, we should take a closer look at Richard Clarke. His own history might shed some light on why he is trying to confuse us today.