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14 August 2011


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All the DO and DCI Slamdunk did, was take a page out of the Mossad playbook.

Phil Giraldi

This doesn't really pass the smell test. CIA would indeed have tried to recruit such men under the auspices of its National Collection Division but there is no reason why such an operation would not have been coordinated with the FBI since at least one of the two had known terrorist affiliation. If the pitch went sour, the Bureau would then move in and make the arrests or arrange for deportation. Also, it is hard to imagine that the two men would experience a CIA cold pitch and not leave the country immediately thereafter.

Finally, Tenet did not and does not have the cojones to hide anything from anyone.

William R. Cumming

Clarke apparently made the disclosure after agreement by two high ranking former CIA officers both of which believe G. Tenant a total backslapping incompetent.

This story will have legs IMO!

I don't know either Clarke or Tenant but did meet Clarke once at the Metro 29 diner in N.Arlington and congratulated him for his honesty and efforts on behalf of the American people. Clarke admitted in his book "Against All Enemies" that he was often his own worst enemy.
He became furious at Director James Lee Witt of FEMA who having previewed and approved issuance of PD-39 refused the direct written order (my view of PD-39) by his President to do something. But it was the "Golden Age" at FEMA under Clinton when it failed in its national security programs, functions, and activities largely with the consent of President Clinton. Ordered by President Clinton to be the ATM for STATES and their local governments, Witt did exactly that but largely effective because of his assistance to Jerry Lewis of the House Appropriations Committee and Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, Chair of Senate Approps.

Russ Wagenfeld

Hi Pat,
Based on CIA reluctance to share info in my day, I find this to be plausible.

The Twisted Genius

Would the CTC have attempted to recruit these two without coordination with the National Collection Division NCD? As I remember, the organizational rivalries within CIA were as cut throat as the rivalries among the IC agencies. The NCD worked with the FBI all the time, but the CTC was full of arrogance and self-importance. I could definitely see them acting "unilaterally" in this case. Perhaps the CTC didn't get to cold pitch these two before losing track of them. As Phil Giraldi said, "it is hard to imagine that the two men would experience a CIA cold pitch and not leave the country immediately thereafter." No matter whether a recruitment tempt was actually made or not, I could also imagine Cofer Black convincing Tenet to keep his mouth shut.

I have no direct knowledge that would corroborate or refute Clarke's claim. However, I've seen all manner of Machiavellian crap in the IC over the last 20 years and consider Clarke's claims to be well within the realm of possibility.



I beg to differ with you, but sadly I have to lean towards Clarke on this.

Tenet was and still is always about himself, and his self-survival instincts kick in if he felt threatened by such disclosure (White House or Bureau), and I can't put anything past him. Anything. I maybe wrong, but I have lean towards Clarke on this one.



Tenet was a political animal, he came to the Agency from the political world of the Senate staffing stables. Once a political animal, always a political animal as how I see Tenet. His Zebra strips would not change, DCI posit or no DCI posit.

Why they keep appointing political animals to the DCI posit, I still scratch my head to this day and ask 'Why?'.

Sean McBride

Pat, Phil, others: do you think it is possible that any high-level members of the US government or military-industrial complex had advance knowledge of 9/11? Or worse? Do you find the official narrative on 9/11 to be credible?

Patrick Lang

Sean McBride

Nobody in the US government had prior knowledge. pl

Phil Giraldi

Twisted - Good point, which I didn't think of. It certainly could have been a crazy CTC initiative. Cofer was (and is) capable of anything. They would have hidden the op from the Bureau and even from National Collection and then would have covered it up afterwards. Cofer could easily have threatened Tenet into silence on the issue.

Sean - I agree with Col Lang. There were bits and pieces floating around but no real prior knowledge. Which is not to say that the established narrative on 9/11 is completely credible.

William R. Cumming

J. they keep appointing political animals to the DCI post hoping that CIA will continue to exist despite its problems. Not sure where Petraeus fits in the picture on that score. I guess he still has some credibility with some members of Congress.

William R. Cumming

SEAN and PL And Phil! I have always argued that the Grand Jury transcript of the 1st WTC bombing and the interrogation records of Ramsey Yussuf and his comments openly given post arrest give notice of another attack on the WTC. This does not mean anyone in the federal government knew the precise method or dates. Airplanes as weapons played in number of federal exercises and I believe Tom Clancy has one book on a Japanese plot to use a 747 to attack the capital during a SOU address published well before 9/11/01.


Interesting story, but I generally find it is a mistake to attribute to nefarious intent something that can be completely explained by sloppiness and lack of attention to detail.

Try as you will, you are never going to make CTC or THAT CIA leadership into a bunch of super-intelligent and super-secretive plotters.

There was no urgency to share in those days and plenty of stuff languished in outboxes.



The Agency would be better served if its head was taken from the 'Professional Stables' of the Intelligence Community. I'm talking individuals with ἠθικός (ethikos ) who are professional, like Phil. If the Agency IMO had head weenies of the professional caliber, they would not have had, nor continue to have the problems that plague it.

What is needed IMO are more Phil s, not slam-dunks. No, I'm not trying to butter you up Phil, I'm just calling them as I see them, you have ἠθικός, integrity whereas the political animals do not.

Sean McBride

I have the highest respect for Pat's and Phil's judgment and understanding of what is really going on inside American deep politics, but I am not quite as confident as they are that a small faction within the military-industrial-intelligence complex didn't have advance knowledge of 9/11. This is not the place to explore and debate that complex topic, but I do suspect that Richard Clarke's comments will re-energize the discussion in the world at large.

Patrick Lang

Sean McBride

What's the basis for your "lack of confidence?" pl



Since you have walked the mile and viewed the scenery within the Agency, what do you think is the 'solution' to the Agency's problems?


I oops'd on my 1st reply to your article, please forgive.



On a 'related' topic, Clapper as the DNI. The DNI is supposed to be the ramrod of ramrods, driving the herds forward. How does our nation ensure that the DNI position is relevant, not mere window dressing kowtowing to the DCI in the background?


As far as I can tell, neither Clarke nor the documentary-makers Shenon's article refers to are making a case for "advance knowledge."


I would be more interested in a closer inspection of Tenet's part in Powell's UN presentation.

He's clearly backing him:

Sean McBride


One could point to literally a few hundred key factual problems with the 9/11 official narrative, but what bothers me most is the overall look and feel of the story and its too slick exploitation by a well-oiled neoconservative political machine that had been plotting for several decades before 9/11 to ignite a global Clash of Civilizations using a "New Pearl Harbor" as the pretext.

When are we going to see all the evidence obtained from the captured 9/11 conspirators which lays out all the operational details of the crime? The answer should be obvious by now: never. Who were the lead financiers behind 9/11? Don't ask. About what is arguably the most significant terrorist crime in American history we know nearly nothing. Where, for instance, are the in-depth biographical investigations of the movements, activities and contacts of the hijackers in the years and months leading up to 9/11?

The 9/11 anthrax attacks were fishy from the start, and they have continued to get fishier with each passing year. There is much well-informed doubt that Bruce Ivins was the actual culprit behind the attacks. This is precisely what a full-press cover-up typically looks like.

Kieran Wanduragala


I think the 9/11 skeptics right to suggest that the material and ideological motives at stake on a global scale, the means required (not in the execution), and the opportunity created by Bush administration ideologues for a sort of 'historical discontinuity', justify considering political, conspiratorial dimensions to the event rather than limiting one's perspective to the 'vengeance of Arab fanatics'.

If the US government were that diabolically ingenious, however, we probably wouldn't be where we are today.

Unfortunately the debate hasn't advanced much further than 'it was Bin Laden' vs. 'it was the government'.


If I remember correctly, there were lots of stories in the MSM on how the FBI "could have gotten some of the hijackers."

Maybe there is some substance, to Mr. Clarke's statements.

ex-PFC Chuck

"Would old "slam dunk" have covered up something like this?"

Is the pope Catholic?

Sean McBride


An argument could be made that the 9/11 masterminds and lead conspirators, far from being diabolically ingenious, were laughably muddleheaded and incompetent. Thus the absurdity of the 9/11 official narrative and the disastrous decline in American power since 9/11.

How diabolically ingenious were the Reichstag Fire masterminds? They succeeded in their overall policies in catastrophically driving Germany over the cliff.

How diabolically ingenious were neocons like Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Michael Ledeen in predicting the course and outcome of the Iraq War?

By the way, I would never argue that "the government" would be behind a criminal act of this magnitude. The vast majority of US government officials are patriots who would never cooperate with a project this loony or self-destructive. But one can never rule out the possible existence of small criminal cabals within governments all around the world. We have a well-defined historical track record for that phenomenon and kind of activity.

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