By Ralph Lopez
As pressure builds to make public 28 pages of a joint congressional inquiry on 9/11 which was classified by President George W. Bush, the Bush family’s well-documented relationships to Saudi and other foreign terror suspects are again coming to the fore.
North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones told the New Yorker last September, of the what is now commonly known as the “28 Pages”:
“There’s nothing in it about national security…It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.”
Prominent in the rise of the political fortunes of both the 41st and 43rd presidents is the support of figures listed by the US government as terrorist financiers, as well as some connected to the now closed, Saudi-controlled criminal enterprise known as BCCI.
Of special interest to independent researchers is the failure of the nation’s air defenses on 9/11, and the reliance of these defenses on the company formerly known as Ptech, which was founded with funding partly from Saudi financiers with ties to designated terrorist organizations. Ptech employed a mix of foreign nationals and Americans with ties to Israeli software companies with possible links to Israeli Mossad. Now renamed Go Agile, Ptech is a purveyor of software which is critical to the security of major software systems embedded throughout the FAA and the US Department of Defense.
A small number of congressmen have been allowed to read the classified pages, and are pushing to have them declassified. During a press conference in March of 2014, Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie, Republican, said:
“As I read it, and we all had our own experience, I had to stop every couple of pages and just sort of try to absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history. “It challenges you to re-think everything. I think the whole country needs to go through that.”
Two major investors in the 43rd president’s early business ventures, Arbusto Energy and Harken Energy, were Salem bin Laden, Osama’s older brother, and Khalid bin Mahfouz, a 20% stakeholder in BCCI, who was himself accused and investigated for financing terrorism. Mahfouz, who died in 2009, was known as the personal banker of the Saudi royal family.
In 1992 then-Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator Hank Brown, Republican of Colorado, in a widely-lauded Senate Foreign Policy Committee investigation of BCCI, found that BCCI’s “criminality” included:
“support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and the sale of nuclear technologies; its management of prostitution; its commission and facilitation of income tax evasion, smuggling, and illegal immigration; its illicit purchases of banks and real estate; and a panoply of financial crimes limited only by the imagination of its officers and customers.”
The Committee found that BCCI had been instrumental in financing the A.Q. Khan nuclear program in Pakistan. BCCI was also found to have played a key role in the terrorist operations of the notorious Abu Nidal.
The Saudi-controlled BCCI played a central role in acting as a conduit for renegade CIA operations run by Lt. Col. Oliver North and General Richard Secord, with the elder Bush overseeing the operations from his position as vice president to Ronald Reagan and as a former director of the CIA. Known as the Iran-Contra Scandal in the Eighties, the renegade operation illegally sold thousands of Stinger missiles to the new Revolutionary Government of Iran, in exchange for Iran hurting President Jimmy Carter’s prospects for re-election by holding onto American hostages in the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. (Senate Foreign Relations Committee Report)
The Kerry-Brown Committee also reported on international groups, in particular Israeli, assisting in gunrunning and other illegal operations in league with BCCI. The report stated:
“In April 1989, a network of Israeli arms traffickers, operating out of Miami, made a shipment of 500 Israeli manufactured machine guns through the Caribbean island of Antigua for the use of members of the Medellin cartel. Later, one of these weapons was used in the assassination of Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, and several other of the weapons were found in the possession of cartel kingpin Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha after his death in a gunfight with Colombian drug agents.”
At the center of the Israeli gun-running operation which provided weapons to the Medellin cartel was Israeli national and BCCI banker Bruce Rappaport.
In 1976, investigative journalist Joseph Trento reported, in his book “Prelude to Terror: the Rogue CIA, The Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network the Compromising of American Intelligence,” that:
“With the official blessing of George H. W. Bush as the head of the CIA, [Saudi Intelligence Minister Kamal] Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history.”
The elder Bush himself had an account at BCCI established while director of the CIA, discovered when French customs raids the Paris BCCI branch. Trento writes that BCCI tapped into:
“the CIA’s stockpile of misfits and malcontents to help man a 1,500-strong group of assassins and enforcers.”
In 1987 a BCCI-connected bank, Intermaritime Bank of Geneva and New York, rescued Bush the Younger’s Harken Energy with a $25 million loan, at a time that the company’s fortunes were in serious decline.
Trento says that the rise of BCCI, in the Seventies followed the establishment of the Safari Club, a secret cabal of intelligence agencies which decided it needed a network of banks to finance activities which were to be kept off the books, i.e., illegal and away from congressional oversight.
The Bush family’s business dealings and social connections with prominent Saudi families, including the Royal House and all recent heads of Saudi intelligence, are legendary. In 2006 the Huffington Post noted:
“While Cindy Sheehan was being dragged from the House gallery moments before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address for wearing a t-shirt honoring her son and the other 2,244 US soldiers killed in Iraq, [Saudi intelligence chief Prince] Turki al-Faisal was settling into his seat inside the gallery. Faisal, a Saudi, is a man who has met Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants on at least five occasions, describing the al Qaeda leader as “quite a pleasant man.” He met multiple times with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. Yet, unlike Sheehan, al-Faisal was a welcomed guest of President Bush on Tuesday night.”
Craig Unger detailed the myriad connections between the Bushes and the Saudi government in the book “House of Saud, House of Bush.”
Former Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Turki al-Faisal and George W. Bush.
Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, the head of Saudi Intelligence from 1977 to 2001, was a defendant in a lawsuit by 9/11 families who charge that he financed terrorism, when he met with Mullah Omar in 1998. Shortly after the meetings, the Saudis reportedly shipped the Taliban 400 new pickup trucks. According to the London Observer, al-Faisal “arranged for donations to be made directly to al-Qaeda and bin Laden by a group of wealthy Saudi businessmen.”
Khalid bin Mahfouz, the Saudi banker and investor in the younger Bush’s Harken Energy, is founder the Muwaffaq (“blessed relief”) Foundation, which has been listed by the US Department of Treasury as an Al Qaeda front. The charity is run by Yasin al-Qadi, who, although he has had his terrorist designation overturned in several international jurisdictions, remains a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” under U.S. law.
The George W. Bush administration has been accused, by government whistleblowers, of strenuously blocking investigations of attacks on American citizens and interests which trace to shadowy figures among America’s allies. In 2000, Bush administration Ambassador Barbara Bodine blocks an investigation into the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen by maverick FBI investigator John O’Neill, and eventually prohibited his return to Yemen.
O’Neill said that the main terrorist threat now comes from transnational groups not officially backed by national governments. O’Neill died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, after reporting for his first day on a new job after he resigned in frustration from the FBI.
Bush Administrations Shuts Down Ptech Investigation
Soon after 9/11, a top systems analyst at JP Morgan discovered, by accident, that the nation’s defenses and law enforcement computer systems had a critical component which was in the hands of a foreign company. Worse, employees and principles of that company, Ptech, had documented and extensive ties to terrorist financing.
Ptech was the subject of a report by Boston’s WBZ News reporter Joe Bergentino. Ptech, now renamed Go Agile, is embedded in such diverse government agencies as the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Naval Air Command, Congress, the Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, NATO, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service and the White House.
In a spectacular coincidence, one of Ptech’s prime benefactors was Yasin al-Qadi, the Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” and founder the Muwaffaq (“blessed relief”) Foundation.
Although President George W. Bush signed an executive order freezing Yassin Al-Qadi’s for links to terrorism, the government failed to investigate Ptech when Bergantino brought his information to the authorities, in October of 2001. When it did investigate in August 2002, it was charged only with small loan fraud, and subjected to a small fine. As Go Agile, Ptech remains, to this day, in charge of a government-embedded software which is said to provide a “God-eye view of the battlefield,” in one deployment, and which provides access to every aspect of every other software system the government uses.
Critics of the US military’s response to the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, on September 11, 2001, are particularly harsh on the failure of nation’s air defenses to stop any one of the planes which hit their targets. The first report of a hijacked plane came into the FAA at 8:19 a.m. This was a full hour and twenty minutes before the last plane struck the Pentagon at 9:38. Interceptor pilots and air traffic controllers say that fighters are typically in the air within 10 minutes of any commercial aircraft going off course or becoming unresponsive to radio communication.
But the morning of 9/11 was anything but typical, as communications breakdowns and simultaneous war games planned for that morning interfered with the military response, according to the 9/11 Commission.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, after 9/11, said that the nation’s air defenses were “turned outward” toward an overseas threat, and therefore easily taken by surprise from within. But this has turned out to be incorrect, as it is now confirmed that all three flights had been reported as hijacked within minutes of going off-course, but were not intercepted despite fighter jets sitting ready to scramble, within minutes of the planes’ locations in the air.
The communications, information, and control systems of the entire US military are overseen, and can be intervened in, by the overarching “enterprise-wide” system of Ptech. Ptech’s detractors say that Ptech’s software was perfectly positioned to give malicious interlopers the power to interfere with, and confuse, the nation’s air defenses on 9/11. The 9/11 Commission has already said that FAA and NORAD officials “lied” in order to shift blame in the enormously botched response in the air to 9/11.
The FAA and NORAD have given confusing and conflicting testimonies to the 9/11 Commission on the morning’s events and timeline.
General Ralph Eberhart, commander of NORAD, said: “Regrettably the tragic events of 9/11 were never anticipated or exercised.” But in 2002 it was revealed that the military had already scheduled exercises involving domestic aircraft crashing into important US buildings.
Ptech Pedigree Runs back to BCCI, Bush-Saudi Connection
Shockingly to WBZ reporter Bergantino, as well as to the security software expert who tipped him off to Ptech’s terrorist connections, the FBI under the Bush administration did not follow up on investigating the connections despite already having seized the assets of Yassin al-Qadi.
The charge of aggressively blocking investigation into certain terror subjects has not been made only against the Bush Jr. administration. A few years earlier, FBI agent Robert Wright had protested that the Clinton Justice Department was blocking him from “following the money trail” behind Saudi national Osama bin Laden, in the words of an ABC News report, after the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa. Chicago federal prosecutor Mark Flessner, a Wright ally who was assigned to the case, told ABC News:
“There were powers bigger than I was in the Justice Department and within the FBI that simply were not going to let it [the building of a criminal case] happen. And it didn’t happen.”
A prime suspect in Wright’s investigations was Yassin al-Qadi, the Ptech investor who is also the son-in-law of Sheikh Ahmed Salah Jamjoom, a former Saudi Arabian government minister with close ties to the Saudi royal family.
Other possible foreign agents who were involved with Ptech are Israelis who have since gone to work for the Israeli software company Guardium, a spin-off of Log-On Software, which, having critical national security functions and principles who are former Israeli military officers, is likely tied to the Israeli Mossad secret service organization. Critics of Ptech/Go Alige’s presence inside the American military command and control structure note that such sensitive positions elsewhere in the government can be denied to people with mere marijuana convictions, nevermind ones with documented terrorist links or links to foreign intelligence organizations.
In 1991, an American journalist was probing deeply into a stateless, shadowy, international criminal cartel with BCCI at its center. In the words of the Baltimore Sun:
“a shady set of connections…that appeared to link a series of scandals from the Reagan and Bush administrations involving Middle East arms deals, drug dealing and political corruption.”
Later that year the journalist, Danny Casolaro, was found dead in what was ruled as a suicide by the authorities, though his family has never accepted that ruling. Casolaro named the entity he was uncovering “The Octopus.” Casolaro’s funeral was marked by a strange occurrence, when a man a US Army uniform, who was highly decorated and accompanied by an aid and driven in a limousine, walked up to Casolaro’s casket after the family had left, laid a medal on it, and saluted. Casolaro had never officially served in the military.
North Carolina Congressman Jones said last March in a press conference:
“I don’t think a nation like America will remain strong if we do not demand the truth…We need you to put pressure on your representatives back home to join in this effort for the truth.”
A US House of Representatives bill to force the declassification of the 28 pages so far has 13 congressional co-sponsors.
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