The Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006, and Ithaca Journal, June 29, 2006
Title: “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’”
Author: Ed Haas
Student Researcher: Bianca May and Morgan Ulery
Faculty Evaluator: Ben Frymer, Ph.D.
Osama bin Laden’s role in the events of September 11, 2001 is not mentioned on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” poster.
On June 5, 2006, author Ed Haas contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters to ask why, while claiming that bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 1998 bombings of US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, the poster does not indicate that he is wanted in connection with the events of 9/11.
Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI responded, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Tomb continued, “Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.” Asked to explain the process, Tomb responded, “The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”
Haas pauses to ask the question, “If the US government does not have enough hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11, how is it possible that it had enough evidence to invade Afghanistan to ‘smoke him out of his cave?’” Through corporate media, the Bush administration told the American people that bin Laden was “Public Enemy Number One,” responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. The federal government claims to have invaded Afghanistan to “root out” bin Laden and the Taliban, yet nearly six years later, the FBI said that it had no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.
Though the world was to have been convinced by the December 2001 release of a bin Laden “confession video,” the Department of Defense issued a press release to accompany this video in which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “There was no doubt of bin Laden’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks even before the tape was discovered.”
In a CNN article regarding the bin Laden tape, then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that “the tape removes any doubt that the US military campaign targeting bin Laden and his associates is more than justified.” Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “The tape’s release is central to informing people in the outside world who don’t believe bin Laden was involved in the September 11 attacks.” Shelby went on to say “I don’t know how they can be in denial after they see this tape.”
Haas attempted to secure a reference to US government authentication of the bin Laden “confession video,” to no avail. However, it is conclusive that the Bush Administration and US Congress, along with corporate media, presented the video as authentic. So why doesn’t the FBI view the “confession video” as hard evidence? After all, notes Haas, if the FBI is investigating a crime such as drug trafficking, and it discovers a video of members of a drug cartel openly talking about a successful distribution operation in the United States, that video would be presented to a federal grand jury. The participants identified in the video would be indicted. The video alone would serve as sufficient evidence to net a conviction in a federal court. So why, asks Haas, is the bin Laden “confession video” not carrying the same weight with the FBI?
Haas strongly suggests that we begin asking questions, “The fact that the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to 9/11 should be headline news around the world. The challenge to the reader is to find out why it is not. Why has the US media blindly read the government-provided 9/11 scripts, rather than investigate without passion, prejudice, or bias, the events of September 11, 2001? Why has the US media blacklisted any guest that might speak of a government-sponsored 9/11 cover-up, rather than seeking out those people who have something to say about 9/11 that is contrary to the government’s account?” Haas continues. “Who is controlling the media message, and how is it that the FBI has no ‘hard evidence’ connecting Osama bin Laden to the events of September 11, 2001, while the US media has played the bin Laden-9/11 connection story for [six] years now as if it has conclusive evidence that bin Laden is responsible for the collapse of the twin towers, the Pentagon attack, and the demise of United Flight 93?”
UPDATE BY ED HAAS
On June 6, 2006 the Muckraker Report ran a piece by Ed Haas titled “FBI says, ‘No hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.’” Haas is the editor and a writer for the Muckraker Report. At the center of this article remains the authenticity and truthfulness of the videotape released by the federal government on December 13, 2001 in which it is reported that Osama bin Laden “confesses” to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The corporate media—television, radio, and newspapers—across the United States and the world repeated, virtually non-stop for a week after the videotape’s release, the government account of OBL “confessing.”
However, not one document has been released that demonstrates the authenticity of the videotape or that it even went through an authentication process. The Muckraker Report has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense, and CENTCOM requesting documentation that would demonstrate the authenticity of the videotape and the dates/circumstances in which the videotape was discovered. CENTCOM has yet to reply to the FOIA request. After losing an appeal, the FBI responded that no documents could be found responsive to the request. The Department of Defense referred the Muckraker Report to CENTCOM while also indicating that it had no documents responsive to the FOIA request either.
The CIA however claims that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to the request. According to the CIA the fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods information that is protected from disclosure by section 6 of the CIA Act of 1949, as amended. Therefore, the Agency has denied your request pursuant to FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3).
Many people believe that if the videotape is authentic, it should be sufficient hard evidence for the FBI to connect bin Laden to 9/11. The Muckraker Report agrees. However, for the Department of Justice to indict bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, something the government has yet to do, the videotape would have to be entered into evidence and subjected to additional scrutiny. This appears to be something the government wishes to avoid.
Some believe that the video is a fake. They refer to it as the “fat bin Laden”video. The Muckraker Report believes that while the videotape is indeed authentic, it was the result of an elaborate CIA sting operation. The Muckraker Report also believes that the reason why there is no documentation that demonstrates that the videotape went through an authenticity process is because the CIA knew it was authentic, they arranged the taping.
It is highly probable that the videotape was taped on September 26, 2001—before the US invaded Afghanistan.