Open letter to the U.S. embassy in Berlin,
to members of the U.S. government,
to the German Chancellery and
to officers of the European Union
concerning the events of September 11th, 2001
Delivered to these institutions in Berlin on September 11th, 2003
Dear President Bush, Dear [U.S.] Ambassador Coats,
Two years after the crime of September 11th 2001, many questions of what really happened and how and of who bears responsibility and accountability for the tragedy of that day and its consequences are far from settled.
We have seen your administration act to block and delay the independent investigation that in a true democracy would have immediately followed the events. Two years later, the Executive has yet to issue an independent report. Chapters of the report recently published by the U.S. Congressional Joint Inquiry remain classified. The head of the Congressional Joint Inquiry, Senator Graham, has said the most important facts about Sept. 11 have yet to be revealed.
The administration is also blocking the ongoing work of the government-appointed investigation (Kean Commission), in a way that the New York Times has said recalls the practices of the Soviet Kremlin.
Are U.S. authorities trying to hide something about Sept. 11th? Out of concern that this may be the case, we are in solidarity with the demands for disclosure raised by many families of 9/11 victims.
The public has a right to know on what basis decisions are made in its name. Sept. 11th, 2001 is considered "the day that changed the world." The tragedy of the victims has been exploited as a pretext to drum up support for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and possible wars elsewhere to stifle dissent at home to push through repressive and unconstitutional legislation, like the USA PATRIOT Act to reorganize American society and shift hundreds of billion-dollars in spending priorities from butter to guns to inspire fear among the American people.
We eschew speculation. Despite the many open questions about Sept. 11, members of the administration last year saw fit to insinuate a conspiracy theory: that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was in some way responsible for the attacks. Alongside the claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, the unsubstantiated link between Iraq and Qaeda was used to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq, with its continuing consequences for the Iraqi and American peoples.
At the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, you may be aware that a number of U.S. and international scholars, lawyers and researchers gathered together last weekend for a conference in Berlin on "Unanswered Questions Demanding Answers" (Sept. 4-7, 2003), including public events that were attended by hundreds of people from several countries.
In the informal preparations for this conference, groups of speakers debated questions about Sept. 11 that they would all like to see answered. They also identified a few of the officials and other people that an independent and appropriately empowered investigation would logically call as witnesses to answer these questions. We do not know what the answers are; we believe that the witnesses we propose should know, and should reveal what they know in the spirit of disclosure and transparency that is essential to democracy.
As the organizers of the conference, we now present to you the sense of these discussions (in the Appendix), and call upon you to address the questions therein the answers to which are of great significance to the peoples of the United States and to the world.
Because disclosure about Sept. 11 is an international and not just American issue, and because some of the proposed witnesses are not U.S. citizens, we are also presenting these questions to the German Chancellery and to the offices of the European Parliament in Berlin.
By releasing the documents we ask for, and by initiating a real investigation that finally addresses the open questions of Sept. 11, you will be making an important contribution towards putting an end to speculation and "conspiracy theory."
We shall note, although it should be self-evident, that we are against all forms of terrorism and support non-violent forms of change. We are for the American people. We are pro-New York, pro-freedom and pro-world. We do not support disinformation or ideology, and we resist all efforts to exploit the aftermath and oddities of Sept. 11th by purveyors of propaganda, paranoia, racism and mystification.
[Sgd.] Nicholas Levis, Ronald Thoden
cc: German Chancellery, European Parliament in Berlin, press and media in Berlin.
Sense of the "Unanswered Questions Demanding Answers" Conference, Berlin, Sept. 7, 2003
The following are "starter questions" for seven sets of witnesses that an independent and appropriately empowered 9/11 investigation would logically call:
1. To Richard Myers and Ralph Eberhard, the military generals responsible for United States air defense on Sept. 11, 2001:Why did the U.S. air defense system fail to follow the standard operating procedures for dealing with errant aircraft, such as were long in place before Sept. 11? Under these automatic procedures, the U.S. air defense system sent jet fighters to intercept errant planes on 67 occasions in the year prior to 2001, and on 129 occasions in the year 2000. What were the average response times of these routine intercept actions?
2. To Kay Nehm, Attorney General of the German Federal Republic, George Tenet, director CIA and Robert Mueller III, head of the FBI:Please tell us about your agencies' surveillance of the "Hamburg Cell," the group that formed in Germany before moving to Florida and allegedly masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks. When and where did this surveillance begin? When, if ever, did it end? What did you discover about the cell's members and associates, and their plans, in advance of Sept. 11, 2001?
3. To David Frasca, FBI official responsible for the anti-terror investigations (al-Qaeda) unit prior to Sept. 11, and to Robert Mueller III, head of the FBI:Why were five separate investigations into suspected al-Qaeda terrorists (and specifically into potential hijackers at U.S. flight schools) suspended by your offices, at a time when there was a crescendo of warnings of an imminent attack involving hijackings in the U.S., and despite the urgent protests of FBI case officers like Colleen Rowley and Robert Wright?
4. To Harvey Pitt, head of the SEC (on Sept. 11, 2001), Ernst Welteke of the German Bundesbank, and financial investigators in Tokyo, London, Hongkong, Frankfurt, Chicago and San Francisco:In the days immediately following Sept. 11, your offices all issued statements that you had located cases of possible insider trading suggesting specific foreknowledge of the attacks, their location, and the way in which they were carried out. Mr. Welteke called this evidence unmistakable and said it would ultimately lead back to the perpetrators. Investigations were supposedly started. After a few days, this story was never heard from again. Where did the investigations lead?
5. To Major General Mahmud Ahmad, chief of the Pakistani intelligence service ISI as of Sept. 11, 2001 (when he was on an official visit to Washington):Why did your agency wire $100,000 to Mohamed Atta? Please describe ISI connections to the Hamburg Cell, al-Qaeda, and the 9/11 plot. Was your counterpart at the CIA, George Tenet, whom you met in Washington during the week of the attacks, unaware of these connections?
6. To Rudi Dekkers and Arne Kruithof, manager-owners of flight schools in Venice, Florida where the alleged 9/11 pilots Atta, Alshehhi and Jarrah trained starting in the summer of 2000 (or earlier):Were the two of you, who purchased your flight schools less than a year before the terrorists arrived, operating as cut-outs for a clandestine operation? NOTE: In July 2000, the same month that the terrorists are said to have arrived, the real owner of Dekkers's Huffman Aviation, Wally Hilliard, had one of his planes (on a regular flight) impounded with 42 kilos of heroin on board.
7. To leading members of the Bush administration (among them George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft and Condoleeza Rice):What was the content of the Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, entitled "BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S.?" What prompted the Pentagon to twice rehearse the scenario of a passenger plane crashing into its headquarters in the year prior to Sept. 11, 2001? What prompted the CIA's wargaming of a kamikaze-crash scenario into the building of the National Reconaissance Office in Washington, DC on Sept. 11, 2001 itself? How specific were the warnings of imminent attacks received from Russian President Putin, the Israeli Mossad, the Echelon system, the German BND, French and British intelligence, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan? Which of these warnings reached which of you? What did you know and when did you know it?
The disclosure of the following records could help in settling certain unanswered questions about September 11, 2001:
- The recorded audio communications between air traffic control stations, the four flights and other responsible authorities on the day of Sept. 11, 2001.
- The original passenger manifests of the four hijacked flights.
- Full, uncensored data from any undamaged cockpit voice recorders and flight "black boxes," as well as all records of phone calls from the four flights.
- Primary and secondary radar records of the four flight paths.
- Video footage from the airports from which the alleged hijackers boarded their flights (boarding areas, parking lots, check-in).
- Video footage of the Pentagon attack as taken from the Sheraton Hotel across from the Pentagon (impounded on Sept. 11 by the FBI) and from video cameras on Pentagon grounds.
- Deployment and readiness plans in effect on Sept. 11, 2001 at the bases responsible for air defense procedures, including Otis AFB, Langley AFB, Andrews AFB and others in the Northeastern United States.
- The content of the Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, entitled "BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE U.S."
- The content of the redacted passages from the Congressional Joint Inquiry Report on the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as of relevant documents relating to these and other passages.
- Records of surveillance by CIA, BND and other German and U.S. agencies in the cases of Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Binalshibh, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah and other reputed members of the "Hamburg Cell" during their time in Germany up to summer 2000, and of their movements and actions in Florida and the United States up to the Sept. 11 attacks.
- The documents said to prove the involvement of Osama Bin Laden, which the German government reported receiving from the United States after Sept. 11, 2001.
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