By Craig McKee
If you’ve heard of David Philip Schippers at all, chances are you remember him going head to head with former president Bill Clinton.
Schippers, a Democrat, was the special prosecutor in the Clinton impeachment case in the late 1990s. He was also the former Chief Investigative Counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. Not exactly an anti-establishment figure.
But when it comes to 9/11, Schippers has some things to say that shake the foundations of the official story.
Just two days after 9/11, Schippers went public with the explosive statement that he had been told by FBI agents months before 9/11 that there would be a massive terrorist attack targeting the financial arteries of lower Manhattan. The revelation came in an interview he did on WRRK in Pittsburgh.
These agents, who were reportedly from Illinois and Minnesota, confided in Schippers that they knew the location and date of the “impending attacks.” They even knew the names of the hijackers and the sources of their funding!
Schippers said he attempted to contact then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and other federal officials six weeks before 9/11 to report what he’d been told. Ashcroft never returned his calls. He also failed to interest any members of Congress in investigating the intelligence warning.
Instead of Ashcroft, Schippers received a call from a justice department official who told him, “We don’t start our investigations from the top.” The official said he’d get back to Schippers, but the call never came. Keep in mind how firmly placed in the Washington establishment Schippers was – and what a credible figure he would have been. And yet he couldn’t get a call back from the Attorney General on a matter of such consequence.
But the story’s even worse than that. FBI agents who brought important the information to their superiors were told to end their inquiries or face possible arrest.
David Ray Griffin reported in The New Pearl Harbor that Schippers’ story was backed up by another conservative source. William Norman Grigg in The New American magazine writes that FBI agents he interviewed said that the information given to Schippers was widely known within the FBI for months before 9/11.
Why hasn’t this information been on the front page of every newspaper in America? Or even one newspaper?
Schippers’ frosty reception is not anomalous. There were numerous efforts by FBI agents to follow leads about suspicious activity that could be connected to terrorism, but higher ups always put a halt on the inquiries.
Phoenix FBI agent and counter-terrorism specialist Ken Williams had been investigating suspicious “Middle Eastern” individuals who were enrolled in flight schools across the U.S. He started working on this in 2000, and in July 2001 he sent a memo to the counter-terrorism division headquarters saying that Osama bin Laden’s followers may be taking flight lessons for terrorist purposes. He recommended a national program to track suspicious flight students, but he was ignored.
In August 2001, a Minneapolis flight school raised concerns about a student named Zacarias Moussaoui (the same Moussaoui who would later be convicted of being part of the 9/11 plot). They believed he was planning to use a plane as a “weapon.” FBI agents arrested Moussaoui at the time, and as a result of their inquiries, they asked for a warrant to search his laptop computer. This was denied.
The FBI’s New York office tried on Aug. 28, 2001 – less than two weeks before 9/11 – to have a criminal investigation opened into the activities of alleged hijacker Khalid Almihdhar, who they believed may have been involved in the bombing of the USS Cole. The request was denied, allegedly because this would jeopardize sensitive intelligence information, leading one agent to write an email saying that bin Laden seemed to be protected by U.S. intelligence (New Pearl Harbor, page 83).
We know that members of the Pentagon’s Able Danger intelligence unit were actively discouraged from pursuing inquiries into the activities of potential terrorists. They were also prohibited from passing sensitive information to the FBI. Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who worked with Able Danger, has gone public with his contention that the unit had identified alleged 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and three other alleged hijackers as potential terrorists 21 months before 9/11. Shaffer was the target of a campaign to discredit him and his information since he went public.
All of this protection of the supposed terrorists from the highest levels of the U.S. government is entirely consistent with the supposed attempts to apprehend Osama bin Laden. While George W. Bush originally said he would stop at nothing to capture bin Laden, the reality was that the U.S. government made sure that he would remain at large; they never wanted their CIA “asset” to be captured. The myth of the terrorist mastermind had to be kept intact.
When you look at all the incidences of agents who were basically told to stop investigating what would have seemed like credible threats (although they were more likely patsies for U.S. intelligence and the 9/11 plot), the true picture begins to emerge. It wasn’t bungling or arrogance that led the country’s leadership to block investigations into possible terrorist figures. They couldn’t have their own agents uncover the truth of a massive terror event that they themselves were planning. The 9/11 attacks had to proceed without interference.