Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tom Sullivan - Explosives Loader AE911Truth's EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Tom Sullivan - Former Explosives Loader for Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI)

This interview is some raw footage of one of the world class experts appearing in Architects and Engineer's upcoming hard hitting documentary
"9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out"


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Black 9/11: A Walk on the Dark Side (Part 2)

Second in a series
by Mark H. Gaffney
March 2, 2011

This paper will review the evidence for informed, or insider, trading in the days and hours before the 9/11 attacks. From the very first, the phenomenon appeared to be world-wide. One consultant, Jonathan Winer, told ABC: “it’s absolutely unprecedented to see cases of insider trading covering the entire world from Japan to the US to North America to Europe.”[1] The list of affected nations was long, and included the US, Germany, Japan, France Luxembourg, Hong Kong, the UK, Switzerland and Spain.[2] Soon, independent investigations were underway on three continents in the belief that the paper trail would lead to the terrorists.

Press statements by leading figures in the international banking community left little doubt that the evidence was compelling. Ernst Welteke, President of the German Deutsche Bundesbank, told reporters that “a preliminary review by German regulators and bank researchers showed there were highly suspicious sales of shares in airlines and insurance companies, along with major trades in gold and oil markets, before September 11 that suggest….advance knowledge of the attacks. Welteke said that his researchers came across….almost irrefutable proof of insider trading.” Welteke was blunt: “What we found makes us sure that people connected to the terrorists must have been trying to profit from this tragedy.”[3]

In the U.K., London City regulators investigated a flurry of suspicious sales processed just before the attack.[4] “The Financial Services Authority (FSA), a stock market watchdog, was drawn into the investigation because it had a transaction monitoring department that checks suspicious share movements.” An FSA spokesperson confirmed that market regulators in Germany, Japan and the U.S. had received information about short selling of insurance company shares and airline stocks, which fell sharply as a result of the attacks. Among the WTC tenants were dozens of banks and insurance companies, including several that were now going to have to pay out billions to cover heavy losses from the attacks.[5]

Assuming nefarious individuals were armed with foreknowledge, they stood to make a windfall by dumping stock and selling competitors short, not to mention the vast potential profits from last-minute electronic money laundering via computers which, the perpetrators had to know, would be destroyed within hours. Richard Crossley, a London analyst, stated that he had tracked suspicious short selling and share dumping in a swath of stocks. CBS likewise reported a sharp upsurge in purchases of put options on both United and American Airlines.[6] The uptick had occurred in the days prior to 9/11. A put option is a contract that allows the holder to sell a stock at a specified price, within a certain time period. Sources on Wall Street told CBS that before 9/11 they had never seen that kind of trading imbalance. The only airlines affected were United and American, the two involved in the attack. American Airlines stock reportedly fell 39% in a single day. United Airlines stock dropped even more, by a whopping 44%.

Although many stocks tumbled, there were also big winners, especially in the military sector. Contractors like L-3 Communications, Allied Techsystems and Northrop Grumman all reported large gains.[7] The biggest winner, though, was Raytheon, which manufactures Tomahawk missiles. During the week following the 9/11 attacks, Raytheon stock climbed by an astounding 37%.[8] Prior to 9/11, the purchase of call options (a contract to buy a stock at a certain price) for Raytheon had suspiciously surged by 600%.

The sale of five-year U.S. Treasury Notes also spiked just before 9/11, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.[9] Among the purchases was a single $5 billion transaction, which pointed to large investors. The Journal explained that “Treasury notes are among the best investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the U.S. government, and usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks.” Michael Shamosh, a bond-market strategist for Tucker Anthony Inc., told the Journal: “If they were going to do something like this they would do it in the five-year part of the market. [Because] It’s extremely liquid, and the tracks would be hard to spot.” The article added that “The value of these notes has risen sharply since the events of September 11.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its own probe into allegations of insider trading. For weeks, the SEC remained close-mouthed about the scope of its investigation, then, in mid-October, sent out a request to securities firms around the world for more information regarding a list of 38 different stocks.[10] SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt told the House Financial Services Committee that “We will do everything in our power to track those people down and bring them to justice.”[11] By this time, however, the fix was in.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the SEC took the unprecedented step of deputizing “hundreds, if not thousands, of key players in the private sector.”[12] Wrote the Chronicle: “In a two-page statement issued to ‘all securities-related entities’ nationwide, the SEC asked companies to designate senior personnel who appreciate ‘the sensitive nature’ of the case and can be relied upon to ‘exercise appropriate discretion’ as ‘point’ people linking government investigators and the industry.” The requested information was to be held in strictest confidence. The SEC statement included the following passage (emphasis added): “We ask that you disseminate the information within your institution only on a need-to-know basis.”

In his book “Crossing the Rubicon”, former LAPD detective Mike Ruppert explains the SEC’s unprecedented move to deputize:

What happens when you deputize someone in a national security or criminal investigation is that you make it illegal for them to disclose publicly what they know…. In effect, they become government agents and are controlled by government regulations rather than their own conscience. In fact, they can be thrown in jail without a hearing if they talk publicly. I have seen this implied threat time and again with federal investigations, intelligence agents, and even members of the United States Congress who are bound so tightly by secrecy oaths and agreements that they are not even able to disclose criminal activities inside the government for fear of incarceration.[13]

Notice, this surely means that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with the insider trading.[14] When the evidentiary trail led back to Wall Street, the SEC moved quickly to control the evidence and muzzle potential witnesses. Despite the best efforts of the SEC, a few details did leak to the world press. In mid-October 2001, The Independent (UK) reported that, “To the embarrassment of investigators, it has….emerged that the firm used to buy many of the ‘put’ options (where a trader, in effect, bets on a share price fall) on United Airlines stock was headed until 1998 by Alvin ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.”[15] The evidence was all the more incriminating, because in at least one case the purchaser failed to collect a reported $2.5 million in profits made from the collapsing share price of UAL stock. The only plausible explanation was that someone at the purchasing bank feared exposure and subsequent arrest.

For the most part, the U.S. press failed to pick up the story, which clearly linked Wall Street and the U.S. intelligence community to the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, the New York Times cooperated with the cover-up.[16] George Tenet writes in his memoirs that he recruited Buzzy Krongard in 1998 to become his deputy at CIA, probably to serve as Tenet’s personal liaison to Wall Street.[17] Until 1997, Krongard was chairman of Alex Brown Inc., America’s oldest investment banking firm. Alex Brown was acquired by Bankers Trust in 1997, which, in turn, was purchased by Deutsche Bank in 1999. In the mid-1990s, Krongard had served as a consultant to CIA director James Woolsey.

In 1998, Banker’s Trust-Alex Brown refused to cooperate with a Senate subcommittee which, at the time, was conducting hearings on the involvement of U.S. banks in money laundering activities.[18] At the time, Banker’s Trust, like other large U.S. banks, was in the business of private banking. This means that Banker’s Trust catered to unnamed wealthy clients for the purpose of setting up shell companies in foreign jurisdictions, such as on the Isle of Jersey, where effective bank regulation and oversight are nonexistent. According to Ruppert, Krongard’s last job at Alex Brown was to oversee “private client relations.”[19] This means that Krongard personally arranged confidential transactions and transfers for the bank’s unnamed wealthy clientele.

Private banks typically offer a range of services to their clients for the purpose of shielding them from oversight. Private banks set up multiple offshore accounts in multiple locations under multiple names. They also facilitate the quick, confidential and hard-to-trace transfer of money across jurisdictional boundaries. In many such cases, the private banks do not even know who owns the account; which, of course, means that not even the bankers can follow the transactions with “due diligence.” Many private banks do not even try, for fear of scaring away business, especially from foreign clients. Even though private bankers are responsible for enforcing legal controls against money laundering, where such laws exist, in practice, oversight is typically weak or nonexistent. I was shocked to learn that although it is illegal for U.S. banks to launder ill-gotten money that originates within the United States, it is not illegal for them to accept dirty money from elsewhere. No surprise then, that many U.S. banks openly solicit business from Central American drug lords, arms merchants, and other shady entities.

For these reasons, it is little wonder that over the last several decades, law enforcement has failed to stem the growing international flood of laundered drug money and other illicit assets. Their failure has been spectacular. In 1999, a consensus of experts in Germany, Switzerland and at the U.S. Treasury agreed that 99.9% of laundered money routinely escapes detection. The experts estimated that the annual total was between $500 billion and a trillion dollars, a mind-boggling number, about half of which is washed into the U.S. economy, the rest into Europe.[20]

After “Buzzy” Krongard’s departure to the CIA, his successor at Alex Brown was his former deputy Mayo Shattuck III, who had worked at the bank for many years. In 1997, Shattuck helped Krongard engineer the merger with Banker’s Trust, and he stayed on after Deutsche Bank acquired Bankers Trust – Alex Brown in 1999.[21]

According to the New York Times, Bankers Trust was “one of the most loosely managed [banks] on Wall Street,” and during the 1990s was repeatedly rocked by scandal. In 1994, clients and regulators accused the bank “of misleading customers about its risky derivative products.” The case went viral when tape recordings were made public that showed bank salesmen snickering about ripping off naive customers. In 1999, Banker’s Trust pled guilty to criminal conspiracy charges, after it was revealed that top-level executives had created a slush fund out of at least $20 million in unclaimed funds.[22] Bankers Trust had to pay a $63 million fine and would have been forced to close it doors but for the fact it was acquired, just at this time, by Deutsche Bank, Europe’s largest bank.

According to the New York Times, Mayo Shattuck III “was made co-head of investment banking in January [2001], overseeing Deutsche Bank’s 400 brokers who cater to wealthy clients.”[23] It is curious that Shattuck resigned immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

In a footnote buried on page 499, the 9/11 Commission Report alludes to Mayo Shattuck III’s likely role in purchasing the United Airlines put options just prior to 9/11. The note fails to mention Shattuck and Deutsche Bank by name, but attempts to explain away the charges of insider trading, as follows:

A single US-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95% of the UAL puts on September 6 [2001] as part of a strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading on September 10 was traced to a specific US-based options trading newsletter….which recommended these trades.[24]

Evidently, we are supposed to conclude that “American” means American Airlines. But here it could just as easily refer to American Express. If Deutsche Bank’s pre-9/11 trading was truly hedged, as the 9/11 Commission Report contends in the footnote, then it would not meet the definition of informed or insider trading. However, without more information, it is not possible to confirm or refute the facts in this particular case. Still, the commission’s token explanation is not convincing. Two statistical studies since published reported an unusual volume in options trading for both United and American airlines in the days before 9/11. The author of the first study wrote that the results are “consistent with investors trading on advance knowledge of the attacks.”[25] The second paper, by the Swiss Banking Institute, reached the same conclusion.[26] A third study looked at the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX index options) and found “abnormal trading volumes in September 2001 OTM, ATM and ITM SPX index put options, and September 2001 ITM SPX index call options.” The authors concluded that there is “credible circumstantial evidence to support the insider trading claim.”[27]

Notice also, the commission makes no mention in its footnote of the 36 other companies identified by the SEC in its insider trading probe. What about the pre-9/11 surge in call options for Raytheon, for instance, or the spike in put options for the behemoth Morgan Stanley, which had offices in WTC 2? The 9/11 Commission Report offers not one word of explanation about any of this. The truth, we must conclude, is to be found between the lines in the report’s conspicuous avoidance of the lion’s share of the insider trading issue. Indeed, if the trading was truly “innocuous,” as the report states, then why did the SEC muzzle potential whistleblowers by deputizing everyone involved with its investigation? The likely answer is that so many players on Wall Street were involved that the SEC could not risk an open process, for fear of exposing the unthinkable. This would explain why the SEC limited the flow of information to those with a “need to know,” which, of course, means that very few participants in the SEC investigation had the full picture. It would also explain why the SEC ultimately named no names. All of which hints at the true and frightening extent of criminal activity on Wall Street in the days and hours before 9/11. The SEC was like a surgeon who opens a patient on the operating room table to remove a tumor, only to sew him back up again after finding that the cancer has metastasized through the system.

At an early stage of its investigation, perhaps before SEC officials were fully aware of the implications, the SEC did recommend that the FBI investigate two suspicious transactions. We know about this thanks to a 9/11 Commission memorandum declassified in May 2009 which summarizes an August 2003 meeting at which FBI agents briefed the commission on the insider trading issue. The document indicates that the SEC passed the information about the suspicious trading to the FBI on September 21, 2001, just ten days after the 9/11 attacks.[28]

Although the names in both cases are censored from the declassified document, thanks to some nice detective work by Kevin Ryan we know whom (in one case) the SEC was referring to.[29] The identity of the suspicious trader is a stunner that should have become prime-time news on every network, world-wide. Kevin Ryan was able to fill in the blanks because, fortunately, the censor left enough details in the document to identify the suspicious party who, as it turns out, was none other than Wirt Walker III, a distant cousin to then-President G.W. Bush. Several days before 9/11, Walker and his wife Sally purchased 56,000 shares of stock in Stratesec, one of the companies that provided security at the World Trade Center up until the day of the attacks. Notably, Stratesec also provided security at Dulles International Airport, where AA 77 took off on 9/11, and also security for United Airlines, which owned two of the other three allegedly hijacked aircraft. At the time, Walker was a director of Stratesec. Amazingly, Bush’s brother Marvin was also on the board. Walker’s investment paid off handsomely, gaining $50,000 in value in a matter of a few days. Given the links to the World Trade Center and the Bush family, the SEC lead should have sparked an intensive FBI investigation. Yet, incredibly, in a mind-boggling example of criminal malfeasance, the FBI concluded that because Walker and his wife had “no ties to terrorism … there was no reason to pursue the investigation.” The FBI did not conduct a single interview.

The 9/11 Commission Report also fails to mention the other compelling evidence for insider trading that I have not yet discussed, namely, the approximately 400 computer hard drives found by workmen in the ruins of the WTC. According to Reuters and CNN, in the period after 9/11, U.S. credit card, telecommunications and accounting firms hired a German company named Convar to recoup data from the damaged hard drives.[30] Convar got the contract because, two years before, it had developed a proprietary method for recovering data using a cutting edge laser scanning technology. Peter Wagner, a Convar spokesman, told CNN that the new laser process makes it “possible to read the individual drive surfaces and then create a virtual drive.” As of December 2001, Convar had examined 39 hard drives and in most cases succeeded in recovering 100% of the data. The company was specifically searching for encryption keys, indicating a financial record. Convar found evidence stored on the drives of “an unexplained surge in transactions prior to the attacks.” Convar director Peter Henschel told CNN that “unusually large sums of money, perhaps more than $100 million, were rushed through the computers as the disaster unfolded. Said Henschel: “The suspicion is that insider information about the attack was used to send financial transaction commands and authorizations in the belief that amidst all the chaos the criminals would have a good head start…..Of course it’s possible that Americans went on an absolute shopping binge, that Tuesday morning. But at this point there are many transactions that cannot be accounted for.” After the initial story by CNN and Reuters, the issue of the WTC hard drives disappeared from the news, and nothing has been heard since. Although reports on the Internet that Kroll purchased Convar remain unsubstantiated, it is nonetheless clear that someone made the story (and the evidence) go away.[31] But what reason would they possibly have for doing so? Unless the initial indications from Convar that insider trading had occurred were correct.

The above CNN quote by Peter Henschel that “unusually large sums of money, perhaps more than $100 million, were rushed through the computers as the disaster unfolded,” was later confirmed in truly chilling fashion by a Deutsche Bank New York branch employee who survived the attacks. The whistleblower, who insists on remaining anonymous for his own protection, told Mike Ruppert that “about five minutes before the attack the entire Deutsche Bank computer system had been taken over by something external that no one in the office recognized, and every file was downloaded at lightning speed to an unknown location” (emphasis added).[32] Here, the important phrase is “five minutes before the attack.” Chilling indeed.

To be continued…


[1] World News Tonight, 20 September 2001.

[2] Dave Eberhart, “Still Silence From 9-11 Stock Speculation Probe”, NewsMax, June 3, 2002,

[3] William Drozdiak, “‘Insider trading’ by terrorists is suspected in Europe”, Miami Herald, September 24, 2001,

[4] James Doran, “Insider Trading Apparently Based on Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks,” London Times, September 18, 2001. Archived at

[5] Christian Berthelsen, Scott Winokur, “Suspicious profits sit uncollected,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 29, 2001. Archived at

[6] “Profiting from Disaster,” CBS Evening News, September 19, 2001. Archived at

[7] Michelle Ciarrocca, “Post-9/11 Economic Windfalls for Arms Manufacturers,” Foreign Policy in Focus, September 2002. Posted at

[8] Bank of America among 38 stocks in SEC’s attack probe,” Bloomberg News, October 3, 2001. Archived at

[9] Cited by Barry Grey, “Suspicious trading points to advance knowledge by big investors of September 11 attacks,” World Socialist Web Site, October 5, 2001. Posted at

[10] Bloomberg News, October 3, 2001. The list included stocks of American, United, Continental, Northwest, Southwest and US Airways airlines, as well as Martin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., AIG, American Express Corp, American International Group, AMR Corporation, Axa SA, Bank of America Corp, Bank of New York Corp, Bank One Corp, Cigna Group, CNA Financial, Carnival Corp, Chubb Group, John Hancock Financial Services, Hercules Inc, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc., LTV Corporation, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., MetLife, Progressive Corp., General Motors, Raytheon, W.R. Grace, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Lone Star Technologies, American Express, the Citigroup Inc. ,Royal & Sun Alliance, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., Vornado Reality Trust, Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co., XL Capital Ltd., and Bear Stearns.

[11] Erin E. Arvedlund, “Follow The Money: Terrorist Conspirators Could Have Profited More From Fall Of Entire Market Than Single Stocks,” Barron’s (Dow Jones and Company), 6 October 2001.

[12] Scott Winokur, “SEC wants data-sharing system,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 19, 2001. Posted at

[13] Michael Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon,(New Society Publishers, 2004), p. 243.

[14] Bloomberg reportedly acknowledged the fact in a September 2003 newswire. Although the wire has since disappeared from the Internet, the text is archived at

[15] Chris Blackhurst, “Mystery of terror ‘insider dealers’,” The Independent, October 14, 2001, posted at

[16] “Whether advance knowledge of U.S. attacks was used for profit,” New York Times, October 1, 2001. Archived at

[17] George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm, Harper Collins, New York, 2007, p. 19.

[18] Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 106th Congress, November 9 and 10, 1999, p.879. Posted at


[20] Raymond W. Baker, “The Biggest Loophole in the Free Market System,” The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 1999, p. 29. Posted at (see p. 1061)

[21] “Chief Steps Down At Alex Brown,” New York Times, September 15, 2001.

[22] Timothy L. O’Brien, “The Deep Slush at Bankers Trust,” The New York Times, May 30, 1999. Posted at

[23] “Chief Steps Down At Alex Brown,” New York Times, September 15, 2001.

[24] 9/11 Commission Report, W.W. Norton, 2004, p. 499.

[25] Allen M. Poteshman, “Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,” The Journal of Business, 2006, vol. 79, no. 4,

[26] Marc Chesney, et al, “Detecting Informed Trading Activities in the Options Markets,” Social Sciences Research Network, 13 January 2010,

[27] Wing-Keung Wong, et al, “Was there Abnormal Trading in the S&P 500 Index Options Prior to the September 11 Attacks?,” Social Sciences Research Network, April 2010,

[28] 9/11 Commission memorandum entitled “FBI Briefing on Trading”, prepared by Doug Greenburg, 18 August 2003, p. 4-5. Posted at

[29] Kevin Ryan, “Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11,” Foreign Policy Journal, November 18, 2010. Posted at

[30] “German firm probes final World Trade Center deals,” Reuters, December 17, 2001. Posted at

Rick Perera, “Computer disk drives from WTC could yield clues,” CNN, December 20, 2001. Posted at

[31] Michael Fury, “The Ghost in the Machines: Evidence of Foreknowledge in the WTC Hard Drive Recoveries,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, December 2008. Posted at

[32] Crossing the Rubicon, p. 244.


Black 9/11: A Walk on the Dark Side (Part 1)

First in a series
by Mark H. Gaffney
February 11, 2011

In his important 2006 book, Nemesis, the Last Days of the American Republic, the third and concluding part of a trilogy, the late Chalmers Johnson, who was an expert on Japan and US foreign policy, writes that as much as 40% of the Pentagon budget is “black,” meaning hidden from public scrutiny.[1] If the figure is even approximately correct, and I believe it is, the number is alarming because it suggests that democratic oversight of US military research and development has broken down. In which case our democratic values and way of life are presently at risk; not from without, as there is no foreign enemy that can destroy the US Constitution, but from within.

I would argue that Chalmers Johnson’s estimate was corroborated on September 10, 2001, on the eve of the worst terrorist attack in US history, when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged during a press conference that the Department of Defense (DoD) could not account for $2.3 trillion of the massive Pentagon budget, a number so large as to be incomprehensible.[2] Any remaining hope that the US military might still get its budgetary house in order were dashed at 9:38 am the next morning, when the west wing of the Pentagon exploded in flames and smoke, the target of a terrorist strike. Incredibly, the exact point of impact was the DoD’s accounting offices on the first floor. The surgical destruction of its records and staff, nearly all of whom died in the attack, raises important questions about who benefited from 9/11. Given the Pentagon’s vast size, the statistical odds against this being a coincidence prompted skeptics of the official story to read a dark design into the attack. As Deep Throat said: “Follow the money.”

Was the Pentagon accounting office destroyed because diabolical individuals planned it that way? No question, the west wing presented a much more challenging target than the east wing. Targeting the west wing required a difficult approach over the Arlington skyline. The final approach was especially dicey and amounted to a downhill obstacle course, skirting apartments and a large building complex about a quarter-mile from the Pentagon known as the Naval Annex; which sits atop a hill that rises from the flat ground along the Potomac River. In April 2008, I interviewed Army Brigadier General Clyde Vaughn, a credible witness to the events of that morning. Vaughn explained over the telephone that on 9/11 he was on his way to work at the Pentagon via Shirley Highway (I-395) when the strike occurred. The general told me the hijacked aircraft (presumably AA 77) just missed the Naval Annex and would have hit the US Air Force memorial that presently occupies the site, had the 270 feet-tall monument existed on 9/11.[3] The new memorial was constructed in 2006 and dedicated the same year.

Why did the terrorists not take the easy approach up the Potomac River? The river approach would have afforded a reasonably good chance to crash the offices of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which were located on the opposite side of the building, in the middle of the outer “E” ring. The location of their offices was no secret. Surely terrorists would have been more interested in decapitating the command structure of the US war machine than going after a bunch of accounting clerks.

That morning, there were other striking anomalies. The crash of AA 11 into the North Tower at 8:46 am should also have raised red flags, because the point of impact at the 95th and 96th floors was too remarkable to be happenstance. Both floors were occupied by Marsh & McLennan, one of the world’s largest insurance brokerages, with family ties to the private intelligence firm, Kroll Associates, which held the security contract at the World Trade Center. Indeed, the network of corporate ties is so entangled that were I to trace all of the links, they would easily fill a book. Here, I will sketch out only the most salient connections.

The CEO of Marsh & McLennan on 9/11 was Jeffry Greenberg, son of Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, owner of AIG, the world’s largest insurance conglomerate (or second largest, depending on the source). Greenberg’s other son, Evan, was CEO of Ace Limited, another large insurance company. Maurice Greenberg had been a director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank for many years, and in 1994-95 served as its chairman. Greenberg was also vice-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which in 1996 published his report, “Making Intelligence Smarter: The future of U.S. Intelligence”; as a result of which, Senator Arlen Specter floated Greenberg’s name as a candidate for the directorship of the CIA.[4] Although George Tenet eventually got the job, the mere fact that Greenberg was in the running shows the extent of his influence. In 1993, Greenberg’s huge insurance conglomerate AIG reportedly bankrolled the Wall Street spy firm, Kroll Associates, saving it from bankruptcy. Thereafter, Kroll became an AIG subsidiary. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Kroll acquired the contract from the Port Authority of New York to upgrade security at the World Trade Center, in the process beating out two other firms.[5] Kroll continued with the WTC security contract through the period leading up to the September 11 attacks. One of Kroll’s directors, Jerome Hauer, also managed New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management, which was located on the 23rd floor of WTC 7.[6]

Notice this means Kroll had unfettered access to all three of the buildings destroyed on 9/11. This startling coincidence should have been reason enough for the 9/11 Commission to investigate Kroll’s shady background as well as its relations with AIG, Ace, and Marsh & McClennan. The commission was armed with subpoena authority and might have probed deeply enough to learn the truth. Unfortunately, the official investigators were not interested in connecting the dots. Although Kroll was based in New York City, it served (and still serves) an international clientele through 60 offices in some 27 countries. Over the years, the firm has repeatedly been accused of, and/or formally charged with, conspiracy. In 1995 the French government expelled several Americans from the country, including a Kroll employee named William Lee, for allegedly spying on French industry. Lee’s involvement with Kroll made French authorities suspicious that his Paris operation might be a CIA front.[7] The French were surely aware of Kroll’s longstanding practice of hiring former CIA, FBI, and British Intelligence agents. Kroll/AIG made no effort to conceal the fact that between 1997-2003 the AIG board of directors included Frank G. Wisner, Jr., son of one of the founders of the CIA.[8] Wisner Jr. is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Wisner Jr. also served as US ambassador to several nations, including Egypt, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[9] As I write, Wisner’s name surfaced in the news. Last week, President Obama dispatched Wisner as his personal envoy to confer with the embattled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.[10] Even as popular pressure continued to build for Mubarak to step down, Wisner embarrassed Obama by publicly encouraging Mubarak to ride out the crisis and hang onto power. No doubt, his action reflects the view from Langley, which would much prefer to see Mubarak remain in power. The CIA has long supported the Mubarak regime and in return was allowed to use Egypt as a haven for renditions and torture. Wisner’s thumbing his nose at his own president, no doubt, is also an accurate measure of the US national security state’s low opinion of Obama. It certainly exposes Obama’s weakness as president.[11]

Did the French government over-react in 1995 when it expelled a Kroll employee for suspected industrial espionage? Possibly, but the French had good reason to be wary of CIA meddling in their country. It is a safe bet the French have not forgotten Operation Gladio, the rogue intelligence network secretly organized in Europe by the CIA, NATO and British MI-6, after World War II.[12] “Gladio” means “sword” in Italian and is the root of the word “gladiator.” Known as the “stay behind armies,” they were in every NATO country, and totaled thousands of paramilitary soldiers. Their ranks included known underworld criminals and drug traffickers; and crucially, the CIA kept the whole operation secret for nearly forty years.

Although the stay-behind armies were supposed to form the nucleus of an armed resistance movement in the event of a Soviet invasion of western Europe, the invasion never materialized, and the CIA-trained forces were sometimes used for other less savory purposes. These included smear and disinformation campaigns, mass bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and attempted coup d’etats; all of which was blamed on the communists. Before it was over, the CIA-staged terror campaign added up to hundreds of incidents in Italy, France, Greece, Belgium, and other European nations.

The news about Gladio first broke in the Italian press, in August 1990, at the time of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait; and immediately touched off a political earthquake on the continent. As they say, bad news travels fast. Shock turned to outrage as Europeans learned that for decades the CIA and NATO had been sponsoring terrorist attacks in the democratic nations of Europe. All of which, as noted, was blamed on the communists. The purpose of Gladio had been to strike fear into the population of Europe, and thus, to weaken the left-wing parties.

If this sounds like fantasy to the reader, it is only because the US media, to this day, has never informed the American people about the CIA’s long and ugly history of staging international terrorism. Here in the US, it is euphemistically known as “counter-terrorism.” Although the average American is ignorant of the fact, most Frenchmen probably also know that under Gladio, the CIA lent support to an attempted putsch against French President Charles de Gaulle in 1958 by reactionary elements of the French army. The renegade French forces were opposed to de Gaulle’s controversial decision to end to the French military occupation of Algeria. Most of the people of France probably also know about the CIA’s involvement in at least one other conspiracy to assassinate de Gaulle in the mid-1960s; but which fortunately failed.[13] De Gaulle survived some thirty assassination attempts. At the time, the CIA’s involvement caused a near rupture in US-French relations. De Gaulle reacted angrily by pulling France out of NATO, and ordered US military forces out of France. The US was compelled to move NATO headquarters from Paris to Mons, in Belgium. Nor did the American people hear the truth about what really happened. In fact, they still do not know, because the US press has never informed them.

Given this brief background, one must ask: Were the French trying to send a wake-up signal to the American people when they leaked the following shocker about 9/11 to the world press? In October 2001 the prestigious French paper Le Figaro reported that in July 2001, just two months before 9/11, Osama bin Laden received dialysis treatments and other medical care for a serious kidney ailment at the American Hospital in Dubai, one of the Arab emirates in the Persian Gulf.[14] At the time, bin Laden was a wanted man, and had been indicted by the US Department of Justice for the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Yet, according to the detailed report in Le Figaro, the Americans treated bin Laden as a VIP guest. The Al Qaeda leader arrived with a retinue that included his personal physician, a nurse, four bodyguards, and at least one of his lieutenants. Bin Laden reportedly held court in his hospital suite, welcoming members of his large family, Saudi officials, and even the local CIA station chief, who evidently was a well-known figure in the tiny country. The CIA official was evidently seen entering bin Laden’s room. Immediately after leaving, he caught a flight back to the US. The article in Le Figaro was closely followed by a story in The Guardian (UK), which added more details. It noted that bin Laden’s Saudi guests had included Prince Turki al Faisal, then head of Saudi intelligence. The story also named French intelligence as the source of the story in Le Figaro, and added that the information was leaked because the French were “keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.”[15] If the story is accurate, it means Osama bin Laden was a US intelligence asset right up until the morning of 9/11. There is no other possible interpretation. In which case, the American people have been seriously misled, indeed, have been fed a pack of lies, about the events of that horrible day. I would add: there were no retractions. Le Figaro stood by its story. Meanwhile, the US media played dumb and never even reported it.

But I digress. Back to AIG/Kroll. In 2005, the government of Brazil formally indicted Kroll’s chief Brazilian executive Eduardo Sampaio and five other Kroll employees on criminal charges, including bribery and various breaches of Brazil’s data privacy laws. Sampaio reportedly escaped arrest by fleeing the country.[16]

In 2006 another Kroll affiliate made the news for “unacceptable billing practices” while representing the failed energy giant Enron in court.[17] The Enron Corporation had collapsed in late 2001 amidst allegations of fraudulent accounting; then, in January 2002, hired Kroll Zolfo Cooper to handle its chapter 11 proceedings. The US Trustee Program, which administers bankruptcy cases, uncovered the billing irregularities after Kroll sought an additional fee of $25 million for its services. The firm had already received a cool $100 million for scavenging the Enron corpse but wanted more, even as stockholders received nothing. Evidently, the folks at Kroll thought no one would notice a mere $25 million, which is chump change compared with the $30 billion in inflated energy costs that Enron gouged from the state of California in 2000-2001. All of which must be good: because Enron got away with it. According to economist Paul Krugman, emails confirmed that Enron had rigged the markets.[18] The heavily Democratic golden state has yet to recover from what must be viewed as a partisan attack.

Also in 2006: a whistleblower named Richard A. Grove went public with stunning testimony about his involvement with the Greenberg empire, an up-close-and-personal experience, Grove says, that nearly cost him his life.[19] During the period leading up to 9/11, Grove worked as a salesman for Silverstream Software, an enterprise company which marketed designer solutions to a number of Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Banker’s Trust, Alex Brown, and Morgan Stanley. According to Grove, Silverstream “built internet transactional and trading platforms,” designed “to web-enable the critical business functions of Fortune 500 companies, basically integrating and making available on the web the disparate legacy applications and mainframes while simultaneously streamlining workflow and traditional paper processes.” The “end result [was] a lower cost of operation and more efficient transactions because inefficiencies such as people were being taken out of the loop.”[20]

Grove was so successful as a salesman that (he claims) he became a millionaire before the age of thirty. He only realized, later, that the software he sold might have enabled fraudulent trading in the hours before and possibly during the 9/11 attacks. The most advanced software of all went to Marsh & McClennan, which, he says, placed an order in 2000 for a technological solution “beyond what we had done for any of the above-named companies; insofar as it would be used to electronically connect Marsh to its major business partners via internet portals, for the purpose of creating ‘paperless transactions’ and expediting revenue and renewal cycles.” Grove inked the software deal with Marsh & McClennan in October 2000. After which, his employer Silverstream stationed a team of 30-40 technicians in the client’s offices in WTC 1, led by several software developers who proceeded to design and build the software package “from the ground up.” During this period, Grove served as liaison between Silverstream & Marsh to insure that the software would perform as specified. The team worked around-the-clock, seven days a week, to meet Marsh’s pre-September 11, 2001 deadline. The end result was “a specific type of connectivity that was used to link AIG and Marsh & McLennan, the first two commercial companies on the planet to employ this type of transaction.”[21]

Grove says he first noticed fiscal irregularities in October 2000 when he and a colleague helped “identify about $10,000,000 in suspicious purchase orders.” Marsh’s chief information officer, Gary Lasko, later confirmed that “certain vendors were deceiving Marsh … selling … large quantities of hardware that were [sic] not necessary” for the project. But Grove did not worry too much about this at the time; nor did he run into personal trouble until the spring of 2001, when he learned, while negotiating a license renewal contract with Lasko, that his own employer, Silverstream, was over-billing Marsh “to the tune of $7 million, or more.” Grove brought the matter to the attention of Silverstream executives, but was told to keep quiet and mind his own business. A Marsh executive advised him to do the same. By this point, a number of Marsh employees had earned Grove’s trust and when he shared his concerns with them, they agreed that “something untoward was going on.” Grove names these honest employees in his testimonial: Kathryn Lee, Ken Rice, Richard Breuhardt, John Ueltzhoeffer, in addition to Gary Lasko, all of whom perished on 9/11.[22] Incidentally, a simple check confirmed that these names do indeed appear on the fatality list of World Trade Center victims.[23]

The proverbial schtick hit the fan on June 5th, 2001, the day after Grove sent an email to his sales team informing them that “Silverstream was billing Marsh millions above and beyond the numbers we were being paid commissions on….” There were only two possibilities: either the members of his team were being cheated out of their rightful commissions, or Silverstream was defrauding Marsh & McClennan. Later that day, Grove received word from Gary Lasko that Marsh had decided to retain Silverstream for the next phase of the project. The extension was good news and he immediately informed his boss. Grove was personally delighted because his rightful commission “would have been a payday worth well over a million dollars.” He never collected it, however; because the next morning, Grove was summoned to his boss’s office and abruptly terminated.

This is not the end of the story. Several weeks later, Grove suffered a medical emergency that required surgery and weeks of hospitalization. In August 2001, while still bedridden, a Silverstream company official visited him at the hospital and offered him $9,999 in cash, plus an extension of his medical benefits, if he would agree never to talk about the work he did for Silverstream. Grove needed the continuing medical coverage and agreed to the terms. However, after his convalescence he became suspicious about the secrecy agreement and decided that, at very least, he should maintain contact with the honest employees at Marsh, several of whom were now close friends. Shortly thereafter, one of them arranged for Grove to attend a meeting at the offices of Marsh & McClennan, at which the honest employees planned to “openly question the suspiciously unconcerned executive who seemed to be at the center of the controversial secrecy.” The executive had agreed to participate via a video conference link from his apartment in uptown Manhattan. This was the same individual who, months before, had warned Grove to look the other way. Grove was in possession of documents proving illicit activity, and he planned to produce them at the meeting. However, on the day of the showdown, he ran late, having been delayed by heavy Manhattan traffic. Grove says he was within 2-3 blocks of the World Trade Center when UAL 175 hit the South Tower. By then, all or most of his friends in the North Tower were already dead, or trapped on the upper floors. All told, some 300 or more Marsh employees perished that morning. None of whom had any idea what was in store for them.

To be continued…


[1] Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: The Final Days of the American Republic, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 2006, pp. 9 and 115.


[3] Vaughn’s testimony is intriguing because it does not conform in all respects to the official narrative. Vaughn told CNN: “There wasn’t anything in the air, except for one airplane, and it looked like it was loitering over Georgetown, in a high, left-hand bank,” he said. “That may have been the plane. I have never seen one on that (flight) pattern.” The aircraft described by Vaughn has never been identified. Ian Christopher McCaleb, “Three-star general may be among Pentagon dead,” CNN, September 13, 2001. Posted at


[5] Douglas Frantz, “A Midlife Crisis at Kroll Associates,” New York Times, September 1, 1994, posted at


[7] David Ignatius, “The French, the CIA and the Man Who Sued Too Much,” Washington Post, January 8, 1996.



[10] Vijay Prashad, “The Empire’s Bagman,” Counterpunch, February 2, 2011. Posted at

[11] Robert Fisk, “US Envoy’s business link to Egypt,” The Independent (UK), February 7, 2011. Posted at

[12] Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies. Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Frank Cass, London, 2005.

[13] William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Common Courage Press, Monroe, ME, 1995, pp, 148-152.

[14] Alexandra Richard, “The CIA met bin Laden while undergoing treatment at an American Hospital last July in Dubai, Le Figaro, October 11, 2001. (translated by Tiphaine Dickson)

[15] Anthony Sampson, “CIA agent alleged to haveb met Bin Laden in July,” Guardian (UK), November 1, 2001. Posted at

[16] The Brazilian connection, June 25, 2005, posted at

[17] Mark Sherman, “Justice Department finds billing irregularities by former interim Enron CEO,” Associated Press, March 27, 2006. Posted at

[18] Paul Krugman, The Great Unraveling, Norton & Co, 2005, pp. 318-320.


[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.



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