Factual Back-Up For Fahrenheit 9/11





Section One

[Section One covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from the 2000 election to George W. Bush's extended visit to Booker Elementary on the morning of September 11th.]


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Fox was the first network to call Florida for Bush. Before that, some other networks had called Florida for Gore, and they changed after Fox called it for Bush.

o "With information provided from the Voter News Service, NBC was the first network to project Gore the winner in Florida at 7:48 pm. At 7:50 pm ,CNN and CBS project Gore the winner in Florida as well." By 8:02 pm , all five networks and the Associated Press had called Gore the winner in Florida. Even the VNS called Gore the winner at 7:52 pm. At 2:16 am, Fox calls Florida for Bush, NBC follows at 2:16 am. ABC is the last network to call the Florida for Bush, at 2:20 am, while AP and VNS never call Florida for Bush. CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/stories/02/02/
o Ten minutes after the top of the hour, network excitement was again beginning to build. At 2:16 a.m., the call was made: Fox News Channel, with Bush's first cousin John Ellis running its election desk, was the first to project Florida -- and the presidency -- for the Texas governor. Within minutes, the other networks followed suit. "George Bush, Governor of Texas will become the 43rd President of the United States," CNN's Bernard Shaw announced atop a graphic montage of a smiling Bush. "At 18 minutes past two o'clock Eastern time, CNN declares that George Walker Bush has won Florida's 25 electoral votes and this should put him over the top."PBS: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/election2000/


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The man who was in charge of the decision desk at FOX on election night was Bush's first cousin, John Ellis.

o "John Ellis, a first cousin of George W. Bush, ran the network's 'decision desk' during the 2000 election, and Fox was the first to name Bush the winner. Earlier, Ellis had made six phone calls to Cousin Bush during the vote-counting." William O'Rourke, "Talk Radio Key to GOP Victory," Chicago Sun-Times, December 3, 2002.
o A Fox News consultant, John Ellis, who made judgments about presidential 'calls' on Election Night admits he was in touch with George W. Bush and FL Gov. Jeb Bush by telephone several times during the night, but denies breaking any rules. CNN, November 14, 2000; http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/
o John Ellis, the Fox consultant who called Florida early for George Bush, had to stop writing about the campaign for the Boston Globe because of family 'loyalty' to Bush. CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/
11/14/politics/main249357.shtml, November 14, 2000.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Make sure the chairman of your campaign is also the vote countin' woman and that her state has hired a company that's gonna knock voters off the rolls who aren't likely to vote for you. You can usually tell them by the color of their skin."

o "The vote total was certified by Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, head of the Bush campaign in Florida, on behalf of Gov. Jeb Bush, the candidate's brother." Mark Zoller Seitz, "Bush Team Conveyed an Air of Legitimacy," San Diego Union-Tribune, December 16, 2000.
o The Florida Department of State awarded a $4 million contract to the Boca Raton-based Database Technologies Inc. (subsidiary of ChoicePoint). They were tasked with finding improperly registered voters in the state's database, but mistakes were rampant. "At one point, the list included as felons 8,000 former Texas residents who had been convicted of misdemeanors." St. Petersburg Times (Florida), December 21, 2003.
o Database Technologies, a subsidiary of ChoicePoint, "was responsible for bungling an overhaul of Florida's voter registration records, with the result that thousands of people, disproportionately black, were disenfranchised in the 2000 election. Had they been able to vote, they might have swung the state, and thus the presidency, for Al Gore, who lost in Florida. Oliver Burkeman, Jo Tuckman, "Firm in Florida Election Fiasco Earns Millions from Files on Foreigners," The Guardian, May 5, 2003 http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,949709,00.html. See also, Atlanta-Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2001.
o In 1997, Rick Rozar, the late head of the company bought by ChoicePoint, donated $100,000 to the Republican National Committee. Melanie Eversley, "Atlanta-Based Company Says Errors in Felon Purge Not Its Fault," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2001. Frank Borman of Database Technologies Inc. has donated extensively to New Mexico Republicans, as well as to the Presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Opensecrets.org, "Frank Borman."


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Gore got the most votes in 2000.

o [A] consortium [Tribune Co., owner of the Times; Associated Press; CNN; the New York Times; the Palm Beach Post; the St. Petersburg Times; the Wall Street Journal; and the Washington Post] hired the NORC [National Opinion Research Center, a nonpartisan research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago] to view each untallied ballot and gather information about how it was marked. The media organizations then used computers to sort and tabulate votes, based on varying scenarios that had been raised during the post-election scramble in Florida. Under any standard that tabulated all disputed votes statewide, Mr. Gore erased Mr. Bush's advantage and emerged with a tiny lead that ranged from 42 to 171 votes. Donald Lambro, "Recount Provides No Firm Answers," Washington Times, November 12, 2001.
o "The review found that the result would have been different if every canvassing board in every county had examined every undervote, a situation that no election or court authority had ordered. Gore had called for such a statewide manual recount if Bush would agree, but Bush rejected the idea and there was no mechanism in place to conduct one." Martin Merzer, "Review of Ballots Finds Bush's Win Would Have Endured Manual Recount," Miami Herald, April 4, 2001.
o See also, the following article by one of the Washington Post journalists who ran the consortium recount. The relevant point is made in Table I of the article. http://www.aei.org/docLib/20040526_KeatingPaper.pdf


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Congressional Black Caucus members tried to object to the election outcome on the floor of the House; no Senator would sign the objections.

o "While Vice President Al Gore appeared to have accepted his fate contained in two wooden ballot boxes, Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus tried repeatedly to challenge the assignment of Florida's 25 electoral votes to Bush. More than a dozen Democrats followed suit, seeking to force a debate on the validity of Florida's vote on the grounds that all votes may not have been counted and that some voters were wrongly denied the right to vote." Susan Milligan, "It's Really Over: Gore Bows Out Gracefully," Boston Globe, January 7, 2001.
o The Congressional Black Caucus effort failed for "lack of the necessary signature by any senator." Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) had previously advised Democratic senators not to cooperate. 'They did not.'" Robert Novak, "Sweeney Link Won't Help Chao," Chicago Sun-Times, January 14, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D.C. They pelted Bush's limo with eggs."

o "Shouting slogans like 'Hail to the Thief' and 'Selected, Not Elected,' tens of thousands of protesters descended on George W. Bush's inaugural parade route yesterday to proclaim that he and Vice President Dick Cheney had 'stolen' the election." Michael Kranish and Sue Kirchhoff, "Thousands Protest 'Stolen' Election," Boston Globe, January 21, 2001.
o "Scuffles erupted between radicals and riot police while an egg struck the bullet-proof presidential limousine as it carried Mr. Bush and wife Laura to the White House." Damon Johnston, "Bush Pledges Justice as Critics Throw Eggs," The Advertisers, January 22, 2001.
o See also film footage.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "The inauguration parade was brought to a halt and the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped."

o Bush made one concession to the weather -- or to security concerns: He stayed in his limousine nearly the entire length of the mile-long inaugural parade, waving through a slightly foggy window. He got out to walk only for a brief distance when his motorcade reached the VIP grandstands in front of the Treasury Department and the White House. Doyle McManus, et al., "Bush Vows to Bring Nation Together," Los Angeles Times, January, 21, 2001.
o Bush's limo, which traveled most of the route at a slow walking pace, stopped dead just before it reached the corner of 14th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., where most of the protesters had congregated. Then it sped up dramatically, and Secret Service agents protecting the car on foot had to follow at a full run. When they reached a section of the parade route where the sidewalks were restricted to official ticketholders, Bush and his wife, Laura, who wore a flattering electric turquoise suit, got out of the limo to walk and greet supporters. Helen Kennedy, "Bush Pledges a United US," New York Daily News, January 21, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "For the next eight months, it didn't get any better for George W. Bush."

o In a poll conducted September 5 to September 9, 2001, Investor's Business Daily and the Christian Science Monitor showed President Bush's approval rating at 45%, down from 52% in May ( Investor's Business Daily/Christian Science Monitor Poll, conducted by TIPP, 9/5 to 9/9, 2001). Zogby's polling had Bush at 47% in late July 2001, down from 57% in February (Zogby, 7/26 to 7/29, 2001).
o In June 2001, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed President Bush's approval rating at 50 percent, which was the lowest presidential approval rating in five years. Richard L. Berke, "G.O.P. Defends Bush in Face of Dip in Poll Ratings," The New York Times, June 29 2001
o On July 26, 2001, in an article entitled "Bush Lacks the Ability To Force Action on Hill," Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote, " It may be premature to conclude that Bush has lost control of his agenda, but lawmakers and strategists in both parties said that Bush's next year is much more likely to look like the fractious month of July than like the orderly march toward Bush's tax cut this spring. The troubles began, of course, with Vermont Sen. James M. Jeffords' departure from the GOP, giving control of the Senate to the Democrats. But the problems are nearly as bad in the House, where moderates who supported Bush's tax cut are proving recalcitrant on other issues. They rebelled against GOP leaders on campaign finance reform and held up Bush's "faith-based" legislation over concerns about discrimination. Next week, they're likely to oppose Bush's proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."
o California energy crisis also took a toll on Bush's approval ratings. Due to rolling blackouts and rising utility bills Bush's ratings took a toll among Californians. The poll showed that almost as many Californians disapproved of the President's job as approved of it with an approve/disapprove of 42/40. "Calif. Governor Says He'll Sue to Force Government Action," The Houston Chronicle, May 30, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "In his first eight months in office before September 11, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time."

o "News coverage has pointedly stressed that W.'s month-long stay at his ranch in Crawford is the longest presidential vacation in 32 years. Washington Post supercomputers calculated that if you add up all his weekends at Camp David, layovers at Kennebunkport and assorted to-ing and fro-ing, W. will have spent 42 percent of his presidency 'at vacation spots or en route.'" Charles Krauthammer, "A Vacation Bush Deserves," The Washington Post, August 10, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bush relaxes at Camp David, Kennebunkport and his ranch in Crawford Texas.

o As of April 2004, President Bush had made 33 trips to Crawford during his presidency, bringing his total to more than 230 days at the ranch in just over three years. "Add his 78 trips to Camp David and five to his family's compound at Kennebunkport, Maine, and Bush has spent all or part of 500 days - or about 40 percent of his presidency - at one of these his three retreats." "Bush Retreats to a Favorite Getaway: Crawford ranch," Houston Chronicle, April 11, 2004.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: On Sept. 10, 2001 , Bush joined his brother in Florida where he slept the night in "a bed made of fine French linens."

o Bush has not been bashful about visiting Florida, ground zero in the vote-recount battle that followed last year's election. On this trip, he was spending a good deal of time with his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush. " President to Push Congress on Education in Fourth Florida Visit," Associated Press, September 10, 2001; See also, CNN Inside Politics, September 10, 2001.
o Two individuals prepared the president's room "and made the bed with some of the family's fine French linens." Tom Bayles, "The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals' Lives," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 10, 2002.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida . When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Bush just decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity."


NOTE: It should be emphasized that at the time Bush was notified of the first plane attack, he (unlike the rest of America) was already aware that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes, per the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB). He was also aware, of course, that the World Trade Center had been historically a target for terrorist attacks. He nonetheless went ahead with this photo opportunity in a school full of children.

o "Mr. Bush arrived at the school, just before 9 am, expecting to be met by its motherly principal, Gwen Rigell. Instead he was pulled sharply aside by the familiar, bulky figure of 51-year-old Karl Rove, a veteran political fixer and trusted aide of both Mr. Bush and his father, George Sr. Mr. Rove, a fellow Texan with an expansive manner and a colorful turn of phrase, told the President that a large commercial airliner (American Flight 11) had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre . Mr. Bush clenched his teeth, lowered his bottom lip and said something inaudible. Then he went into the school." William Langley, "Revealed: What Really Went on During Bush's 'Missing Hours,'" The Telegraph, December 16, 2001.
o "The airborne attack on the World Trade Center was at least the second terrorist attempt to topple the landmarks. In 1993, terrorists sought to bomb one building so that it would explode and fall into the other. The plot did not succeed, but six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured." Cragg Hines, "Terrorists Strike from Air; Jetliners Slam into Pentagon, Trade Center" The Houston Chronicle, September 11, 2001.
o August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US": "Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." August 6, 2001, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US, http://www.cnn.com/2004/images/04/10/whitehouse.pdf


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush the nation is under attack."

o "At 9:05 a.m., the White House chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., stepped into the classroom and whispered into the president's right ear, 'A second plane hit the other tower, and America's under attack.'" David E. Sanger and Don Van Natta Jr., "After The Attacks: The Events; In Four Days, A National Crisis Changes Bush's Presidency," The New York Times, September 16, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Mr. Bush just sat there and continued to read My Pet Goat."

o "It was while attending a second-grade reading class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., to promote his education reforms that President Bush learned America was under attack. In the presence of her VIP guest, teacher Sandra Kay Daniels, 45, conducted the day's lesson, which centered on a story about a pet goat." "9/11: A Year After," Los Angeles Times, September 11, 2002.
o President Bush listened to 18 Booker Elementary School second-graders read a story about a girl's pet goat Tuesday before he spoke briefly and somberly about the terrorist attacks. "Bush hears of attack while visiting Booker," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 12, 2001.
o See also film footage.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything."

o "[H]e lingered in the room for another six minutes [after being informed of the second plane] [At] 9:12, he abruptly retreated, speaking to Mr. Cheney and New York officials." David E. Sanger and Don Van Natta Jr., "After The Attacks: The Events;In Four Days, A National Crisis Changes Bush's Presidency," The New York Times, September 16, 2001 .
o "Mr. Bush remained in the elementary school for nearly a half an hour after Andy Card whispered in his ear." Michael Kranish, "Bush: US To Hunt Down Attackers," Boston Globe, September 11, 2001.



Section Two

[Section Two covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Bush's failure to meet with Richard Clarke, to the August 6th memo, and ends with the Saudi flights out of the US after 9/11.]


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counterterrorism?"

o "[T]hey didn't allow me to brief him on terrorism. You know, they're saying now that when I was afforded the opportunity to talk to him about cybersecurity, it was my choice. I could have talked about terrorism or cybersecurity. That's not true. I asked in January to brief him, the president, on terrorism, to give him the same briefing I had given Vice President Cheney, Colin Powell and Condi Rice. And I was told, 'You can't do that briefing, Dick, until after the policy development process.'" Richard Clarke interview with Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press, March 28, 2004.
o "Clarke asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee meetings on these issues [outlined in his January 25, 2001 memo] and was frustrated that no early meeting was scheduled. He wanted principals to accept that al Qaeda was a 'first order threat' and not a routine problem being exaggerated by 'chicken little' alarmists. No Principals Committee meetings on al Qaeda were held until September 4, 2001." National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 8, "National Policy Coordination," pp 9-10; http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/
o See Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004:

MR. ROEMER: Okay. Let's move into, with my 15 minutes, let's move into the Bush administration. On January the 25th, we've seen a memo that you had written to Dr. Rice, urgently asking for a principals review of al Qaeda. You include helping the Northern Alliance, covert aid, significant new '02 budget authority to help fight al Qaeda --

MR. CLARKE: Uh-huh.

MR. ROEMER: -- and response to the U.S.S. Cole. You attached to this document both the Delenda Plan of 1998 and a strategy paper from December 2000. Did you get a response to this urgent request for a principals meeting on these, and how does this affect your time frame for dealing with these important issues?

MR. CLARKE: I did geta response. The response was that in the Bush administration I should, and my committee, the counterterrorism security group, should report to the deputies committee, which is a sub-cabinet level committee, and not to the principals, and that therefore it was inappropriate for me to be asking for a principals meeting. Instead, there would be a deputies meeting.

MR. ROEMER: So, does this slow the process down to go to the deputies rather than to the principals or a small group, as you had previously done?

MR. CLARKE: It slowed it down enormously, by months. First of all, the deputies committee didn't meet urgently in January or February. Then, when the deputies committee did meet, it took the issue of al Qaeda as part of a cluster of policy issues, including nuclear proliferation in South Asia, democratization in Pakistan, how to treat the problems, the various problems, including narcotics and other problems in Afghanistan, and, launched on a series of deputies meetings extending over several months to address al Qaeda in the context of all of those interrelated issues. That process probably ended, I think, in July of 2001, so we were readying for a principals meeting in July, but the principals' calendar was full, and then they went on vacation, many of them, in August, so we couldn't meet in August, and therefore the principals met in September.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Maybe Mr. Bush was wondering why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI."

o "This question of resources will also come up in the commission's questioning of Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was brand-new on the job in the fall of 2001 and on September 10th cut the FBI's request for new counterterrorism money by 12 percent." John Dimsdale, "Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General John Ashcroft to appear before 9/11 commission tomorrow," NPR Radio: Marketplace, April 12, 2004. See also, 2001 budget documents including Attorney General John Ashcroft FY 2003 budget request to Office of Management and Budget, September 10, 2001, showing $65 million offset in the FBI budget for counter-terrorism equipment grants: http://www.americanprogress.org/atf/cf/%7BE9245FE4-9A2B-43C7-A521-5D6FF2E06E03%7D


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001, said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes.

o August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB): "Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s. A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks. We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of 'Blind Shaykh' 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists. Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." August 6, 2001, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US, http://www.cnn.com/2004/images/
o "The Aug. 6, 2001, document, known as the President's Daily Brief, has been the focus of intense scrutiny because it reported that bin Laden advocated airplane hijackings, that al-Qaida supporters were in the United States and that the group was planning attacks here." Clarke J. Scott, "Clarke Gave Warning on Sept. 4, 2001; Testimony Includes Apology to Families of Sept. 11 Victims, Associated Press, March 25, 2004.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: On August 6 th, 2001, George W. Bush went fishing.

o "President Bush swung into vacation mode Monday, fishing for bass in his pond, strolling the canyons on his 1,600-acre ranch, taking an early-morning run. Associated Press, "President Bush Vacationing in Texas," August 6, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Was it the guy my daddy's friends delivered a lot of weapons to?"

o In 1995, a member of Reagan's National Security Council and co-author of his National Security Directives, Howard Teicher, signed a sworn affidavit stating: "From early 1982 to 1987, I served as a Staff Member to the United States National Security Council. In June, 1982, President Reagan decided that the United States could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran. President Reagan decided that the United States would do whatever was necessary and legal to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran. Pursuant to the secret NSDD, the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. This message was delivered by Vice President Bush who communicated it to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein. Under CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, the CIA made sure that non-U.S. manufacturers manufactured and sold to Iraq the weapons needed by Iraq. In certain instances where a key component in a weapon was not readily available, the highest levels of the United States government decided to make the component available, directly or indirectly, to Iraq. I specifically recall that the provision of anti-armor penetrators to Iraq was a case in point. The United States made a policy decision to supply penetrators to Iraq." Affidavit of former Howard Teicher, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. CARLOS CARDOEN et al, January 31, 1995. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/
o "Questions have been raised about whether the United States not only ignored foreign arms shipments to Iraq, but actually encouraged or even arranged them. A former National Security Council official, Howard Teicher, said in a 1995 court affidavit that the CIA made sure Iraq received weapons from non-U.S. manufacturers." Ken Guggenheim, "War Crimes Trial for Saddam Could Reveal Details of Past U.S. Help," Associated Press, January 24, 2004.
o "There is ample documentation demonstrating that the Reagan and Bush administrations supplied critical military technologies that were put directly to use in the construction of the Iraqi war machine. There is also strong evidence indicating that the executive branch's failure to crack down on illegal weapons traffickers or keep track of third party transfers of U.S. weaponry allowed a substantial flow of U.S.-origin military equipment and military components to make their way to Iraq." William D. Hartung, Weapons at War; A World Policy Institute Issue Brief, May 1995. See also, Alan Friedman, Spider's Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, (Bantam Books, 1993); Kenneth R. Timmerman, The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq, (Houghton, Mifflin, 1991).
o "Rep. Dante Fascell, D-Fla., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the United States could not 'make a claim for purity' on arms sales, since the U.S. government has sold weapons to Iran, Iraq 'and everybody else in the world.'" Robert Shepard, "Congress Approves Aid for Former Soviet Republics," United Press International, October 3, 1992.
o "A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program. Those officers, most of whom agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified, spoke in response to a reporter's questions about the nature of gas warfare on both sides of the conflict between Iran and Iraq from 1981 to 1988. Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is repeatedly cited by President Bush and, this week, by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as justification for "regime change" in Iraq. The covert program was carried out at a time when President Reagan's top aides, including Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then the national security adviser, were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurds in Halabja in March 1988." Patrick E. Tyler, "Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas," The New York Times, August 18, 2002.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor?"

o "A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas." "Taleban in Texas for talks on Gas Pipeline," BBC News, December 4, 1997 (Sugarland is 22 miles outside Houston.)


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them."

o "The 27 classified pages of a congressional report about Sept. 11 depict a Saudi government that not only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups through suspect charities and other fronts, according to sources familiar with the document. One U.S. official who has read the classified section said it describes 'very direct, very specific links' between Saudi officials, two of the San Diego-based hijackers and other potential co-conspirators 'that cannot be passed off as rogue, isolated or coincidental.'" Of all the hijackers, 15 of the 19 were Saudi. Josh Meyer, "Report Links Saudi Government to 9/11 Hijackers, Sources Say," Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2003.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "In the days following September 11th , all commercial and private airline traffic was grounded."

o "On the morning of September 11th, there were 4,873 instrument flight rule (IFR) flights operating in U.S. airspace. As soon as Secretary Mineta was aware of the nature and scale of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington -- that we were faced with, not one, but four possible hijackings, and several other rumors of missing or unidentified aircraft -- the Secretary ordered the air traffic system shut down for all civil operations. Jane F. Garvey on Aviation Security Following the Terrorist Attack on September 11th, September 21, 2001; http://www.faa.gov/newsroom/testimony/
2001/testimony_010921.htm; see also, "Airports to Remain Closed, Mineta Says," Department of Transportation Press Release, September 12, 2001


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "The White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis."

o Fearing reprisals against Saudi nationals, the Saudi government asked for help in getting some of its citizens out of the country. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12; http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/
o "Now, what I recall is that I asked for flight manifests of everyone on board and all of those names need to be directly and individually vetted by the FBI before they were allowed to leave the country. And I also wanted the FBI to sign off even on the concept of Saudis being allowed to leave the country. And as I recall, all of that was done. It is true that members of the Bin Laden family were among those who left. We knew that at the time. I can't say much more in open session, but it was a conscious decision with complete review at the highest levels of the State Department and the FBI and the White House." Testimony of Richard Clarke, Former Counterterrorism Chief, National Security Council, before The Senate Judiciary Committee, September 3, 2003.
o "I was making or coordinating a lot of decisions on 9/11 and the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don't know. Since you pressed me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State, or the White House Chief of Staff's Office. But I don't know." Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country."


NOTE: It should be noted that even though the film does not make the allegation, strong evidence has recently come to light that at least one private plane flew to pick up Saudi nationals while private flights were still grounded. Moreover, for nearly three years, the White House has denied that this flight existed. This was reported in the June 9, 2004 St. Petersburg Times article cited below.
o After the airspace reopened, six chartered flights with 142 people,mostly Saudi Arabian nationals, departed from the United States between September 14 and 24. One flight, the so-called Bin Ladin flight, departed the United States on September 20 with 26 passengers, most of them relatives of Usama Bin Ladin. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12; http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/
o It should be noted that the US Customs and Border Protection document released by the Department of Homeland Security under the FOIA, Feb 24, 2004 lists 162 Saudi Nationals who flew out of the country between 9/11/2001 and 9/15/2001, departing from New York's Kennedy airport, Washington's Dulles, and Dallas Fort Worth. http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/
o For an official list of Saudi Passport holders (names redacted) who flew out of the country between 9.11.2001 - 9.15.2001, see US Customs and Border Protection document released by the Department of Homeland Security under the FOIA, Feb 24, 2004; http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/
o TheSt. Petersburg Times reported on Jun 9, 2004:

o "Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, with most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men and left. The men, one of them thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family, were accompanied by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer on the flight to Lexington, Ky. The Saudis then took another flight out of the country."

o Moreover: "For nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports and widespread Internet speculation about its purpose The terrorism panel, better known as the 9/11 Commission, said in April that it knew of six chartered flights with 142 people aboard, mostly Saudis, that left the United States between Sept. 14 and 24, 2001. But it has said nothing about the Tampa flight The 9/11 Commission, which has said the flights out of the United States were handled appropriately by the FBI, appears concerned with the handling of the Tampa flight.

o "Most of the aircraft allowed to fly in U.S. airspace on Sept. 13 were empty airliners being ferried from the airports where they made quick landings on Sept. 11. The reopening of the airspace included paid charter flights, but not private, nonrevenue flights." Jean Heller, "TIA now verifies flight of Saudis; The government has long denied that two days after the 9/11 attacks, the three were allowed to fly." St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2004


Section Three

[Section Three covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Osama's relations with his family through Bush's military records and ends with Bush's business history, including Arbusto, Harken and the Carlyle Group.]

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: In 2001, one of Osama's sons got married in Afghanistan; several family members attended the wedding.

o "Bin Laden as well as his mother, two brothers and a sister, who flew from Saudi Arabia, attended the wedding of one of his sons, Mohammad, in the Afghan city of Kandahar on Monday, the Arabic daily Al-Hayat said. Another of bin Laden's sons married one of al-Masri's daughters in January. Al-Hayat said several members of the bin Laden family, who run a major construction company in Saudi Arabia, also traveled from the kingdom to attend the wedding. Agence France Presse, "Bin Laden Full of Praise for Attack on USS Cole at Son's Wedding", Thursday, March 1, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "We held hundreds of people" immediately after 9/11.

o "More than 1,200 foreigners have been detained as part of the government's investigation into the terror attacks, some spending months in prison. Some civil liberties advocates have complained, but government officials insist they are simply enforcing long-standing immigration laws." "A Nation Challenged," New York Times, November 25, 2001.
o "The Department of Homeland Security announced new rules yesterday designed to prevent a recurrence of the lengthy detention of hundreds of foreign nationals, many of whom were prevented from making telephone calls or contacting lawyers for months after they were jailed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The guidelines, made public yesterday by Asa Hutchinson, the department's undersecretary for border and transportation security, were welcomed by civil rights groups that had bitterly denounced the detention of 762 immigration violators after the attacks, based on sometimes ill-founded FBI suspicions that they had links to terrorism. The new rules are a response to a highly critical 198-page report last June by Glenn A. Fine, the Justice Department's inspector general. It concluded that in the chaotic aftermath of the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, hundreds of Arab and South Asian men who had committed sometimes minor immigration violations languished in jail without timely review by U.S. officials. Guards mistreated some of them. The average detention lasted three months, and the longest was 10 months before the immigrants were cleared of terrorism ties and released from jail." John Mintz, "New Rules Shorten Holding Time for Detained Immigrants," Washington Post, April 14, 2004.
o "In the days, weeks and months following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, hundreds of American immigrants were rounded up and detained, often under harsh or abusive conditions, in the name of keeping America safe. Not because of evidence (or even sound hunches) that they were involved in the terrorist attacks that brutally ended the lives of more than 3,100 people. Not because they were found to have ties to - or even knowledge of - terrorist groups who might threaten American security in the future. Instead, hundreds of immigrants were arbitrarily snared in this dragnet, marked for arrest and thrown (literally, at times) in jail. The exact number is unknown, because the government refuses to release that information. They had one thing in common: Almost all were Arab or South Asian men, and almost all were Muslim... Once arrested, many immigrants were labeled "of interest" to the September 11 investigation and thrown into legal limbo - detained for weeks or months in connection with a criminal investigation, but denied the due process rights that they would have been entitled to had they actually been charged with crimes." ACLU, "America's Disappeared: Seeking International Justice for Immigrants Detained after September 11," January 2004.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The FBI conducted "a little interview, check[ed] the passport."


Last year, the National Review reported that the FBI conducted brief, day-of-departure interviews with the Saudis -- in the words of an FBI spokesman, "at the airport, as they were about to leave." Experts interviewed by the National Review called the FBI's actions "highly unusual" given the fact that those departing were actually members of Osama bin Laden's family. "They [the FBI] could not have done a thorough and complete interview," said John L.Martin, the former head of internal security at the Justice Department. "The Great Escape : How did assorted bin Ladens get out of America after September 11?" National Review, September 29, 2003.
o "Thirty of the 142 people on these flights were interviewed by the FBI, including 22 of the 26 people (23 passengers and 3 private security guards) on the Bin Ladin flight. Many were asked detailed questions. None of the passengers stated that they had any recent contact with Usama Bin Ladin or knew anything about terrorist activity." National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12; http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing10/staff_statement_10.pdf
o "I talked to several people who were with the FBI during the actual repatriation. And they told me there was a lot of back-and-forth between the FBI and the Saudi Embassy. And the Saudi Embassy tried to get people to leave without even identifying them. The FBI succeeded in identifying people and going through their passports. But, in many cases, you had the FBI meeting people for the first time on the tarmac or on the planes themselves as they were departing. That was not time for a serious interview or a serious interrogation." Interview with Craig Unger, CNN, September 4, 2003.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: White House released records in response to Moore's charge of deserter.

o Left-leaning filmmaker Michael Moore got the discussion started in January, when he endorsed Clark for president and called the president a 'deserter.' The White House responded by releasing the president's service records, including an honorable discharge. James Rainey, "Who's the Man? They Are; George Bush and John Kerry Stand Shoulder to Shoulder in One Respect: Macho is Good. Very Good. It's Been That Way Since Jefferson's Day," Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2004.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: There is one glaring difference between the records released in 2000 and those he released in 2004. A name had been blacked out. In 1972, two airmen were suspended for failing to take their medical examination. One was George W. Bush and the other wasJames R. Bath.
o See National Guard Bureau, Aeronautical Orders Number 87, September 29, 1972, Attachment B, paragraph 7 (original document):


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: James R. Bath was the Texas money manager for the Bin Laden family.

o See Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, signed by Salem M. Binladen, July 8, 1976 (original document), Attachment C ("I, Salem M. Binladen, do hereby vest unto James Reynolds Bath, 2330 Bellefontaine, Houston, Texas, full and absolute authority to act on my behalf in all matters relating to the business and operation of Binladen-Houston offices in Houston, Texas." Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, July 8, 1976.
o "According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after [George H. W.] Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. Binladen appointed Bath as his business representative in Houston. Binladen, along with his brothers, owns Binladen Brothers Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East." Jerry Urban, "Feds Investigate Entrepreneur Allegedly Tied to Saudis," Houston Chronicle, June 4, 1992.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: George W. Bush and James R. Bath had become good friends.

o "Bath, 55, acknowledges a friendship with George W. Bush that stems from their service together in the Texas Air National Guard." Jonathan Beaty, "A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes," Time Magazine, October 28, 1991.
o "In a copy of the record released by the National Guard in 2000, the man in question, James R. Bath, was listed as being suspended from flying for the National Guard in 1972 for failing to take a medical exam next to a similar listing for Mr. Bush. It has been widely reported that the two were friends and that Mr. Bath invested in Mr. Bush's first major business venture, Arbusto Energy, in the late 1970's after Mr. Bath began working for Salem bin Laden." Jim Rutenberg, "A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines," New York Times, May 17, 2004.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "After they were discharged, when Bush's dad was head of the CIA, Bath opened up his own aviation business, after selling a plane to a man by the name of Salem bin Laden, heir to the second largest fortune in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi bin Laden Group."

o "Bath opened his own aircraft brokerage firm in 1976." Jonathan Beaty, "A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes," Time Magazine, October 28, 1991. (Bush was CIA director, 1976-1977.)
o "Sometime around 1974 Bath was trying to sell a F-27 turboprop, a sluggish medium-range plane that was not exactly a hot ticket in those days, when he received a phone call that changed his life. The voice no the other end belonged to Salem bin Laden Bath not only had a buyer for a plane no one else seemed to want, he had also stumbled upon a source of wealth and power that was certain to pique the interest of even the brashest Texas oil baron." Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, pp,19-20 (Scribner: New York, 2004).


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "George W. Bush founded an oil company, a drilling company, out in west Texas called Arbusto, which was very good at drilling dry holes."

o "After graduating from the Harvard Business School, Bush organized his first company, Arbusto Energy (Arbusto is Spanish for Bush) in 1977 on the eve of a run for Congress. According to records on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arbusto didn't start active operations until March 1979. According to 1984 securities filings, Bush's limited partners had invested $4.66 million in Bush's various drilling programs but they had received cash distributions of only $1.54 million. However, Bush's CFO stated, 'We didn't find much oil and gas,' adding 'We weren't raising any money.' George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, "Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings," Washington Post, July 30, 1999.
o "Bush eventually renamed his company Bush Exploration and later merged with a firm called Spectrum 7. Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the firm lost money from 1979 to 1982 and that investors who put in nearly $4.7 million got back just $1.5 million. Published reports contend that Bush Exploration was salvaged by Cincinnati oilmen Bill DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. Bush today says otherwise, that his company was on firm financial footing and that the merger was a strategic one. Either way, George W. drilled his fair share of dry holes. As Conaway rues to this day, the company 'never hit . . . the Big Kahuna.'" Maria La Ganga, "Bush Finesses Texas 2-Step Of Privilege, Personality," Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2000.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "There is no indication that daddy wrote a check to start Bush off in his company."

o "Seed money, upward of $4 million, was largely raised between 1979 and 1982 with the help of [Bush's] uncle, financier Jonathan Bush. The Arbusto investor list is filled with family and famous friends. His grandmother, Dorothy W. Bush, chipped in $25,000. Corporate luminaries like George L. Ball, chief executive of Prudential-Bache Securities, invested $100,000. Macomber and William H. Draper III, who invested more than $125,000, were later named presidents of the U.S. Export-Import Bank during the Reagan and Bush administrations." Maria La Ganga, "Bush Finesses Texas 2-Step Of Privilege, Personality," Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2000.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Bush's good friend James Bath was hired by the bin Laden family to manage their money in Texas and invest in businesses. And James Bath himself, in turn, invested in George W. Bush."

o See Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, signed by Salem M. Binladen, July 8, 1976 (original document), Attachment C ("I, Salem M. Binladen, do hereby vest unto James Reynolds Bath, 2330 Bellefontaine, Houston, Texas, full and absolute authority to act on my behalf in all matters relating to the business and operation of Binladen-Houston offices in Houston, Texas." Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, July 8, 1976.
o See 1981 Schedule 4 spreadsheet showing $50,000 investment by James Bath in George W. Bush's Arbusto Exploration, Attachment D (original document).
o Bath's business relationship with Salem bin Laden, and other wealthy Saudi businessmen, has been well documented. See, e.g., Mike Ward, "Bin Laden Relatives Have Ties to Texas," Austin American-Statesman, November 9, 2001; Jerry Urban, "Feds Investigate Entrepreneur Allegedly Tied to Saudis," Houston Chronicle, June 4, 1992; Thomas Petzinger Jr., et al., "Family Ties: How Oil Firm Linked to a Son of Bush Won Bahrain Drilling Pact," The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1991.
o "[E]arly 1980s tax records reviewed by TIME show that Bath invested $50,000 in Bush's energy ventures and remained a stockholder until Bush sold his company to Harken in 1986." Jonathan Beaty, "A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes," Time Magazine, October 28, 1991.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Bush ran Arbusto nearly into the ground, as he did every other company he was involved in until finally one of his companies was bought by Harken Energy and they gave him a seat on their board."

o "Bush's name was to help rescue him, just as it had attracted investors and helped revive his flagging fortunes throughout his years in the dusty plains city of Midland. A big Dallas-based firm, Harken Oil and Gas, was looking to buy up troubled oil companies. After finding Spectrum, Harken's executives saw a bonus in their target's CEO, despite his spotty track record. By the end of September 1986, the deal was done. Harken assumed $ 3.1 million in debts and swapped $ 2.2 million of its stock for a company that was hemorrhaging money, though it had oil and gas reserves projected to produce $ 4 million in future net revenue. Harken, a firm that liked to attach itself to stars, had also acquired Bush, whom it used not as an operating manager but as a high-profile board member. It was one of the biggest breaks of Bush's life. Still, the Harken deal completed a disappointing reprise of what was becoming a familiar pattern. As an oilman, Bush always worked hard, winning a reputation as a straight-shooter and a good boss who was witty, warm and immensely likable. Even the investors who lost money in his ventures remained admirers, and some of them are now raising money for his presidential campaign. But the story of Bush's career in oil, which began following his graduation from Harvard Business School in the summer of 1975 and ended when he sold out to Harken and headed for Washington, is mostly about his failure to succeed, despite the sterling connections his lineage and Ivy League education brought him." George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, "Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings," Washington Post, July 30, 1999.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bush was investigated by the S.E.C. The James Baker law partner who helped Bush beat the rap from the SEC was a man by the name of Robert Jordon, who, when George W. became president was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

o "A week before George W. Bush's 1990 sale of stock in Harken Energy Co., the firm's outside lawyers cautioned Bush and other directors against selling shares if they had significant negative information about the company's prospects. The sale came a few months before Harken reported significant losses, leading to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The June 15, 1990, letter from the Haynes and Boone law firm wasn't sent to the SEC by Bush's attorney Robert W. Jordan until Aug. 22, 1991, according to a letter by Jordan. That was one day after SEC staff members investigating the stock sale concluded there was insufficient evidence to recommend an enforcement action against Bush for insider trading." Peter Behr, "Bush Sold Stock After Lawyers' Warning," Washington Post, November 1, 2002.
o "President Bush has chosen as ambassador to Saudi Arabia a Dallas attorney who represented him against allegations arising from his sale of stock in Harken Energy Co. 11 years ago." G. Robert Hillman, "Bush Taps Dallas Attorney to be Ambassador to Saudi Arabia," The Dallas Morning News, July 21, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "After the Harken debacle, the friends of Bush's dad got him a seat on another board, of a company owned by the Carlyle Group."

o "Fred Malek, a senior advisor to Carlyle, who also served as the director of the 1988 Republican Convention, suggested to Carlyle that the President's eldest son, George W. Bush, would 'be a positive addition to Caterair's board.' Mr. Malek was also a Caterair director and vice chairman of Northwest Airlines, a major Caterair customer. 'I thought George W. Bush could make a contribution to Caterair,' stated Malek. Malek further claimed, 'He would be on the board even if his father weren't President.'" Kenneth N. Gilpin, "Little-Known Carlyle Scores Big," New York Times, March 26, 1991
o Co-Founder of Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein, talking about setting up Cater Air after Carlyle acquired it: "When we're putting together the board," Rubenstein said, 'somebody came to me and said 'Look, there is a guy who would like to be on the board. He's kind of down on his luck a bit. Needs a job. Needs some board positions. Could you put him on the board? Pay him a salary and he'll be a good board member and be a loyal vote for the management and so forth.' We put him on the board and (he) spent three years. Came to all the meetings. And after a while I kind of said to him, after about three years - 'You know, I'm not sure this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else. Because I don't think you're adding much value to the board. You don't know that much about the company.' The board member told him, Rubenstein said, 'Well I think I'm getting out of this business anyway. I don't really like it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board.' And I said, 'Thanks.' Didn't think I'd ever see him again. His name is George W. Bush,' Rubenstein said. 'He became president of the United States. So if you said to me, name 25 million people who would be president of the United States, he wouldn't be in that category. So you neverknow." Nicholas Horrock, "White House Watch: With Friends Like These," UPI, July 16, 2003 .

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