Friday, April 12, 2002; Page A16
Democrat Implies Sept. 11 Administration Plot
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) is calling for an investigation into whether
President Bush and other government officials had advance notice of
terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 but did nothing to prevent them. She added that "persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war."
In a recent interview with a Berkeley, Calif., radio station, McKinney said:
"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September
11th. . . . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about
the events of September 11th?
Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who
were needlessly murdered? . . . What do they have to hide?"
McKinney declined to be interviewed yesterday, but she issued a statement
saying: "I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or
members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of
9-11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case."
Bush spokesman Scott McLellan dismissed McKinney's comments.
"The American people know the facts, and they dismiss such ludicrous,
baseless views," he said. "The fact that she questions the president's
legitimacy shows a partisan mind-set beyond all reason."
In the radio conversation, McKinney delivered a stinging attack on the
administration. In 2000, she charged, Bush forces "stole from America our
most precious right of all, the right to free and fair elections." With the
September attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in
Pennsylvania, McKinney said, "an administration of questionable legitimacy
has been given unprecedented power."
She suggested that the administration was serving the interests of a
Washington-based investment firm, the Carlyle Group, which employs a number
of high-ranking former government officials from both parties. Former
president George H.W. Bush -- the current president's father -- is an
adviser to the firm. McKinney said the war on terrorism has enriched Carlyle Group investors by enhancing the value of a military contractor partly owned by
Carlyle Group spokesman Chris Ullman asked: "Did she say these things while
standing on a grassy knoll in Roswell, New Mexico?"
During her five terms in office, McKinney has often given voice to radical
critiques of U.S. policy, especially in the Middle East.
She defied the State Department to investigate assertions that international
sanctions are brutalizing innocent Iraqis.
With her comments concerning Sept. 11, McKinney, 47, seems to have tapped
into a web of conspiracy theories circulating during the past six months
among people who believe that the government is partially -- or entirely --
to blame for last year's attacks, which killed more than 3,000 people.
"What is undeniable is that corporations close to the administration have
directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the
aftermath of September 11th," McKinney charged. "America's credibility, both
with the world and with her own people, rests upon securing credible answers
to these questions."
None of McKinney's colleagues has embraced her allegations, but a few said
they are familiar with the theories.
"I've heard a number of people say it," said Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), who
quickly added, "I can't say that it would be a widely held view" among
Some lawmakers have a less charitable view of McKinney's penchant for
publicity. Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said McKinney is simply trying to
impress her constituents.
"She's demonstrated at home an ability to win," he said, "and she's
demonstrated in Washington a total lack of responsibility in her
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a friend of McKinney's, said the Georgia
Democrat is adept at seizing on "red-meat" issues that resonate with her political base and have helped her fend off a series of GOP challengers.
"She's not as random as people think," Kingston said. "People always want to
hear a political conspiracy theory."
Staff writer David Von Drehle contributed to this report.
© 2002 The Washington Post Company
Congresswoman McKinney, Investigate Bushwack Gang,
Links to 911 and More Links
Congresswoman McKinney Presses for Investigation of
Bush Administration Links to 9-11
April 12, 2002
The need for an investigation of the events
surrounding September 11 is as obvious as is the need
for an investigation of the Enron debacle. Certainly,
if the American people deserve answers about what went
wrong with Enron and why (and we do), then we deserve
to know what went wrong on September 11 and why.
Are we squandering our goodwill around the world with
what many believe to be incoherent, warmongering
policies that alienate our friends and antagonize our
allies? How much of a role does our reliance on
imported oil play in the military policies being put
forward by the Bush Administration? And what role does
the close relationship between the Bush Administration
and the oil and defense industries play, if any, in
the policies that are currently being pursued by this
We deserve to know what went wrong on September 11 and
why. After all, we hold thorough public inquiries into
rail disasters, plane crashes, and even natural
disasters in order to understand what happened and to
prevent them from happening again or minimizing the
tragic effects when they do. Why then does the
Administration remain steadfast in its opposition to
an investigation into the biggest terrorism attack
upon our nation?
News reports from Der Spiegel to the London Observer,
from the Los Angeles Times to MSNBC to CNN, indicate
that many different warnings were received by the
Administration. In addition, it has even been reported
that the United States government broke bin Laden's
secure communications before September 11. Sadly, the
United States government is being sued today by
survivors of the Embassy bombings because, from court
reports, it appears clear that the US had received
prior warnings, but did little to secure and protect
the staff at our embassies.
Did the same thing happen to us again?
I am not aware of any evidence showing that President
Bush or members of his administration have personally
profited from the attacks of 9-11. A complete
investigation might reveal that to be the case. For
example, it is known that President Bush's father,
through the Carlyle Group had - at the time of the
attacks - joint business interests with the bin Laden
construction company and many defense industry
holdings, the stocks of which, have soared since
On the other hand, what is undeniable is that
corporations close to the Administration, have
directly benefited from the increased defense spending
arising from the aftermath of September 11. The
Carlyle Group, DynCorp, and Halliburton certainly
stand out as companies close to this Administration.
Secretary Rumsfeld maintained in a hearing before
Congress that we can afford the new spending, even
though the request for more defense spending is the
highest increase in twenty years and the Pentagon has
lost $2.3 trillion.
All the American people are being asked to make
sacrifices. Our young men and women in the military
are being asked to risk their lives in our War Against
Terrorism while our President's first act was to sign
an executive order denying them high deployment
overtime pay. The American people are being asked to
make sacrifices by bearing massive budget cuts in the
social welfare of our country, in the areas of health
care, social security, and civil liberties for our
enhanced military and security needs arising from the
events of September 11; it is imperative that they
know fully why we make the sacrifices. If the
Secretary of Defense tells us that his new military
objectives must be to occupy foreign capital cities
and overthrow regimes, then the American people must
know why. It should be easy for this Administration to
explain fully to the American people in a thorough and
methodical way why we are being asked to make these
sacrifices and if, indeed, these sacrifices will make
us more secure. If the Administration cannot
articulate these answers to the American people, then
the Congress must.
This is not a time for closed-door meetings and this
is not a time for se crecy. America's credibility,
both with the world and with her own people, rests
upon securing credible answers to these questions. The
world is teetering on the brink of conflicts while the
Administration's policies are vague, wavering and
unclear. Major financial conflicts of interest
involving the President, the Attorney General, the
Vice President and others in the Administration have
been and continue to be exposed.
This is a time for leadership and judgment that is not
compromised in any fashion. This is a time for
transparency and a thorough investigation.
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