Eight U.S. State Department Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11


Official Account Flawed

Daniel Ellsberg, PhD

Col. Ann Wright

Fred Burks

Melvin Goodman, PhD
Dr. Ellsberg is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11. [2]   Best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, Dr. Ellsberg is a former U.S. State Department envoy to Viet Nam and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Another State Department critic of the official account of 9/11 is Col. Ann Wright, who said in a 2007 interview with Richard Greene on the Air America Radio Network, “It’s incredible some of these things that still are unanswered.  The 9/11 Report — that was totally inadequate.  I mean the questions that anybody has after reading that.” [3]

Col. Wright is one of three U.S. State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003.  She joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served for 16 years as a U.S. Diplomat, including assignments as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Afghanistan.  She helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in December, 2001.  She also served for 13 years on active duty and 16 additional years on reserve duty with the U.S. Army.

She continued in her interview with Greene: “How could our national intelligence and defense operations be so inept that they could not communicate; that they could not scramble jets; that they could not take defensive action?  And I totally agree, I always thought the Pentagon had all sorts of air defense equipment around it; that they could take out anything that was coming at it.  And for a plane to be able to just fly low right over Washington and slam into that thing is just — I mean, you still just shake your head.  How in the world could that happen?”

Fred Burks, former Presidential interpreter, is another State Department veteran who questions the official account of 9/11 and who signed the petition to reinvestigate.  “How is it possible that our military’s highly touted missile detection systems could not locate Flight 77 in the 42 minutes it was known to be lost before it crashed into the heart of the defense system of the U.S.?,” he asked in an essay. [4]

During his 18-year State Department career, Mr. Burks served as interpreter for Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore, Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright and many others. 

Mr. Burks continued, “An even bigger question is why isn’t our media asking these questions?  Why isn’t our military spending many millions of dollars to find out why military defense systems failed on 9/11?  Why is it that the 9/11 commission budget was far less than the budget allotted to the Challenger Disaster or even the Monika Lewinsky affair?  Why aren’t we, the public, asking these questions and demanding answers?”

Melvin Goodman, PhD, is another former State Department employee who signed the petition to reinvestigate 9/11.  He served as a Senior Analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.  Dr. Goodman also later served as Division Chief of the CIA’s Office of Soviet Affairs and as Professor of International Security at the National War College, 1986 – 2004. 

In testimony before a 2005 Congressional briefing on the 9/11 Commission Report, Dr. Goodman said, “I want to talk about the [9/11] Commission itself, about the flawed process of the Commission and finally about the conflict of interest within the Commission that is extremely important to understand the failure of the Commission. … The final report is ultimately a coverup.  I don’t know how else to describe it.” [5]

Dr. Goodman is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and Adjunct Professor of Government at Johns Hopkins University.

Another former career Foreign Service Officer who questions the official account of 9/11 is Michael Springmann.  He is also one of many signers of the petition to reinvestigate 9/11.

In a speech at the National Press Club, Mr. Springmann said, “I used to be in charge of the visa section at the CIA’s Consulate in Jeddah. … There for a year and a half I issued visas to terrorists recruited by the CIA and its asset Osama Bin Laden. … Fifteen of the nineteen people who allegedly flew airplanes into buildings in the United States got their visas from the same CIA Consulate at Jeddah.” [6]

Michael Springmann

George Kenney
During his more than 20 years of U.S. government service, Mr. Springmann worked at both the State Department and the Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Among his many assignments, Mr. Springman served as Consular Officer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he supervised the issuance of visas.

In a later interview with the BBC, Mr. Springmann said, “In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants.  These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country.  I complained bitterly at the time there.  I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General’s office.  I was met with silence. … What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama Bin Laden, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA.  They would then be returned to Afghanistan to fight against the then-Soviets.” [7]

Another State Department veteran publicly questioning the official account of 9/11 is former career Foreign Service Officer, George Kenney, who served as Yugoslav desk officer at the State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.  He resigned his commission in 1991 over U.S. policy towards the Yugoslav conflict.  He then served as consultant in residence at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  Currently he’s a consultant and commentator on foreign affairs and current events.

In a commentary after a 2007 interview of David Ray Griffin, PhD, Mr. Kenney said, “We should strive to clearly separate what we know from things we don’t. Thus, we have a reasonably high level of confidence that the Establishment conspiracy narrative is absurd.  The World Trade Center structures came down through controlled demolition.  Flight 93 was shot down over rural Pennsylvania.  And whatever it was that hit the Pentagon could not have been Flight 77.  Further, whatever his peripheral involvement, the planning and implementation of 9/11 did not originate with Osama bin Laden.” [8]

Michael Mennard, PhD, is another U.S. State Department veteran who questions the official account of 9/11 and calls for a new investigation.  Among his assignments as a career Foreign Service Officer, Dr. Mennard served as Regional Public Affairs Officer in India.

In a statement to this author, Dr. Mennard wrote, “I am concerned about the numerous inconsistencies in the official account of 9/11.  I support a new investigation regarding the tragic events of that day, the events leading up to it, and subsequent efforts to ignore the whole matter.”

Edward Peck
Shortly after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, a group of over 100 prominent Americans signed a petition [9] urging Congress to immediately reinvestigate 9/11.  In addition to six former CIA officials, [10] the signers included Daniel Ellsberg, Melvin Goodman, Fred Burks, Michael Springman (all mentioned above), and Edward Peck.

Edward Peck served as Deputy Coordinator, Covert Intelligence Programs at the State Department.  He later served as Deputy Director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism under President Ronald Reagan.  Mr. Peck, a 32-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, also served as U.S. Ambassador and Chief of Mission in Iraq (1977 – 1980).

The petition stated, in part, “We want truthful answers to questions such as:

1. Why were standard operating procedures for dealing with hijacked airliners not followed that day?

2. Why were the extensive missile batteries and air defenses reportedly deployed around the Pentagon not activated during the attack?

3. Why did the Secret Service allow Bush to complete his elementary school visit, apparently unconcerned about his safety or that of the schoolchildren?

4. Why hasn’t a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day?

5. Why haven’t authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains?”

These questions and many others still remain unanswered three years after the petition was submitted and six years after the terrible events of 9/11.  As the statements of these eight U.S. State Department veterans show, the need for a new thorough and independent investigation of 9/11 is not a matter of partisan politics, nor the demand of irresponsible, deranged, or disloyal Americans.  It is instead a matter of the utmost importance for America’s security and the future of the entire world.

Statements questioning the official account of 9/11 and calls for a new investigation by more than 800 credible individuals can be found at http://PatriotsQuestion911.com

Additional information about prominent skeptics of the official account of 9/11 can be found in the author’s other articles on this subject, listed below.

Dec. 13, 2007Seven Senior Federal Engineers and Scientists Call for New 9/11 Investigation – Official Account of 9/11: “Impossible”, “A Bunch of Hogwash”, “Fatally Flawed”  featured statements by:

  • Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.  Former Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering and Assistant Dean at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology
  • David Griscom, PhD, Retired Research Physicist.  Served 33 years at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
  • Joel Hirschhorn, PhD, Former Senior Staff Member, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.  Former Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources for the National Governors Association
  • Enver Masud, MS, PE, Former Chief of the Strategic and Emergency Planning Branch, U.S. Department of Energy
  • James Quintiere, PhD, Former Chief of the Fire Science Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Dwain Deets, MS, Former Director, Aerospace Projects at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center
  • Edward S. Munyak, MS, PE, Former Fire Protection Engineer for the U.S.  Departments of Energy, Defense, and Veterans Affairs.  Contributing Subject Matter Expert to the U.S.  Department of Energy Fire Protection Engineering Functional Area Qualification Standard for Nuclear Facilities

Dec. 4, 2007Eight Senior Republican Appointees Challenge Official Account of 9/11 – “Not Possible”, “a Whitewash”, “False”  featured statements by

  • Paul Craig Roberts, PhD, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan
  • Catherine Austin Fitts, Assistant Secretary of Housing under President George H.W. Bush
  • Morgan Reynolds, PhD, Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor under current President George W. Bush
  • Col. Ronald D. Ray, U.S. Marine Corps (ret), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan
  • Mary Schiavo, JD, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation under Presidents George H.W. Bush and William Clinton
  • Barbara Honegger, Special Assistant to the Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Ronald Reagan and White House Policy Analyst
  • Edward Peck, Deputy Director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism under President Ronald Reagan.  Former Deputy Coordinator, Covert Intelligence Programs at the U.S. State Department. Former U.S. Ambassador and Chief of Mission in Iraq
  • Morton Goulder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Warning under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter

Sept. 23, 2007Seven CIA Veterans Challenge 9/11 Commission Report – Official Account of 9/11 a “Joke” and a “Cover-up” featured statements by CIA veterans Raymond McGovern, William Christison, Melvin Goodman, Robert Baer, Robert David Steele, Lynne Larkin, and David MacMichael.

Sept. 5, 2007U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ Pilot Questions 9/11, featured the statement of Commander Ralph Kolstad, U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ pilot.

Sept. 4, 2007Former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Senior Staff Member Calls for New Investigation of 9/11 featured the statement of Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D., who served for 12 years as a Senior Staff Member of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and later as Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources for the National Governors Association.

Aug. 27, 2007National Academy of Sciences Member Calls for New 9/11 Investigation featured the statement of Lynn Margulis, Ph.D., world renowned scientist.

Aug. 21, 2007Former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division Calls for Independent Review of World Trade Center Investigation featured the statement of James Quintiere, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading fire science researchers.

July 16, 2007Former California Seismic Safety Commissioner Endorses 9/11 Truth Movement featured the statement of J. Marx Ayres, former member of the National Institute of Sciences Building Safety Council and former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission.


[1]    Interview of Daniel Ellsberg by Jack Blood on the Deadline Live radio show  July 14, 2006  http://www.infowars.com/articles/terror/pentagon_papers_author_gov_maybe_did_911.htm

[2]    Petition to Reinvestigate 9/11  Oct. 26, 2004 http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041026093059633

[3]    Interview of Col. Ann Wright and Laurie Van Auken by Richard Greene on the Air America Radio Network Sept. 11, 2007   http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/aacl091107.mp3

[4]   9/11 and Star Wars: Billions on Missile Defense Can’t Stop Four Airliners on 9/11 by Fred Burks   http://www.wanttoknow.info/911starwars

[5]   The 911 Commission Report – One Year Later, a Congressional Briefing  July 22, 2005   http://www.vt911.org/McKinneyReport20050722transcript.pdf

[6]   Video of Speech by J. Michael Springmann at the National Press Club  June 10, 2002  http://youtube.com/watch?v=zgYFo79q1Ek&mode=related&search=

[7]   Interview of J. Michael Springmann by the BBC News  Nov. 6, 2001  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/newsnight/1645527.stm

[8]   Audio interview of David Ray Griffin, PhD, by George Kenney on Electric Politics  May 11, 2007 

[9]   Petition to Reinvestigate 9/11 Signed by Over 100 Prominent Americans Oct. 26, 2004 http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041026093059633

[10]   Seven CIA Veterans Challenge 9/11 Commission Report by Alan Miller, Sept. 23, 2007 on OpEdNews  http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_alan_mil_070922_seven_cia_veterans_c.htm

Articles by: Alan Miller

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