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Snider Quits

9-11 Investigation Delay Is Certain

Resignation of Staff Director for 9-11 Joint Congressional Committee Leaves Questions Unanswered

Interim Replacement a Cause for Concern

by Michael C. Ruppert

May 6, 2002, 12:00 PM PDT (FTW) -- Britt Snider, the retired CIA inspector general who had been chosen to head the Joint Senate-House Committee investigation into the attacks of 9-11, resigned suddenly on April 30. Various press reports offer mixed and vague explanations for the resignation that is certain to delay any investigation into the attacks of Sept. 11. The Associated Press reported Sniderís resignation was triggered by a personnel decision that had angered the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Arkansas Republican Richard Shelby. The New York Times said Snider had resigned under pressure. In a lengthier story, the Los Angeles Times reported some on the panel feared Snider, who retired as CIA IG last year, would go soft on his old friend, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and possibly protect colleagues at the CIA.

Snider is no stranger to controversy. In July 1998, after being appointed by President Clinton, he assumed the CIA IG post. In that capacity he supervised the Oct. 8, 1998 release of an explosive report prepared by his predecessor, Frederick Hitz, who now holds the Goldman Sachs intelligence chair at Princeton. That report, [Volume II of the IGís investigation into "Allegations of Connections Between CIA and the Contras in Cocaine Trafficking To The United States" (96-0143-IG)], which examined CIAís connection to drug trafficking during the Contra war of the 1980s, is perhaps the single most incriminating document ever released by the CIA. Wrapped inside innocuous cover letters and executive summaries, its pages contain hundreds of admissions of criminal acts by the Agency in protecting and facilitating drug trafficking operations. The report also describes how CIA personnel regularly lied to Congress and briefed then-Vice President George Bush on ways to misdirect congressional investigations.

Until a replacement is named, Sniderís deputy, Rick Cinquegrana, will serve as head of the investigative staff which now numbers about 30. Cinquegrana is not much of an improvement. Volume II reports that Cinquegrana, while serving as the Justice Departmentís deputy counsel for intelligence policy, was the point-man in 1981 negotiations for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between then-Attorney General William French-Smith and CIA director William Casey, which told the CIA it no longer had to report drug trafficking by any employees who were not officers in the Agency. This writer has used the letter of transmittal for the MOU in lectures around the country to demonstrate criminal complicity on the part of the Agency in the drug trade. It contains the sentence, "In light of these provisions, and in view of the fine cooperation the Drug Enforcement Administration has received from CIA, no formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics violation has been included in these procedures."

Volume II, which has never been fully or publicly examined by Congress, was made public on the CIAís website just one hour after Henry Hydeís House Judiciary Committee began the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

As the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) closed down their secret, closed-door investigations into CIA drug trafficking in May 2000, several mysterious deaths followed. First the staff director, John Millis, was the victim of an alleged suicide in June. Then in November, Charles Ruff, Bill Clintonís point man on the impeachment and reported liaison on the drug investigation, accidentally died in his shower. Julian Dixon, the African-American ranking member of HPSCI died of a sudden heart attack just weeks later.

These are deep waters. Sniderís sudden departure may be a reflection of more trouble yet to come. Cinquegrana is definitely not the man to be trusted with oversight of this investigation. But until the American people can have confidence in an open investigation with some degree of transparency, we might we look forward to and even expect more delays and "mysterious" developments.

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Truth And Lies About 9-11