Former 9/11 commission director talks at lecture

Philip Zelikow currently serves as an Axel Springer Fellow at the American Academy. | Yulia Kutsenkova/The Daily Cougar

As the crowd of students, professors and Houstonians brushed off the cold, Philip Zelikow stepped to the podium in The Honors College Commons on Thursday to discuss the US government’s defense against terrorism.

Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, an executive on the President Intelligence Advisory Board and a history professor at the University of Virginia, focused his lecture, “The Twilight of War,” on America’s resiliency and his experience with the horrific events of 9/11.

“It’s my job to make meaning of 9/11,” Zelikow said.

During the lecture, Zelikow spoke of his personal experiences on the scene during Sept. 11.

“I can still smell the sulfur, it stands out,” Zelikow said. “It was as if the terrorist opened up a special path to hell.”

“After the attack, the event entered popular culture,” Zelikow said. “9/11 opened up our eyes to zealousy.”

In the days following the attack, President Bush labeled Osama bin Laden as America’s enemy and the ringleader of 9/11.

“I disagreed with President Bush when he openly pointed the finger at bin Laden,” Zelikow said.

“It made Osama glorious and that’s what he wanted, to be glorified. These people think we are important and they develop complexes about us, so for our President to recognize one of them was a big deal.”

Since Sept. 11, officials have charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in connection with the attack, labeling him as the mastermind.  Mohammed is being held in Guantanamo Bay for alleged acts of terrorism.

“Bin Laden was a pinnacle for fantasist, like Mohammed – who identify with a creed vs. a nation,” Zelikow said.

“Once bin Laden said, ‘lives would become true and meaningful at the explosive moment of the deed,’ fantasists began to plot.”

Zelikow placed emphasis on these fantasists and said they were the cause of Sept. 11.

“They were a group of young people, 20 to 30 of them,” Zelikow said.  “We tried to make 9/11 a grand narrative, but it’s not. It was a group of alienated young people.”

According to Zelikow, a graduate of the UH Law School, our government has become reactionary rather than proactive.

“The measure of a government is how it handles failure,” Zelikow said.

“Culturally we defend and adapt to failure.”

Though fears of an attack have diminished, Zelikow insisted that contemporary society will remain vulnerable.

“We are still vulnerable,” Zelikow said. “We need to be resilient as a society against systematic threats.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is a government organization built to examine the systematic threats and to manage risks. According to Zelikow, risk management is our government’s principle function.

“This organization represents thought and earned trust,” Zelikow said. “Its sole purpose is to explain what went wrong and why.”

As the hour lecture drew to an end, Professor Zelikow’s voice was still strong.

“Al-Qaeda is the enemy,” Zelikow said. “They are an unslayable power.”

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  • When sulfur is added to thermite it becomes thermate, which is useful for cutting through steel like a hot knife through butter, as it lowers the melting point of the steel by 1000 degrees by creating a eutectic loop.
    Kind of a giveaway to admit to smelling it, Phil.

    • good observation — another war criminal- I am assuming he's coming up for air because he thinks we might have forgotten his name –that friend of Condi's — fat chance!!!

  • zelikows words fall like acid. strained through the liver of atrocity, splattered onto memories of the dead.
    Here he stands, microphone ON, peering Into the nanothermate laden DUST of the great towers. WTC7.. Past the molten steel pools and the testimonies of Barry Jennings, Willie Rodriguez. The outrage of NIST. The public mythmaker Zelikow. The friend of 'condi', minder of the Commission torture theory, To tell us….what? what desecration of thought would this cretin have left to pass on to us?

  • You are mighty Cavalier about your mythology, Philip. I too strolled the lawn and the Rotunda in Springtime, and downed a brew or three at TJ's. I was watching those who enlisted a story-teller. I am the 99%. Wahoo-wah!

  • Phil is correct in calling Al-Queda an "Un-slayable power". That's exactly what this bunch was designed to be. This is so that the war against terror is unwinnable because the enemy is fictitous. That's the whole point – as long as the 'enemy' is never conquered, there'll always be an excuse to continue the american war machine, and boy is it in full swing now. He was either chosen for his genuine stupidity, or else he's just another insider.

  • Phil is correct in calling Al-Queda an "Un-slayable power". That's exactly what this bunch was designed to be. This is so that the war against terror is unwinnable because the enemy is fictitous. That's the whole point – as long as the 'enemy' is never conquered, there'll always be an excuse to continue the american war machine, and boy is it in full swing now. He was either chosen for his genuine stupidity, or else he's just another insider.

    • Why do you offer the alternative of stupidity? Stupidity should not confused with cupidity, unless you're just confused.

  • Part 1

    While, this is interesting it is also tragic. Philip Zelikow presided over one of the most corrupt investigations and commissions in history. This results of this investigation had been predetermined from the start, so as not to find anyone guilty of any criminal conduct. Unfortunately at this time there is more than enough evidence, from official US government documents, of exactly what had taken place prior to the attacks on 9/11 so that it is now possible today to put together the actual account of why these attacks were allowed to take place. From these documents it is now clear that: (see Part 2)

  • Part 2

    The CIA deliberately withheld the information on Mihdhar and Hazmi, the two al Qaeda terrorists on AA 77, for over 21 months in the beginning from the FBI and later from the FBI criminal investigators on the FBI Cole bombing investigation. There is abundant evidence that the CIA did not want the FBI criminal investigators on the Cole bombing, and the lead Cole bombing investigator FBI Agent Ali Soufan and his assistant FBI Agent Steve Bongardt to have this information for fear they might expose the CIA criminal culpability in allowing the attack on the USS Cole. The CIA had photographed 12 al Qaeda terrorists at a Kuala Lumpur al Qaeda planning meeting in Kuala Lumpur in early January 2000, and then let them all walk away to carry on the attack on the USS Cole even though the CIA knew that several of these al Qaeda terrorists were directly connected to the east Africa bombings, and even knew that future al Qaeda attacks were being planned at this meeting.

  • Part 3
    On January 4, 2001 the CIA identified Walid Bin Attash, the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, at this al Qaeda planning meeting, with Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar actually planning the Cole bombing. At this point the CIA, first by itself and later using FB HQ agents they had subjugated, desperately tried to keep this information from the FBI criminal investigators on the Cole bombing, to hide their criminal culpability in allowing the bombing of the USS Cole. To keep this information secret they with held this information from Soufan, Bongardt, and their FBVI investigating team numerous times in what is now known to be a massive criminal conspiracy.

  • Part 4
    But what is most disturbing is however when the CIA and FBI HQ discovered that both Mihdhar and Hazmi were inside of the US on August 22, 2001, they desperately tried to keep this fact a secret from the FBI criminal investigators on the USS Cole bombing, and Bongardt . However on August 28, 2001, when the EC written by one of the FBI HQ agents subjugated by the CIA, FBI HQ Agent Dina Corsi, was sent to the New York Office to start a low priority intelligence investigation for Mihdhar and Hazmi, it accidentally went to Bongardt when FBI mangers, Craig Donnachie and John Liguori, at the New York office thought there was enough evidence in Corsi’s EC to connect both Mihdhar and Hazmi to the planning of the Cole bombing.

  • Part 5 But when Bongardt called Corsi on that same August 28, 2001, just after he found out from Corsi’s EC that Mihdhar and Hazmi were inside of the US, to demand that this investigation be given to him and his criminal investigators, Corsi said that because some of the information in her EC had been taken from a NSA cable, that this EC was not allowed to be sent to FBI criminal investigators, and therefore he could not take part in any investigation for Mihdhar and Hazmi. This was in spite of the fact that Bongardt knew full well that Mihdhar and Hazmi were inside of the US for no other reason than to take part in a massive al Qaeda attack that would kill many Americans, and in spite of the fact that Corsi’s request to pass this information to Bongardt and his team in New York FBI field office had already been approved in writing on August 27, 2001.

  • Part 6

    When Bongardt requested that Corsi get a ruling from FBI HQ attorneys at the NSLU unit at FBI HQ, because he thought there was no way this NSA information was connected to any FISA warrant, Corsi told him on August 29, 2001 that attorney Sherry Sabol had ruled he could not take part in any investigation for Mihdhar and Hazmi. But according the 9/11 Commission report, on page 538, Footnote 81, Sabol testified to DOJ IG investigators on November 7, 2002 that she told Corsi that since the NSA information had no connection to any FISA warrant, Bongardt could take part in any investigation for Mihdhar and Hazmi.

  • Part 7

    These two lies alone cost almost 3000 people their lives on 9/11. But Corsi and her boss Rod Middleton, who also helped Corsi shut down Bongardt’s investigation of Mihdhar and Hazmi were acting under orders from Tom Wilshire, a former CIA officer who had been moved over to the FBI HQ in mid-May 2001 to spy on the FBI Cole bombing investigators , and find out what they knew about the Kuala Lumpur meeting and Mihdhar and Hazmi. The CIA wanted to know if the FBI Cole bombing investigators had found out about that Mihdhar and Hazmi had taken part in the planning of the Cole bombing and were they going to expose the CIA criminally culpability in allowing the attack on the Cole.

  • What is even more horrific is it now clear from the now available documentation, that Wilshire was acting under orders from Richard Blee, Chief of the CIA Bin Laden unit, his boss, Cofer Black head of the CIA CTC unit and his boss, the Director of the CIA, George Tenet, the hierarchy right up to the very highest level managers at the CIA. From the DOJ IG report we know that Wilshire had emailed Blee, Black and Tenet on July 23, 2001, in an email that requested permission to turn the Kuala Lumpur information over to the FBI Cole bombing investigators, and stated that Khalid al-Mihdhar would be found at the next big al Qaeda attack.

  • Part 9

    On August 22, 2001 when FBI Agent Margret e Gillespie, working at the CIA Bin Laden unit found out from the INS that both Mihdhar and Hazmi were inside of the US she took this information to Wilshire, and Corsi, and this information went to Blee, Black and Tenet the next day. So on August 23, 2001, all of these high level CIA managers not only knew that Mihdhar and Hazmi were inside of the US, but even knew they were in the US in order to take part in a massive al Qaeda attack that would kill thousands of Americans.

  • Part 10

    So what then did Tenet tell the President. We don’t know because Tenet said he had not spoken to the President in all of August 2001. He had even stated that at the April 14, 2004 public 9/11 hearings. But we now know from a White House press release issued on August 25, 2001 that President Bush and George Tenet had a 6 hour meeting on August 24, 2001. To this day we still do not know what Tenet told Bush about this upcoming attack that Tenet knew was going to kill thousands of Americans or about the fact that Mihdhar and Hazmi were inside of the US in order to take part in this attack.

  • Part 11

    The recent interview of Richard Clarke, the highest White House official on terrorism, that is was Blee, Black and Tenet that had withheld this information from him and the FBI and FBI Agent Ali Soufan’s new book that lays the blame for 9/11 right at the feet of the CIA and their withholding of this information from him and the FBI on Mihdhar and Hazmi even further confirms this massive criminal conspiracy that had deliberately allowed the attacks on 9/11 to take place.

  • Part 12

    Since all of this information is today in the public domain and almost all of it comes from official US government documents, including the DOJ IG report, reports the 9/11 Commission and Zelikow stated that had, the big question is why did they not come to these same conclusions, instead of “no one is to be blamed for allowing the attacks on 9/11”. When you see the picture of Zelikow smiling at this speech at the University of Houston, you have to think it is because he thinks he has cleverly pulled the wool over the eyes of all Americans in what is now proven to be a criminally corrupt 9/11 Commission investigation of 9/11. All of the detailed information on this can be found at, or search Amazon for the books “Countdown to the attacks on 9/11”, and “Prior Knowledge of 9/11”, now iconic works that detailed for the first time the entire account on 9/11 and include the actual documents that thoroughly back up all of this information.

  • <div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-221592358"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(221592358)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(221592358)">Close MessageWere there questions asked from the gathered students, administration to Doctor Zelikow?
    I wonder what he would say… <a href="; target="_blank"&gt <a href="http://;…” target=”_blank”>;

  • Phillip Zelikow, America's lowest. Sad to see my alma mater sullied with the presence of this criminal.

    See article by Dr. James Fetzer,

    Phillip Zelikow, whose area of academic specialization prior to becoming engaged in public service was the creation and maintenance of “public myths” is the disgusting entity that gave us the ridiculous narrative about 19 Islamic fundamentalists, who hijacked four commercial carriers with box cutters, outfoxed the most sophisticated air defense system in the world, and perpetrated these atrocities under the control of a guy off in a cave in Afghanistan.

    9-11 was an inside job.

  • It’s now official – there’s been no actual shortage of Holocaust Survivors :

    Quote from The Holocaust Industry by Norman G. Finkelstein of the City University of New York, published by Verso in the year 2000:
    'The Israeli Prime Minister's office recently put the number of "living Holocaust survivors" at nearly a million.' (page 83)

    I've checked out the six volumes of Churchill's Second World War and the statement is quite correct – not a single mention of Nazi 'gas chambers,' a 'genocide' of the Jews, or of 'six million' Jewish victims of the war.

    Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe is a book of 559 pages; Churchill's Second World War totals 4,448 pages; and De Gaulle's three-volume Mémoires de guerre is 2,054 pages.

    In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi 'gas chambers,' a 'genocide' of the Jews, or of 'six million' Jewish victims of the war.

  • Yes, he is exactly right. 911 did open the eyes of many Americans to zealousy. Zionist zealousy. 911 was an inside job. The attack on America was planned in great detail in "The Project for a New American Century " and "Operation Northwoods." If you can read these documents and not see the connection, then you truly are beyond redemption.

  • There were no terrorists. It was a military executed false flag operation. Phil is a party to the murder of 3000 civilians and first responders. He's simply out there promoting the terror myth. Absolutely disgusting. Hopefully the guilty parties will be held accountable. Oh yea, he has a degree in myth making.

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