IN SEARCH OF THE HIDDEN VIDEOS
Caustic Logic/The Frustrating Fraud
December 17 2006
Enter Judicial Watch (JW), a conservative/libertarian grouping of lawyers who target government/judicial/legal corruption. They’ve been harsh on the Clintons and their various scandals, and were instrumental in House of Representatives impeachment efforts in the 1990s. But they have also proven willing to tackle the Bush administration to some extent – after all they’re supposed to be watchdogs. Representing FBI special agent Robert Wright, Judicial Watch charges pre 9/11 incompetence at the FBI’s counter-terrorism division (over both the Clinton and Bush years, from Freeh to Mueller). Most pointedly, they summed up that Wright “accuses the FBI of obstructing investigative efforts that might have prevented some of the September 11 attacks.”  Although it apparently wasn’t intended to such ends, the lawsuit has been used by many as evidence of a LIHOP theory of the attacks based in the dubious line that “softness” on “the Saudis” was to blame.
Now Judicial Watch is making moves towards pulling a leading leg from beneath the MIHOP no-plane-at-the-Pentagon crowd. In February 2006 they filed a lawsuit against Alberto Gonzales’ Justice Department to release some video of the attack captured by Pentagon cameras. They have also announced plans to sue the FBI to release the 84 videos from surrounding cameras seized and kept under wraps. “Our experience has been that whenever the government takes extraordinary measures to keep the lid on documents,” their announcement of intent read, “it is worth investigating.”  JW clarified they were seeking video release “in part to help put to rest conspiracy theories that a government drone or missile hit the Pentagon,” clearly something the government should be eager to cooperate with.  Earlier JW suits to this end had been denied, with the government saying they needed to keep the tapes secret on account of the pending trial of Zaccarias Moussaoui.
Whatever logic there may have been in that refusal, it fell flat after the trial’s conclusion in early May 2006. On May 16, Judicial Watch posted the first two videos handed over to them by the Justice Department - one of them is simply the video from the Pentagon's security cameras from which the five stills were extracted in 2002, and the video is no better than the stills. The other was from a camera just a few inches away at the same checkpoint, and equally worthless as evidence for either side. These were not much, but were hoped to be the first in a series of releases.  This was big news on May 16; JW President Tom Fitton was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly in his “Impact Segment:” Fitton explained “we wanted to help put to rest conspiracy theories out there that were suggesting that a cruise missile hit the Pentagon, that the government murdered the passengers on Flight 77, and other outrageous stuff. Just having the videos released is one more leg of the conspiracy theory that has been knocked out. This also reminds Americans of the evil we are facing.”  Fox News in general also ran the story  along with several wire services. Fitton was quoted in a May 16 CNN story as saying “we fought hard to obtain this video because we felt that it was very important to complete the public record with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11.” 
Despite the watchdog group’s public relations coup, there is in fact some contention over who is responsible for these releases. Scott Bingham, administrator of the site Flight77.info, claims it was he, not Judicial Watch, that “forced the release of the recent flight 77 video.” He pointed to his FOIA lawsuit, Scott Bingham vs. DoJ et al., with Bingham posting letters sent to the DoJ and responses sent to his attorney Scott Hode. The reason for the request was summed up by the department: “tired of what plaintiff’s complaint calls “outlandish conspiracy theories” about the crash […] plaintiff seeks to correct what he describes as a veritable culture of misinformation.” Their opinion, issued August 1 2005, was that “this information should not be released until the risk to the Moussaoui prosecution has passed. Defendant therefore seeks summary judgment in favor of its assertion of Exepmtion 7(A) and dismissal of plaintiff’s lawsuit with prejudice.”  Perhaps it’s no coincidence, but unlike JW, Bingham is a 9/11 Truther, just one fed up with the Fraudsters. He seems to believe neither Loose Change nor the government.
The judge agreed to the exemption and and blocked the release, but as the Moussaoui case was decided, on May 5, Judge Friedman set a deadline date of May 26th, giving the government three weeks to either let the videos go or “show cause” to hold them longer. Bingham explains it was this date, not JW’s actions, that got them released in May.  According to a timeline of all this litigation, Bingham was indeed well ahead of JW. (thanks to Jim Hoffman at 9-11 Research for compiling this). It was back on October 14, 2004 that Scott Hodes, on behalf of Bingham, sent a Freedom of Information Act request to David Hardy of the FBI for any videos “that may have captured the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon.” On November 3: The FBI replies that their search “revealed no record responsive to your FOIA request,” and on the 17th Hodes appealed, citing evidence that the videotapes indeed did exist. 
Finally on December 15 Judicial Watch’s Director of Investigations & Research Chris Farrrell first asks for the same videos. Farrell’s request bypassed the DoJ and instead was put on a fast track via the Defense Department, though the request covered files from the FBI and Homeland Security as well. Both Hodes and Farrell received early-2005 responses that the evidence needed to be kept secret to protect ongoing legal cases. On September 9, 2005, a FBI Counterterrorism special agent filed a declaration admitting to 85 videotapes in the FBI's possession that were “potentially responsive” to Hodes’ and Bingham’s request; the agent further declared that she watched 29 of them before she found one that actually showed the impact. On September 26, Hodes filed a request seeking all 85 videos. 
On February 22, 2006 Judicial Watch filed a further lawsuit against the DoD for its refusal to release the videos, and on May 16 they finally obtained them, although the actual handover was by the Justice Department. They immediately posted the clips on the Judicial Watch website. Hoffman noted “the site is down for about half of the day due to demand” for the brand new footage. The high-profile lawyers thus were able to break the story first despite entering the race late and thus eclipsed Bingham and his site which, unlike JW, seeks to prove a MIHOP scenario with remote controlled airliners. It seems possible Rumsfeld and his lawyers helped JW steal Bingham’s thunder by approving the video first to Farrell - indicating that their days of letting secrecy feed the wing nuts were perhaps nearing an end.
Disc sent by Hardy at FBI to Hodes and Bingham, 3/16/06
Yet back on March 16, exactly two months earlier, David M. Hardy, section Chief of Records/Information dissemination at the FBI sent Hodes a disc with the same two time lapse videos later received by JW, labeled with a fancy cursive font “Flight 77 CD-ROM”. Bingham seems not to have posted them at this time – or if he did it seemed to generate no buzz. The first news my internet searches are showing was on and after May 16. On the 17th, Alex Jones’ Infowars site did a piece on the videos that mentioned the Bingham case, but this seems to be the biggest story on Bingham’s pivotal role, which remains absent from the mainstream news.
 Klayman, Larry, Chairman, Judicial Watch Schippers, David, Counsel, Schippers and Bailey, Judicial Watch. Wright, Robert, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Judicial Watch News Conference: FBI Whistle-Blower.” May 30 2002. National Press Club, Washington, D.C. http://www.infowars.com/jw_transcript.htm
 Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit Against Defense Department for Withholding Video of 9/11 Attack on PentagonDOD has "no legal basis" to refuse release of videotapeMarch 1 2006http://www.judicialwatch.org/5724.shtml
 See .
 “First video of Pentagon 9/11 attack released: Watchdog group says video will end 'conspiracy theories.'” CNN. May 16, 2006. http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/16/pentagon.video/index.html
 The O’Reilly Factor Flash. Tuesday, May 16 2006. http://www.billoreilly.com/show?action=viewTVShow&showID=807
 "Pentagon releases video of plane Hitting Building on 9/11" Fox News. May 16 2006. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195702,00.html (Conspiracy theorists may or may not be disappointed Tuesday when they see footage released from the Pentagon showing two angles of American Flight 77 hitting the western wall of the building on Sept. 11, 2001...)
 See .
 Case 1:05-cv-00475-PLF Document 13 page 5 of 23. Filed 08/01/05. Accessed November 8 2006 at: http://www.flight77.info/documents.htm
 Accessed November 8 2006 at: www.flight77.info
 Hoffman, Jim. “Pentagon Attack Footage: The Suppression of Video Footage of the Pentagon Attack.” http://911research.wtc7.net/pentagon/evidence/footage.html
 See .
 See .
 Accessed November 8 2006 at: www.flight77.info
 Watson, Steve. “FBI Withholding 84 More Tapes of Pentagon on 9/11: Magically Only 1 shows impact so why not release the rest?” Infowars. May 17 2006. http://infowars.net/articles/may2006/170506Pentagon_videos.htm