What makes this particular piece so devastating is that only days before, much of the mainstream American media was touting the news of a "key link" in the chain of evidence linking bin Laden to the events of September 11 - namely, a $100,000 wire transfer to the hijackers from a shadowy operative linked to bin Laden. Yet once this operative was "outed" as being linked instead to the Pakistani ISI Chief, any propaganda gains initially made through this evidence would now crumble. One possible reason might stem from this Karachi News item, released only two days before September 11:
"[Pakistani] ISI Chief Lt-Gen Mahmood's week-long presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council. Officially, State Department sources say he is on a routine visit in return to [sic] CIA Director George Tenet's earlier visit to Islamabad...What added interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time Ziauddin Butt, Mahmood's predecessor, was here during Nawaz Sharif's government the domestic politics turned topsy-turvy within days. That this is not the first visit by Mahmood in the last three months shows the urgency of the ongoing parleys..."
In other words, this was a propaganda piece that went disastrously wrong. After October 9, bin Laden's alleged paymaster could now be linked to a U.S. "ally" who spent the days before 9/11 in deep consultation at the Pentagon. The US authorities immediately went into damage control mode by insisting on the quiet retirement of the "outed" ISI chief. Thus removed from the public eye, the ISI Chief's role in all this could be effectively ignored, and an American media black-out could be safely assumed.
Planning of the September 11, 2001 attacks: Finacial Support
Excerpts from Wikipedia
The 9/11 Commission stated in their final report that the "9/11 plotters eventually spent somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct their attack" but the "origin of the funds remains unknown." The Commission noted: "we have seen no evidence that any foreign government-or foreign government official-supplied any funding." Some people have claimed that the operation was financed by elements of the Pakistani government, specifically within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as well as agents of the Saudi Arabian government working from within the United States.
A senior-level U.S. government source told CNN in October of 2001 that U.S. investigators believed Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (Ahmed Umar Syed Sheikh), a long time ISI asset, using the alias Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad, sent more than $100,000 from Pakistan to Mohammed Atta, the suspected hijack ringleader of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"Investigators said Atta then distributed the funds to conspirators in Florida in the weeks before the deadliest acts of terrorism on U.S. soil that destroyed the World Trade Center, heavily damaged the Pentagon and left thousands dead...
Syed also is described as a key figure in the funding operation of Al-Qaeda, the network headed by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden."
The Pittsburgh Tribune notes "There are many in Musharraf's government who believe that Saeed Sheikh's power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA."
CNN later confirmed that it was "Ahmed Umar Syed Sheikh, whom authorities say used a pseudonym to wire $100,000 to suspected hijacker Mohammad Atta, who then distributed the money in the United States."
Soon after the money transfer was discovered, the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Gen. Mahmood (Mahmud) Ahmed, resigned from his position. Indian news outlets reported the FBI was investigating the possiblity that Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta, while most Western media outlets only reported his connections to the Taliban as the reason for his departure from the ISI. 
The Wall Street Journal was one of the few Western news organizations to follow up on the story, citing the Times of India: "US authorities sought [Gen. Mahmud Ahmed's] removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 [was] wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen Mahumd." The best coverage came from The Daily Excelsior, reporting "The FBI's examination of the hard disk of the cellphone company Omar Sheikh had subscribed to led to the discovery of the "link" between him and the deposed chief of the Pakistani ISI, Gen. Mehmood Ahmed. And as the FBI investigators delved deep, sensational information surfaced with regard to the transfer of 100,000 dollars to Mohammed Atta, one of the Kamikaze pilots who flew his Boeing into the World Trade Centre. Gen. Mehmood Ahmed, the FBI investigators found, fully knew about the transfer of money to Atta."
According to the Washington Post, "on the morning of Sept. 11, [Porter] Goss and [Bob] Graham were having breakfast with a Pakistani general named Mahmud Ahmed -- the soon-to-be-sacked head of Pakistan's intelligence service" On September 12 and 13, Lt. Gen. Mahmood met with United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Senator Joseph Biden, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Secretary of State Colin Powell. An agreement on Pakistan's collaboration in the new "war on terror" was negotiated between Mahmood and Armitage. Lt Gen Mehmood Ahmed then lead a six-member delegation to the Afghan city of Kandahar in order to hold crisis talks with the Taliban leadership, supposedly in an attempt to persuade them to hand over Osama bin Laden.
In June 2001, a "high-placed member of a US intelligence agency" told BBC reporter Greg Palast that "after the  elections, the agencies were told to "back off" investigating the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals".
In May 2002, former FBI Agent Robert Wright delivered a tearful press conference apologizing to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. He described how his superiors intentionally obstructed his investigation into Al-Qaeda financing.
Agent Wright would later tell ABC's Brian Ross: "September 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit," specifically referring to the Bureau's hindering of his investigation into Yassin al-Qadi (al Kadi), who Ross described as a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman with extensive financial ties in Chicago. One month after 9/11, the US government officially identified Yassin al-Qadi as one of Osama bin Laden's primary financiers and a specially designated global terrorist.
In an interview with Computerworld Magazine, a former business associate described his relationship with al-Qadi: "I met him a few times and talked to him a few times on the telephone. He never talked to me about violence. Instead, he talked very highly of his relationship with [former President] Jimmy Carter and [Vice President] Dick Cheney."
The Muwafaq Foundation, which U.S. authorities have confirmed was an arm of bin Laden's terror organization, was headed by Yassin al-Qadi, who was also known as the owner of Ptech -- a company that has supplied high-tech computer systems to the FBI, the IRS, Congress, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, NATO, the FAA, and the White House. A former FBI Counter Terrorism Agent commented: "For someone like [al-Qadi] to be involved in a capacity, in an organization, a company that has access to classified information, that has access to government open or classified computer systems, would be of grave concern." Also sitting on Ptech's board of directors was Yacub Mirza -- "a senior official of major radical Islamic organizations that have been linked by the US government to terrorism." In addition, Hussein Ibrahim, the Vice President and Chief Scientist of Ptech, was vice chairman of a now defunct investment group called BMI, a company the FBI has named as a conduit used by al-Qadi to launder money to Hamas terrorists.
According to Senator Bob Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from June 2001 through the buildup to the Iraq war, "Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship," as reported by the Miami Herald.
"And in Graham's book, Intelligence Matters, obtained by The Herald Saturday, he makes clear that some details of that financial support from Saudi Arabia were in the 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's final report that were blocked from release by the administration, despite the pleas of leaders of both parties on the House and Senate intelligence committees."
Allegations of Bribes to 9/11 Commission - Pakistan
The 9/11 Commission made "dramatic changes" to its final report to omit information about the role of Pakistan, according to The Friday Times, a Pakistani weekly. After learning that the report would contain damaging revelations, the Pakistani government dispatched lobbyists to Washington to influence the 9/11 Commission, and may have even paid bribes to Commission members or their staff, the weekly says, citing an official at the Pakistani Foreign Office. "The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission and above all on the authenticity of the information in their final report," according to one source cited by the weekly.
The story was picked up yesterday by The Telegraph of Calcutta, India and is now shooting around the blogosphere. We cannot vouch for its veracity, but we can guess at the sort of information that both the US and the Pakistani government might have wanted to omit from The 9/11 Commission Report:
For example, prior to Sept. 11 the chief of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI allegedly approved a $100,000 wire transfer to a certain Mohamed Atta. Yet the same ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, was in Washington for a working visit to his counterparts in the US government for more than a week prior to Sept. 11. On the morning of 9/11 itself, he was having breakfast at the Capitol with the future congressional investigators of the September 11th events. These alleged investigators, Porter Goss and Bob Graham, somehow failed to mention anything about the Pakistani connection in their report, in the same way that the 9/11 Commission later closed its eyes to the same facts. Were bribes really necessary to whitewash all this? In reality, the "Pakistani Connection" actually leads back to the US intelligence behemoth. For the full background, be sure to read "The Pakistani ISI" appendix to the "Justice for 9/11" Attorney General complaint.
(The following was published originally in the subscription-only The Friday Times of Pakistan, March 3, 2006. Reproduced here solely for educational purposes, see below.)
Did Pakistan influence the 9/11 Commission Report?
According to an FO official, "dramatic changes" were made in the final draft of the 9/11 Commission Report after Pakistani lobbyists convinced the commission's members to remove anti-Pakistan findings
Pakistan gave tens of thousands of dollars through its lobbyists in the United States to members of the 9/11 inquiry commission to 'convince' them to drop some anti-Pakistan findings in the report. This was disclosed by Foreign Office officials to the Public Accounts Committee at a secret meeting held last Tuesday. Even more interesting was the revelation that Pakistan embassy officials in Washington did indeed manage to convince the commission to drop the information.
The 9/11 inquiry commission was constituted to look into the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and make proposals to fight terrorism in the long run. A lengthy report of the commission has since been published in book form. This book, say FO sources, left out some information relating to Pakistan because the commission's members were paid by Pakistan to prevent them from including damaging information. "The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission and above all on the authenticity of the information in their final report," said an insider.
Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan and Special Secretary Sher Afgan were present at the meeting when an FO official, Sadiq, who was part of the secret negotiations with members of the US inquiry team and has just returned from Washington after completing a three-year tenure at the Pakistan embassy, revealed that a lot of money had been spent to 'silence' the members of the inquiry commission and induce them to go 'soft' on Pakistan.
According to the FO official, "dramatic changes" were made in the final draft of the inquiry commission report after Pakistani lobbyists arranged meetings with members of the Commission and convinced them to remove anti-Pakistan findings. This information is also given in the PAC records available with TFT and reveals that Pakistan won over the sympathies of 75 US Congressmen as part of its strategy to guard the interests of Pakistan in the United States. India, on the other hand, has its own influence in the US Congress through the 150-member India Caucus.
"The information given to PAC by FO reveals the effectiveness of lobbyists from Pakistan and India and how both spend millions of dollars to protect their interests," an insider told TFT. "If this information is correct, then it is not only damaging for Pakistan but also for the US where some people publicly degraded Pakistan by saying that 'Pakistanis will sell their mothers for a dollar'."
The remark was made by the US attorney general about Pakistani officials who had allegedly played an important role in capturing Aimal Kasi, wanted in the USA for killing two CIA officials just outside the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. "It seems that money can play an important role in buying powerful people everywhere, including the US. This is not something peculiar to Pakistan," said an observer. Insiders, however, say the US Congress does not know about the fact that money was paid to the inquiry commission to silence it.
This information about Pakistani lobbyists influencing the inquiry commission was revealed when PAC member MNA Rai Mansab Ali started grilling FO officials about millions of dollars paid out to lobbyists around the world and the assignments they were given. He said the FO could not waste the hard-earned money of Pakistan by hiding behind the slogan of 'national interests'.
Upon this, one FO official explained how the Pakistani embassy was working closely with lobbyists to achieve important targets, one of which had been the task of getting anti-Pakistan information out of the 9/11 Commission Report.
According to Sadiq, a few days before the completion of the inquiry report, US lobbyists told embassy officials that they had inside information that the inquiry commission had damaging findings on Pakistan's role in 9/11. Meetings were hence arranged with commission members who were convinced to drop this information.
"The report that was finally published is sans the damaging information about Pakistan," Sadiq told PAC members. "The US softened towards Pakistan only because of the efforts of the FO."
FO Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan said hiring lobbyists was an established practice and all countries had their own lobbyists in the US. However, he had no answers about the specific targets and goals set for these lobbyists.
"Our embassy in Washington says they need lobbyists so we hired some for them," Riaz told the PAC. At this, MNAs present at the meeting complained that the FO had made a practice out of something whose utility and goals it could not explain. Riaz then admitted that the FO had no specific goals but that lobbyists were hired to improve Pakistan's image.
"Influential people help Pakistani embassy officials approach politicians, Congressmen, journalists and top policy makers in the US. Contacts in that country are crucial," he explained.
Sadiq also said that lobbyists inform the Pakistani embassy whenever there are any negative developments about Pakistan or any damaging issues raised against Pakistan in the US Congress. With the help of this inside information, embassy officials are much better prepared to deal with such issues, if and when they arise.
"You need to understand that we have to spend a lot of money on influential people in the US in order to protect our interests," Secretary FO Riaz told PAC members.
Critics, however, have a different angle on the money that is thus spent. "There have been reports in the past about shady lobby firms hired by Pakistan. How do we know, on the authority of Mr Sadiq, that the lobbyists were indeed right about the damaging information in the report?" says a former senior official. Another source TFT spoke with said that it did not make any sense for Pakistan to spend millions after being told that the report contained some anti-Pakistan material. "Did anyone except the lobbyist see it? Did the embassy corroborate the information before dishing out the money? There are many questions here and I don't think the FO is answering them," he said.
(c) Copyright 2006 The Friday Times, Pakistan
(The following was published in THE TELEGRAPH, Calcutta, India, Monday, Mar 13, 2006.)
Pakistan weekly spills 9/11 beans
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, March 12: The Pakistan foreign office had paid tens of thousands of dollars to lobbyists in the US to get anti-Pakistan references dropped from the 9/11 inquiry commission report, The Friday Times has claimed.
The Pakistani weekly said its story is based on disclosures made by foreign service officials to the Public Accounts Committee at a secret meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday.
It claimed that some of the commission members were also bribed to prevent them from including damaging information about Pakistan.
The magazine said the PAC grilled officials in the presence of foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan and special secretary Sher Afghan on the money paid to lobbyists.
"The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 inquiry commission and, above all, the authenticity of the information in their final report," it said.
The report quoted an officer as saying that dramatic changes were made in the final draft of the inquiry commission after the lobbyists got to work. The panel was formed to probe the September 11 terror attack and make suggestions to fight terrorism.
After the commission tipped the lobbyists about the damaging revelations on Pakistan's role in 9/11, they contacted the panel members and asked them to go soft on the country. The Friday Times claimed that a lot of money was used to silence these members.
According to the report, the lobbyists also helped Pakistan win the sympathy of 75 US Congressmen as part of its strategy to guard Islamabad's interests in Washington. "US softened towards Pakistan only because of the efforts of the foreign office," an official was quoted as saying in the report.
The Pakistan foreign office defended the decision to hire the lobbyists, saying it was an established practice in the US.
An observer at the Islamabad meeting said money could play an important role in buying powerful people. The remark came in response to comments made by some US officials after 9/11 that "Pakistanis will sell their mothers for a dollar".
Pakistan had emerged as front-runner in the fight against terrorism unleashed by the US after the terror strikes. Washington pumped in billions of dollars to win President Pervez Musharraf's support in launching a crackdown on al Qaida network thriving on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
(c) Copyright 2006 The Telegraph