Skip to comments.Unwelcome Truths (Able Danger, OKC, 9/11)
Posted on 08/15/2005 12:57:02 PM PDT by doug from upland
In mid-19th century America a political party sprung up called the Know Nothing Party. It got its name from a trait that more than a century later would be called plausible deniability. Know Nothings - when asked a relevant question - would deny knowledge of the subject. It bemuses us as a quaint eccentricity from a distant time until we realize that were doing the same thing today. Recent revelations about covert Able Danger operations conducted in the US against terrorism are forcing certain people to deal with subjects that they had thought swept fully under the carpet.
Because most of the culprits in this astonishing story of willful ignorance are either Democrats - most especially members of the administration of disgraced President Clinton - or are media liberals, the story is likely to be buried until it explodes on Internet publishing, blogs, and talk radio. But this culpability exceeds even the usual gap between left and right in that it includes many in the so-called realist wing of the Republican Party and Republican liberals (aka, centrists and moderates in the MSM).
By now you will have read many summaries of a recently released Able Danger report. The Able Danger operation is described by former CIA operative and terrorism expert Wayne Simmons as one of our best covert operations. The operation he continues, was expert at using open source intel to locate and identify Islamic terrorists. We can only surmise that a gold mine of information lies yet unrevealed. The latest result was neatly addressed by NY Post columnist Deborah Orin who wrote tellingly of the incredible ineptitude of the highly-touted and endlessly self-absorbed 9/11 Commission. Staffers - perhaps even the self-promoting Commissioners themselves - intentionally ignored Able Danger reports that were delivered on at least two separate briefings, that provided detailed intelligence on terrorist Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers years prior to the September 11 attack.
There are several factors - none flattering to the Commission - that might explain this appalling lapse. John Podhoretz summaries them neatly: So was the [911 Commission] staff a) protecting the Atta timeline or b) Jamie Gorelick or c) the Clinton administration or d) itself, because it got hold of the information relatively late and the staff was lazy? Options b and c are tightly related. Then high-ranking Clinton Justice Department appointee Gorelick wrote the infamous wall memo that forbade interagency coordination of matters involving internal terrorism investigations. Specifically DOD and CIA were prohibited from exchanging relevant information with FBI. This produced much of the harmful lack of intelligence coordination that the Commission then used arrogantly and paternalistically to criticize the Executive Branch - particularly the Bush administration, even though most of the problems arose during Clinton and earlier. Regardless, the eventual outcome of the Able Danger bombshell will tarnish the image the 9/11 Commission burnished so brightly for itself.
But the really upsetting matter is Podhoretzs first note. It requires a deeper reading. The Commission was protecting its interpretation of Mohammad Attas international and domestic US travels. Key in this interpretation in the minds of GOP foreign policy realists, Clinton supporters, and Bush haters, is the necessity to de-link any ties between Saddam Husseins Iraq and al Qaeda operations. After all, in the endless cacophony of criticism against the Iraq War, the two steady drumbeats have been failure to find WMD, and no links between Saddam and the September 11 attack. Till now they have acted in the manner of modern day Know Nothings by deliberate misinterpretations of a series of reports including the 911 Commissions, and WMD reports by David Kay and Charles Dueffler.
However the unimpeachable Able Danger report, reluctantly acknowledged to be correct by 911 Commission staffers, may well blow the lid off the ability of the Know Nothings to continue to cloak the truth. For the movements of Atta prior to the terrorist attack, if acknowledged, will support statements by the Czech Republic that link Atta, and hence the al Qaeda attack on America, irrefutably to Saddams covert intelligence operatives. This is something that surfaced very soon after the attack. The former Czech deputy foreign minister, later ambassador to the UN, gave statements that he personally expelled a high raking Iraqi embassy official in Prague for being a covert foreign intelligence agent after the latter was discovered having met with Atta in the international lounge at the Prague airport in August 2001. There the Iraqi transferred a large amount of cash to Atta, sufficient to fund the completion of the September 11 attack.
Despite cruel pressure from MSM, the hard left, and the US State Department and CIA, the Czechs insisted that their report was correct. Former Congressman John LeBoutellier was furious at the Bush administration for bowing to CIA pressure to discount the Czech report because it verified a vital deadly connection within the covert terrorist community. Now it appears as if the Czechs were right. Dont hold your breath waiting for apologies to be forthcoming from previous critics.
By acknowledging the Iraq-al Qaeda ties, not only to terrorism in general but to the September 11 attack in particular the anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-expansion of democracy and freedom assaults by the critics are suddenly muted. In fact, the war becomes completely acceptable under any and all circumstances. This outcome is so repugnant to the hard left that it will justify even the most extraordinary suppression of evidence or promulgation of an outright lie in order to achieve its ends.
Furthermore, if the Iraq-al Qaeda ties in one attack are proved then we must dig deeper and investigate the possibility of previous links and previous attacks. This brings us to the Oklahoma City bombing, a too-hasty FBI investigation, and political pressure to close the case once the perfect perpetrators were arrested. Who other than Tim McVeigh could have been a more ideal catch? A disgruntled white male redneck, ex-military, supporter of the Branch Davidians, who read neo-Nazi books, McVeigh so represented the lefts worldview that the investigation was halted before it began. Janet Reno, perennial willing accomplice to the Clintons, ordered the FBI to cease work after McVeigh and Terry Nichols were in custody.
Gutsy Oklahoma City reporter Jayna Davis conducted her own contemporary investigation that she details in her excellent book The Third Terrorist, in which she tells of highly suspicious Iraqi behavior in Oklahoma City. Further, she was stunned when the FBI and other law enforcement agencies smugly dismissed her findings and insisted that they had solved and closed the case. For its part, the FBI was happy to wrap up a case quickly without the need to delve into foreign terrorist matters. It was more expeditious to cut away and discard loose ends than to pursue them. Acknowledgement that Iraq and al Qaeda were involved in the bombing would have necessitated a major military response to the attack that the Clinton administration wanted to avoid. As long as the event could be covered by the criminal justice system - as had the 1993 World Trade bombing - Clintons foreign policy aims were accommodated.
Continued investigation by Davis showed that the top Iraqi in question was a former senior Iraqi Republican Guard officer with close Saddam regime ties. Further some of the members of the Iraqi group that fled Oklahoma City when the bombing of the Murrah Building took place moved to the Northeast. One later took a job at Logan International Airport in Boston, the location of two September 11 hijackings. He disappeared after that attack.
The Know Nothing philosophy is harming America, and has become intolerable. It is long overdue for America to sweep away the obfuscating cloud brought on by ludicrous political correctness and the incessant bleating of the Know Nothings. A core principle of war is that in order to win, you must know yourself and know your enemy. We must insist that the truth be surfaced, discussed, analyzed, and acted upon. Continual suppression of essential facts emboldens our enemies and makes us increasingly vulnerable to subsequent attack.
Able Danger reports must be made public to the extent possible, and we must have a reinvestigation of the series of terrorist attacks on America, preferably without the irrational partisanship that has markedly hurt our war effort to date. That may necessitate some harsh words from the White House toward certain opposition politicians and toward the media. It also requires radical reform of the dysfunctional State Department, CIA, FBI, and any other of the Executive Branch agencies that consider themselves a separate branch of government. The American people can handle the truth.
Procrastination - guaranteeing failure - is not an option. tRO
Curious about North Korea? Learn more in Gordons best-selling book Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin became the Evil Twin, Lyons Press available at bookstores now
Contributor Gordon Cucullu
Former Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist, author and a popular speaker. Born into a military family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work, Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is based in large part on his extensive experience in Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman. [website] [go to Cucullu index]
Separated at Birth : How North Korea Became the Evil Twin Gordon Cucullu
Gordon Cucullu Recommends Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror Thomas McInerney & Paul E. Vallely
Gordon Cucullu Recommends Beyond Baghdad Ralph Peters
Gordon Cucullu Recommends Dawn over Baghdad Karl Zinsmeister
Good memory. I don't think I've ever seen that thread. Thanks for the link!
Additional records further illuminate Iraqi complicity in the September 11 massacre. As a May 27 Wall Street Journal editorial reported, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir's name appears on three different rosters of the late Uday Hussein's prestigious paramilitary group, the Saddam Fedayeen. A government source told the Journal that the papers identify Shakir as a lieutenant colonel in the Saddam Fedayeen.
Shakir worked as a VIP airport greeter and facilitator for Malaysian Airlines at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, a position reputedly arranged by intelligence officers at Iraq's Malaysian embassy. On January 5, 2000, Shakir allegedly welcomed Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi to Kuala Lampur and escorted them through immigration and on to the Kuala Lumpur Hotel. That's where these September 11 hijackers met with 9/11 conspirators Ramzi bin al Shibh and Tawfiz al Atash. Five days later, according to The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes (he is also author of the new book The Connection), Shakir vanished.
Saddam Fedayeen Lieutenant Colonel Shakir resurfaced on September 17, 2001, in Qatari handcuffs. His pockets and apartment yielded, among other things, phone numbers for the contacts and safe houses of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Shakir also possessed information on "Operation Bojinka," al Qaeda's 1995 conspiracy to explode 12 passenger jets simultaneously over the Pacific. Shakir passed from Qatari to Jordanian custody before being released after three months of Iraqi pressure. He reportedly returned to Saddam Hussein's Baghdad.
Papers pulled from the Mukhabarat's Baghdad headquarters indicate that Saddam Hussein's intelligence operatives have known Mohamed Atta's former boss for years.
And just in case you haven't seen the info before...9/11 was just the tip of the iceberg:
Ramzi Yousef (1993 WTC) and Terry Nichols (OKC) crossed paths in the Phillipines. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (9/11)was Yousef's uncle. It is interesting to note that Yousef entered the United States on an Iraqi passport and had been known among the New York fundamentalists as "Rashid, the Iraqi". Another name that could be thrown into the mix is Abdul Rahman Yasin, a U.S. citizen who moved to Iraq in the 1960's and returned to the U.S. in 1992. After the 1993 WTC bombing, Yasin fled to Iraq and was given monthly salary and housing by Saddam Hussein's regime.
Then there were the predictions by an Iraqi with ties to Iraqi intelligence, Naeem Abd Mulhalhal, in Qusay's own newspaper several weeks before the attacks that stated bin Laden would demolish the Pentagon after he destroys the White House and bin Laden would strike America on the arm that is already hurting. (referencing a second IRAQI sponsored attack on the World Trade Center). Another reference to New York was [bin Laden] will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra everytime he hears his songs. (e.g., New York, New York) which identified New York, New York as a target. Mulhalhal also stated, The wings of a dove and the bullet are all but one and the same in the heart of a believer." which references an airplane attack.
The Arabic language daily newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabic also cited the cooperation between Iraq, bin Laden and Al December 1998 editorial, which predicted that President Saddam Hussein, whose country was subjected to a four day air strike, will look for support in taking revenge on the United States and Britain by cooperating with Saudi oppositionist Osama Bin-Laden, whom the United States considers to be the most wanted person in the world. This info is in the link provided below. How could these people have had foreknowledge without Iraq being involved?
Warning...slow loading .pdf file. This was from a lawsuit filed against Iraq after 9/11...the court ruled against Iraq.
There was also another lawsuit filed by the family of John ONeill (a former FBI agent who captured Ramzi Yousef after the 1993 WTC bombings) after he died in the WTC on 9/11. His personal files from his years of traveling around the world investigating al-Qaeda are were used as evidence in the lawsuit. The evidence includes documents unearthed in the headquarters of the Mukhabarat (Iraq's intelligence service) and information gleaned from the interrogation of both al-Qaeda and Iraqi prisoners. (Link below). It also quotes Vincent Cannistraro, the former CIA counter-terrorism chief, who stated in October 2000 that Iraq had been wanting to carry out terrorist attacks, and that the Iraqi military had been in contact with Osama bin Laden.
We know from these IIS documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset. We know from IIS documents that the former Iraqi regime provided safe haven and financial support to an Iraqi who has admitted to mixing the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. We know from IIS documents that Saddam Hussein agreed to Osama bin Laden's request to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state-run television. We know from IIS documents that a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden stayed for more than two weeks at a posh Baghdad hotel as the guest of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
List of newspaper article in the 90's which mention the world's concern regarding the growing relationship between OBL and Saddam:
Son of Saddam coordinates OBL activities:
The AQ connection (excellent):
Saddam's link to OBL:
NYT: Iraq and AQ agree to cooperate:
Document linking them:
Iraq and terrorism - no doubt about it:
A federal judge rules there are links:
Wall Street Journal on Iraq and AQ:
Iraq and Iran contact OBL:
Saddam's AQ connection:
What a court of law said about the connections:
Some miscellaneous stuff on connections:
Saddam's Ambassador to Al Qaeda: (February 2004, Weekly Standard)
Yes - it's NewsMax but loaded with interesting bullet points.
Saddam's Fingerprints on NY Bombing (Wall Street Journal, June 1993)
Colin Powell: Iraq and AQ Partners for Years (CNN, February 2003)
The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connections (September 2003, Richard Miniter)
Oil for Food Scandal Ties Iraq and Al Qaeda (June 2003)
Saddam and OBL Make a Pact (The New Yorker, February 2003):
Al Qaeda's Poison Gas (Wall Street Journal, April 2004):
Wolfowitz Says Saddam behind 9/11 Attacks:
Saddam behind first WTC attack - PBS, Laurie Mylroie:
Growing Evidence of Saddam and Al Qaeda Link, The Weekly Standard, July 2003:
Qusay Hussein Coordinated Iraq special operations with Bin Laden Terrorist Activities, Yossef Bodansky, National Press Club
The Western Nightmare: Saddam and Bin Laden vs. the Rest of the World, The Guardian Unlimited:
Saddam Link to Bin Laden, Julian Borger, The Guardian, February 1999
The Al Qaeda Connection, The Weekly Standard, July 2003
Cheney lectures Russert on Iraq/911 Link, September 2003:
No Question About It, National Review, September 2003
Iraq: A Federal Judges Point of View
Mohammed's Account links Iraq to 9/11 and OKC:
Free Republic Thread that mentions some books Freepers might be interested in on this topic:
The Proof that Saddam Worked with AQ, The Telegraph, April 2003:
Saddam's AQ Connection, The Weekly Standard, September 2003
September 11 Victims Sue Iraq:
Osama's Best Friend: The Further Connections Between Al Qaeda and Saddam, The Weekly Standard, November 2003
Terrorist Behind 9/11 Attacks Trained by Saddam, The Telegraph, December 2003
James Woolsey Links Iraq and AQ, CNN Interview, March 2004, Also see Posts #34 and #35
A Geocities Interesting Web Site with maps and connections:
Bin Laden indicted in federal court, read down to find information that Bin Laden agreed to not attack Iraq and to work cooperatively with Iraq:
Case Closed, The Weekly Standard, November 03
CBS - Lawsuit: Iraq involved in 9/11:
Exploring Iraq's Involvement in pre-9/11 Acts, The Indianapolis Star:
The Iraq/AQ Connection: Richard Minister again
Militia Defector says Baghdad trained Al Qaeda fighters in chemical weapons, July 2002
The Clinton View of Iraq/AQ Ties, The Weekly Standard, December 2003
Saddam Controlled the Camps (Iraq/AQ Ties): The London Observer, November 01
Saddam's Terror Ties that Critics Ignore, National Review, October 2003:
Tape Shows General Wesley Clark linking Iraq and AQ:
The Missing Link (What the Senate Ingelligence Report Said about Iraq/AQ Connections) Click Here
Credit to Peach for the above info.
Credit to joesbucks for the following links:
Dozens of links here:
Just a few of those links include:
The Clinton Justice Department's indictment against OBL in federal court which mentions the terrorist's connections to Iraq. November 4, 1998. The federal indictment:
Iraq and AQ agree to cooperate. The federal indictment against OBL working in concert with Iraq and Iran is mentioned. November 1998. The New York Times
Saddam reaching out to OBL January 1, 1999. Newsweek
ABC news reports on the Osama/Saddam connections January 14, 1999. ABC News
Western Nightmare: Saddam and OBL versus the World. Iraq recruited OBL. February 6, 1999. The Guardian
Saddam's Link to OBL February 6, 1999. The Guardian
Saddam offered asylum to bin Laden February 13, 1999. AP
And kabar submitted these two little gems showing Bin Laden supported Iraq and its struggle against the US and the West.
Thanks for the info!
Thanks for the further info on Atta's visits to Prague. ravingnutter also provided links to info on Atta's travels. This is from one of those links, an article by Stephen Hayes, published in the Weekly Standard:
And then there is the alleged contact between lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague. The reporting on those links suggests not one meeting, but as many as four. What's more, the memo reveals potential financing of Atta's activities by Iraqi intelligence.
The Czech counterintelligence service reported that the Sept. 11 hijacker [Mohamed] Atta met with the former Iraqi intelligence chief in Prague, [Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir] al Ani, on several occasions. During one of these meetings, al Ani ordered the IIS finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office.
And the commentary:
CIA can confirm two Atta visits to Prague--in Dec. 1994 and in June 2000; data surrounding the other two--on 26 Oct 1999 and 9 April 2001--is complicated and sometimes contradictory and CIA and FBI cannot confirm Atta met with the IIS. Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross continues to stand by his information.
It's not just Gross who stands by the information. Five high-ranking members of the Czech government have publicly confirmed meetings between Atta and al Ani. The meeting that has gotten the most press attention--April 9, 2001--is also the most widely disputed. Even some of the most hawkish Bush administration officials are privately skeptical that Atta met al Ani on that occasion. They believe that reports of the alleged meeting, said to have taken place in public, outside the headquarters of the U.S.-financed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, suggest a level of sloppiness that doesn't fit the pattern of previous high-level Iraq-al Qaeda contacts.
This article was based on a memo, dated October 27, 2003, that was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration.
I think it was this memo that caused Mr Feith to run foul of intra-agency rivalry and the ire of the know-nothings and which caused him to eventually be dismissed on charges of espionage suspicions.
More reason to bring the Able Danger business up to the front of MSM:
geez, between you and backhoe, I'll be up all night!
Great stuff. Thanks.
Covering your own political ass is not harboring terrorists. They are guilty but not to the same level. (PS. Pardoning terrorists might be, though)
There were also serious economic considerations. Imagine what would have happened to commercial aviation if it were revealed that a surface missile shot down TWA 800. The impact of 9/11 would have paled in comparison if air travelers believed that they risked being shot out of the air by some terrorist with a hand held missile. There must have been tremendous political pressure to come up with the "right" conclusion.
Great link on Gorelick.
1. I most sincerely appreciate all of the efforts that have been put into discovering all of this! Doug from Upland, Jayna Davis, all of the Freepers who are more clever than I at finding things on the web.
2. I fear all of this will be for nothing simply because it is a very, very complicated set of incidents that occurred over several years...and the average American (like me!)is unable to follow all of the twists and turns. Sadly, most Americans DO understand garbage like "Rove leaked the name of an undercover agent" or "Tom Delay..." and the MSM only adds to the mix!
3. Anytime the Clintons are involved, and they appear to be very involved, my perception is that NOTHING will be done.
4. I really hope I'm wrong on all counts!
AD represents a major failure for the entire USG. It also brings into the question the need to create an intelligence czar, which tends to reinforce the bureaucratic culture and to dismiss anything, which doesn't conform to the conventional wisdom. I would prefer competing perspectives, albeit better integrated.
The 9/11 Commission and their bureaucratic allies understand that AD threatens the basic premise of their organizational reform. Under the present system, it would be very difficult for an AD to come into being. IMO the 9/11 Commission and Congress have made things worse in terms of our intelligence operations.
bump and save