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Mohammed Atta & his federal loan officer (A reminder that some people learned nothing from 9/11)
National Post via Free Republic ^ | June 10, 2002 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 11/10/2009 7:17:04 AM PST by beaversmom

Mohammed Atta and his federal loan officer No matter how dumb he was, officialdom was always dumber

When last in this space, 10 days ago, I was writing about whether political correctness kills. This was apropos the 9/11 nutters: "Everything they did stuck out. But it didn't matter. Because the more they stuck out, the more everyone who mattered was trained to look the other way."

I didn't know the half of it. The other day, Johnelle Bryant, an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gave an interview to ABC News in which she revealed that Mohammed Atta and three other September 11th terrorists had visited her Florida office seeking government loans.

America, it seems, came this close to having the World Trade Center incinerated at the taxpayers' expense.

Mr. Atta swung by in May, 2000, and Ms. Bryant remembers quite a bit about it. "At first," she says, "he refused to speak with me," on the grounds that she was, in his words, "but a female." After he'd reiterated the point, she pulled rank: "I told him that if he was interested in getting a farm-service agency loan in my servicing area, then he would need to deal with me." Throughout the hour-long interview, he continued to dismiss her as "but a female."

Ms. Bryant says the applicant was asking for $650,000 to start a crop-dusting business. His plan was to buy a six-seater twin-prop and then remove the seats. "He wanted to build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting."


When she explained that his application would have to be processed, Mr. Atta became "very agitated." He'd apparently been expecting to leave the office with cash in hand. "He asked me," recalls Ms. Bryant, "what would prevent him from going behind my desk and cutting my throat and making off with the millions of dollars in that safe." Try this with your Royal Bank loan officer -- I find it works every time. But Ms. Bryant replied politely that there was no money in the safe because loans are never given in cash, and also that she was trained in karate.

His fiendish plan stymied at every turn, Mr. Atta then spotted an aerial view of Washington hanging on the wall behind her. He told her he particularly liked the way it got all the famous landmarks of the city in one convenient picture, pointing specifically to the Pentagon and the White House. "He pulled out a wad of cash," says Ms. Bryant, "and started throwing money on my desk. He wanted that picture really bad."

She told him it wasn't for sale, but he only tossed more dough at her. "His look on his face became very bitter at that point," Ms. Bryant remembers. "He said, 'How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it,' like the cities in his country had been destroyed?"


Mr. Atta then moved on to other prominent landmarks in other American cities, and enquired about security at the World Trade Center. Ms. Bryant had a Dallas Cowboys souvenir on her desk, and he asked her about their spectacular stadium and, specifically, the "hole in the roof."

At that point, the chit-chat turned to Mr. Atta's own country, which he claimed was Afghanistan. "He mentioned Osama bin Laden," she says. "He could have been a character on Star Wars for all I knew." So Mr. Atta helpfully explained that this bin Laden guy "would someday be known as the world's greatest leader."

Alas, the interview ended badly from the terrorists' point of view when Ms. Bryant informed her visitor that the loan program is for farm-based projects and a crop-dusting business did not qualify.

A few weeks later, another September 11th killer showed up, Marwan al- Shehhi, seeking half-a-million bucks supposedly to buy a sugar-cane farm. Accompanying him was Mr. Atta, but he was cunningly disguised with a pair of glasses and claiming to be someone else entirely, attending in his capacity as Mr. al-Shehhi's accountant. Sportingly, Ms. Bryant went along with the wheeze. I'm reminded of the time my sister tried to wangle her boyfriend a day off work. She called up the receptionist and, adopting a fake accent, told her that she was the dentist's secretary and he needed to come in immediately for critical dental work. "My God, that's terrible," said the receptionist. "I'll tell him at once." She then buzzed through to the boyfriend: "Stewart, Karen just called pretending to be the dentist's secretary. Do you think she needs to see a doctor?"

But Ms. Bryant didn't think Mr. Atta was sick. The safe-breaking, the throat- slitting, the fake specs ... why, he was just being charmingly multicultural! "I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from," she says. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could." Unfortunately, his imaginative business plan for a crop-duster capable of crop-dusting Texas was frustrated by the unduly onerous restrictions and bureaucratic torpor of the USDA program. By late summer, Mr. Atta and his chums had concluded the government was never going to buy them their own twin-props and they'd have to make do with the aircraft that were already up there. So they switched their flight training courses from small planes to large jet simulators, and told their instructors to skip all that takeoff and landing stuff.

Ms. Bryant has come forward now because she thinks "it's very vital that the Americans realize that when these people come to the United States, they don't have a big 'T' on their forehead." No, indeed. In some cases, they have a big "T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T" flashing in neon off the end of their nose. Ten days ago, I pointed out that these fellows made virtually no effort to blend in. They weren't in "deep cover," they were barely covered at all. Atta was the brains of the operation, and he did a marginally better job of it than Leslie Nielsen would have. His one great insight into Western culture was his assumption that he could get a government grant to take out the Pentagon. Yet no matter how dumb he was, officialdom was always dumber

"If they watch this interview and they see the type of questions that Atta asked me," Ms. Bryant told ABC News, "then perhaps they will recognize a terrorist, and make the call that I didn't make." Meanwhile, here are some signs to look for:

1) He threatens to cut your throat.

2) He talks about the destruction of prominent landmarks.

3) He enquires about security at said landmarks.

4) He hails Osama bin Laden as a great leader.

There'll be more of these stories, tales of men virtually screaming their intentions but up against a culture sensitivity-trained into a coma. A stump- toothed Appalachian mountain man would get slung out on his ear if he was that misogynist and abusive in a government office. In a Hollywood movie, the guy refusing to deal with the little lady and demanding to see the real boss would be a sexist Republican Congressman. In the new motion-picture blockbuster The Sum Of All Fears, the Islamic terrorists of Tom Clancy's novel have been replaced with neo-Nazis -- a safe villain that won't offend our delicate multicultural sensibilities.

The good news is we're up against idiots. The bad news is we're also up against the suppler idiocies of current Western orthodoxy. Thus, the U.S. government's new plans to photograph and fingerprint visitors from countries "believed to harbour terrorists" have already been attacked by Mary Robinson, the UN Human Rights honcho who's never met an Arab dictator she didn't like. Islamists want to kill us in the name of Islam. Regrettable, but there it is. If we pretend otherwise, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Islamic Society of Britain might be nice to us. But, speaking personally, I can't say I care. If Islamic lobby groups throughout the Western world really want to hitch their star to a bunch of psychopathic morons, good luck to them. It's a free country. Hey, we'll even give you a government grant to tell us how racist we are.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: 911hijackers; atta; marksteyn; mohammedatta; nidalhassan
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Original Free Republic thread from 2002: Mark Steyn -- Mohammed Atta and his federal loan officer
1 posted on 11/10/2009 7:17:06 AM PST by beaversmom
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: beaversmom

Political correctness kills.

3 posted on 11/10/2009 7:26:22 AM PST by mrsmel
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To: beaversmom

thanks for the refresher

4 posted on 11/10/2009 7:31:56 AM PST by RDTF (How can you have a terrorist sympathizer counseling soldiers coming back from killing terrorists??)
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To: beaversmom

I once worked on a consulting project for the Agriculture Dept. The ready availability of loans, grants, subsidies, etc. was astonishing. It was not lost on us that applying for this government largesse would be easy and certainly beat working for a living.

5 posted on 11/10/2009 7:32:31 AM PST by Starboard
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To: beaversmom

THanks for posting. I had never read this before. It is appalling and it is appalling that she sat there, took all that guff, and never reported it until after the fact. Burocracy!

6 posted on 11/10/2009 7:33:35 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: beaversmom
We are at a critical crossroads here, and I wouldn't be surprised if this incident of blatant terrorism at Ft. Hood will be retrospectively considered the time and place where the line was drawn.

With “business as usual”, think of the present and future implications of this action. No military base, nor it's personnel and families, can be considered safe anymore, at lease without significant change in operating procedures, not the least of which MUST BE mandatory carry of a side arm by all on-base personnel. And that is only the tip of the iceberg....We know that there are sleeper cells all over this country. It just became painfully apparent that they have infiltrated our military. This cannot be ignored!

At a time when true patriots are considered right-wing extremists and terrorists, and the real terrorists must be given “the benefit of a doubt”, we need to realize that the handwriting is on the wall.

Stay awake, arm yourselves with as much real information as possible (as well as with other things!), and join your local groups of like minded patriots. The time of the fecal matter hitting the whirling blades in near!


7 posted on 11/10/2009 7:35:41 AM PST by militant2 (I may not agree with everything you say, but......hell, I don't agree with anything you say!)
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To: beaversmom


8 posted on 11/10/2009 7:37:08 AM PST by DontTreadOnMe2009 (So stop treading on me already!)
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To: mrsmel

**Political correctness kills.**

At what point did we all succumb to this pervasive guilt?

When did we, Americans, lose our ability to discriminate between good and evil, between respect for decent people and accommodation for trashy behavior, morals and degenerates?

When did we abhor capital punishment for murdering psychopaths but accept abortion/murder of innocents?

When did we lose the courage of our convictions and embrace the cowardice of compromise?

When did you last feel really, really comfortable with your life, sure of your purpose and optimistic for the future of this Nation?

9 posted on 11/10/2009 7:43:25 AM PST by sodpoodle (Never give up- Keep Up!!!)
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To: All

This is something I discuss quite a bit both online and IRL, and something I have been observing for some time now.

Remember folks: Money talks. Monied Middle Eastern families send their kids to the US to get educated in American colleges. This has been going on for years and years (and years). Americans of Middle Eastern descent, and Middle Eastern nationals who are not US citizens, are allowed to get away with rudeness, snobbery, and outright hatefulness because of political correctness on the surface—under the surface it’s really more about money and political back-scratching, due in large part to our dependence on foreign oil. Americans have gotten so used to being ordered around and spit on by Middle Easterners here in the US that they are basically at this point wearing what amounts to blinders where any issue involving a person of Middle Eastern descent is concerned. This generates quite a bit of anger, as one might well imagine. Angry Americans then vent their pent-up spite on other Americans who, though harmless and well-intentioned, make convenient targets.

Any liberal/socialist person, regardless of how nice, forward-thinking, and “tolerant” he or she may seem, who urges or forces you to look the other way when a Middle Eastern person is exhibiting hatred or contempt for American culture in public, is not your friend; rather, the opposite. If anything, I am hopeful that this tragedy has at least put some of those PC thugs in their places—I doubt that it will shut them up entirely, however—unfortunately.

10 posted on 11/10/2009 7:45:07 AM PST by Scarlett156 (political correctness kills)
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To: beaversmom


11 posted on 11/10/2009 7:59:55 AM PST by True Republican Patriot (May GOD Continue to BLESS Our Great President George W. Bush!!)
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To: Scarlett156

Twenty years ago my husband was an instructor at NAS Millington Tn.
They had Saudi students that they COULD NOT fail, period.They would be late to class, rude, not know the material... they were in.
Apparently if they got sent back to Saudi w/o passing the training, well let’s say it wouldn’t be a good day for them.
This used to get on his last nerve.

12 posted on 11/10/2009 8:03:29 AM PST by ronniesgal (happy birthday, devildogs!!!)
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To: beaversmom

a culture sensitivity-trained into a coma.

Yes, well that training started in the 1970s in the military...

and it was all one sided then ...

just as it is now...

“White Americans are the enemy that need to change their treatment of the “victims”...”

And so we became our own worse enemies...

13 posted on 11/10/2009 8:04:19 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: afraidfortherepublic

If I, as a white American grandmother, had threatened to cut her throat, I would have been arrested and put in prison...

14 posted on 11/10/2009 8:08:47 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: militant2
militant2 said: "... retrospectively considered the time and place where the line was drawn."

I disagree. 9/11 was supposed to be that time and the World Trade Center that place.

Unfortunately, the majority of liberals would have blood dripping from the slit throats of their children before even becoming aware that there is a problem.

Liberals expect to be rewarded for their intentions of making the world a peaceful place. Reality plays no part in that expectation.

15 posted on 11/10/2009 8:10:04 AM PST by William Tell
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To: RDTF; afraidfortherepublic

You both are welcome.

16 posted on 11/10/2009 8:11:12 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Scarlett156; Tennessee Nana
Any liberal/socialist person, regardless of how nice, forward-thinking, and “tolerant” he or she may seem, who urges or forces you to look the other way when a Middle Eastern person is exhibiting hatred or contempt for American culture in public, is not your friend

Very funny you should mention that Scarlett. I posted the video below on my FaceBook page which had been posted yesterday on FR:


I only received one reply and it was from a liberal minded friend. It struck me what she chose to concentrate on. I haven't replied yet, but I will:

It's a shame that innocent American Muslims are once again going to be the target of bias (Not those in the video, but the vast majority of American Muslims). They had it hard after 911 and I expect it will be the same now.

17 posted on 11/10/2009 8:19:33 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This almost sounds like satire, but sadly with all the PC, i’m sure it’s true. I can’t imagine myself, sitting there listening to this, and doing NOTHING. I would have reported the guy and called police. She looks like an idiot who has been sitting behind a desk, with a good job, for too long. She had her chance to be a good citizen and possibly a hero. Those behaviors he exhibited were too bizarre not to be taken seriously.

18 posted on 11/10/2009 8:19:35 AM PST by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: nutmeg


19 posted on 11/10/2009 8:21:56 AM PST by nutmeg (Obamunism is destroying America)
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To: whatisthetruth; dynachrome

FYI ping

20 posted on 11/10/2009 8:36:06 AM PST by beaversmom
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