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Pentagon aide denies suicide-hijacker met Iraqi president
Agence France-Presse | September 9, 2002

Posted on 09/09/2002 12:47:18 PM PDT by HAL9000

BERLIN, Sept 9 (AFP) - A Pentagon advisor said Monday that he was wrongly quoted in an article claiming that one of the September 11 suicide-hijackers, Mohammed Atta, had met Iraqi President Saddam Hussein prior to the attacks.

Italy's business daily "Il Sole 24 Ore" quoted the aide, Richard Perle as saying that: "Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that, and we are sure he wasn't just there for a holiday."

But Perle, a consultant to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said the information was not correct.

"I was speaking about meetings Atta had with a secret collaborator of Saddam Hussein in Prague," Perle told the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.

"For the Italians, it appeared to be a new piece of information," he said.

In the initial report, Perle said that "the meeting is one of the motives for an American attack on Iraq."

The FBI believes Atta was at the controls of one of the hijacked passenger planes that was flown into the World Trade Center.



TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: atta; iraq; mohammedatta; perle; saddamhussein

1 posted on 09/09/2002 12:47:18 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: Nogbad; keri; The Great Satan
Ping.
2 posted on 09/09/2002 12:48:39 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: HAL9000
Not to toot my own horn, but:
My guess is that Perle actually spoke of Atta's meeting with Saddam's agent in Prague, and this report is a sloppy, garbled version of that. I would be most surprised if Saddam Hussein met with Mohammed Atta personally, or that, if he did, we would have proof of it or, that if we had proof of it, the first person to hear about it would be an Italian reporter for a business daily. The administration gave the LA Times a heads up a few weeks ago that the Atta-al-Ani meeting did take place and would form part of the case for taking out Saddam: White House says Sept. 11 skyjacker had met Iraqi agent.

53 posted on 9/8/02 10:29 AM Pacific by The Great Satan

That was an easy call.
3 posted on 09/09/2002 12:50:03 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: The Great Satan
Toot toot!
4 posted on 09/09/2002 12:52:19 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: The Great Satan
Good call!
5 posted on 09/09/2002 12:52:46 PM PDT by piasa
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To: HAL9000
Oh, you mean the leaks (from CIA? Saudis?) to Isikoff and others that there was no meetings are dying out?
6 posted on 09/09/2002 12:55:49 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: HAL9000
But Perle, a consultant to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said the information was not correct.

Rumsfeld: "Look, Richard Perle is Richard Perle. He is very bright, very talented, served in government with distinction and you're quite correct, he is chairman of the Defense Policy Board. He however is not a government official, he does not speak for the president, he does not speak for me, and my way to respond to that is that those are decisions that are made by the country, by the president of the United States, and he has made no announcements with respect to Iraq."

7 posted on 09/09/2002 12:56:28 PM PDT by PRND21
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To: The Great Satan
Just make sure you mount that air horn on the first bomb headed into Saddam's private bunker.
8 posted on 09/09/2002 12:56:32 PM PDT by steveegg
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To: The Great Satan
"That was an easy call."

AND... An easy, off-handed way to publicly endorse the Prague meeting, with a little texture. Perle may not have planned it, but it was a nice method of "double-posting" this issue in the press, so to speak.
9 posted on 09/09/2002 12:57:30 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion
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To: HAL9000
Financial Times Deutschland - http://www.ftd.de/pw/in/1031411870617.html?nv=se

Pentagon-Berater dementiert Atta-Besuch bei Saddam Hussein

Pentagon-Berater Richard Perle hat Berichte dementiert, wonach die USA Informationen über ein Treffen zwischen dem Terrorpiloten Mohammed Atta und dem irakischen Diktator Saddam Hussein vor dem 11. September 2001 haben. Entsprechende Zitate von ihm seien "nicht korrekt", teilte Perle der Financial Times Deutschland mit.

Der Mailänder Zeitung "Il Sole 24 Ore" zufolge hatte Perle bei einer Konferenz in Italien von dem Besuch Attas in Bagdad berichtet. "Ich habe von den bekannten Treffen Attas mit einem Geheimdienstmitarbeiter von Saddam Hussein in Prag gesprochen", schrieb Perle der FTD in einer E-mail. "Für die Italiener war das offenbar eine Neuigkeit."

Nach dem 11. September hatte der tschechische Geheimdienst von einem Treffen Attas mit einem irakischen Geheimdienstoffizier in Prag im April 2001 berichtet. Das US-Justizministerium hat offiziell aber keine Erkenntnisse, dass Ata in dem fraglichen Zeitraum die Vereinigten Staaten verlassen hat.

Pentagon advisor disclaims Atta attendance with Saddam Hussein

Pentagon advisor Richard bead disclaimed reports, according to which the USA have information about a meeting between the terror pilot Mohammed Atta and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein before 11 September 2001. Appropriate quotations of it are "not correct", communicated bead of the Financial Times Germany.

The May countries newspaper "IL brine 24 Ore" according to had reported bead at a conference in Italy of the attendance Attas in Bagdad. "I spoke of the well-known meetings Attas with a secret service coworker of Saddam Hussein in Prague", wrote bead of the FTD in email. "for the Italians that was obvious a piece of news."

After 11 September the Czech secret service had reported of a meeting Attas with an Iraqi secret service officer in Prague in April 2001. The US Ministry of Justice has officially however no realizations that Ata in the questionable period left the United States.


10 posted on 09/09/2002 12:58:38 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: The Great Satan
"His collaboration with terrorists is well documented. Evidence of a meeting in Prague between a senior Iraqi intelligence agent and Mohamed Atta, the September 11 ringleader, is convincing. More important is his long, continuing collaboration with a number of terrorist groups, some of whose leaders live in and operate from Iraq. He openly, defiantly pays the families of suicide bombers and praises the attacks on September 11. If anyone fits the profile of support for terror, it is Saddam Hussein."

-Richard Perle

11 posted on 09/09/2002 1:00:44 PM PDT by PRND21
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To: HAL9000
"Italy's business daily "Il Sole 24 Ore" quoted the aide, Richard Perle as saying that: "Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that, and we are sure he wasn't just there for a holiday."

"I was speaking about meetings Atta had with a secret collaborator of Saddam Hussein in Prague," Perle told the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper."

Ah...I guess the Italian paper got the quote screwed up, and this is simply a correction. I hope that's what it's meant to be, otherwise, it's an article about nothing, but at least a mercifully short article about nothing.

12 posted on 09/09/2002 1:03:00 PM PDT by cake_crumb
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To: HAL9000
Pentagon aide denies suicide-hijacker met Iraqi president

I wish our government could get this story straight. Even if the meeting did take place (with Saddam or an agent), all this contradiction makes us look uncoordinated and incompetent. I think it can end up backfiring, because it gives the doves fodder for their 'even the hawks can't agree on their so-called smoking gun! What kind of a case is that?' argument.

I think this should only have been made public if we had pretty incontrovertible evidence of it.

13 posted on 09/09/2002 1:03:20 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell
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To: PRND21
Here's VP Cheney on the Prague question, from yesterday's Meet the Press:
Mr. RUSSERT: One year ago when you were on MEET THE PRESS just five days after September 11, I asked you a specific question about Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Let’s watch:

(Videotape, September 16, 2001):

Mr. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.

(End videotape)

Mr. RUSSERT: Has anything changed, in your mind?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I want to be very careful about how I say this. I’m not here today to make a specific allegation that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11. I can’t say that. On the other hand, since we did that interview, new information has come to light. And we spent time looking at that relationship between Iraq, on the one hand, and the al-Qaeda organization on the other. And there has been reporting that suggests that there have been a number of contacts over the years. We’ve seen in connection with the hijackers, of course, Mohamed Atta, who was the lead hijacker, did apparently travel to Prague on a number of occasions. And on at least one occasion, we have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center. The debates about, you know, was he there or wasn’t he there, again, it’s the intelligence business.

Mr. RUSSERT: What does the CIA say about that and the president?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: It’s credible. But, you know, I think a way to put it would be it’s unconfirmed at this point.

Last month, an unnamed senior official in the administration told Los Angeles Tiimes journalists that the Prague meeting "holds up" and added, "We're going to talk more about this case." See White House says Sept. 11 skyjacker had met Iraqi agent.
14 posted on 09/09/2002 1:04:00 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
It looks as if it was the Italian paper that got this wrong, not Perle or the U.S. government.
15 posted on 09/09/2002 1:04:26 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: The Great Satan
Do you think that unnamed senior official was Cheney?
16 posted on 09/09/2002 1:05:32 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
No idea. Clearly, the administration is going to run with this story, which means they have the goods. Right now they aren't pressing it (they aren't pressing a lot of things), but that will change.
17 posted on 09/09/2002 1:07:32 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: aristeides
It looks as if it was the Italian paper that got this wrong, not Perle or the U.S. government.

Yes, you're right. Still, our officials have been flip-flopping on whether or not the meeting actually took place. It doesn't seem likely that we have any concrete proof, which makes those who claim the meeting took place look desperate. I, for one, hope it took place, and that we CAN prove it. It would make the case for war that much easier.

18 posted on 09/09/2002 1:09:56 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell
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To: The Great Satan
VICE PRES. CHENEY: It’s credible. But, you know, I think a way to put it would be it’s unconfirmed at this point.

"But, you know, I think a way to put it would be 'we're making it up as we go along.'"
19 posted on 09/09/2002 1:10:16 PM PDT by Egregious Philbin
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To: HAL9000
I knew Saddam wasn't that dumb.
20 posted on 09/09/2002 1:17:45 PM PDT by hchutch
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To: Egregious Philbin
Doubt it. This meeting has already been confirmed publicly and on the record by the head of Czech security, the Czech Interior Minister, the Czech Prime Minister, and the Czech President, Vaclev Havel. The only denials have come from anonymous sources on background (read clintinosta holdovers, FBI/CIA butt-coverers and State Department arabists), speaking to left-liberal news organs, long after the event. The denialists can't even get their story straight: did al-Ani meet an Atta lookalike, or an Atta namesake? Take your pick. Now, the White House is affirming the meeting and promising to "talk more" about it. They ain't bluffing.
21 posted on 09/09/2002 1:18:01 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: The Great Satan
SEPTEMBER 19 2001

"American intelligence officials said that Mohammed Atta, who is believed to have been at the controls of the first jet to crash, met the head of Iraqi intelligence this year."

"Richard Perle, the chairman of the Defence Policy Board, said that a “primary goal” of the war on terrorism should be to overthrow Saddam."

Link

22 posted on 09/09/2002 1:21:26 PM PDT by PRND21
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
Don't the Czechs claim to have photographic evidence of the meeting?
23 posted on 09/09/2002 1:24:55 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
"Still, our officials have been flip-flopping on whether or not the meeting actually took place."

The only officials who have questioned the Prague meetings are the "officials who prefer to remain anonymous" serving as sources for some in the mainstream media.

The Czech government, however, has firmly stood by the reports. In particular, two highly placed ministers, the Interior Minister and the Ambassador to the UN, have unequivocally stated their reports are fully substantiated.

24 posted on 09/09/2002 1:39:56 PM PDT by okie01
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To: Egregious Philbin
"But, you know, I think a way to put it would be 'we're making it up as we go along.' "

They're not making it up. The TRUE government officials, which Perle is not one of, are simply playing their cards close to the vest.

25 posted on 09/09/2002 1:54:08 PM PDT by cake_crumb
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To: aristeides
It looks as if it was the Italian paper that got this wrong, not Perle or the U.S. government.

Oh come on! Sure I'm biased because I think Richard Perle is a dangerous coward who is deceiving our leaders with his mon-maniacal intent to commit the US to attack Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Saudia Arabia. But your bias is showing by allowing Richard Perle to squirm out of this when the evidence of his mania is plain to see.

Let's look at the quote again -
"Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that, and we are sure he wasn't just there for a holiday."

That doesn't look like it was subject to interpretation or shades of meaning to me. He said Atta was in Baghdad. Now he has to backpedal, and he is trying to get away with it by saying "Those crazy Italians got it wrong. Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Well the last one I would believe is Richard Perle.

26 posted on 09/09/2002 1:57:54 PM PDT by clamboat
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To: cake_crumb
They're not making it up. The TRUE government officials, which Perle is not one of, are simply playing their cards close to the vest.

I'm afraid I find it just as easy to think that they're bluffing.
27 posted on 09/09/2002 2:06:16 PM PDT by Egregious Philbin
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To: clamboat
Well the last one I would believe is Richard Perle.

I will second that... and the only problem with the explanation of the misquote is that it is too cute. What does the reporter in question say?

28 posted on 09/09/2002 2:36:56 PM PDT by OReilly
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To: hchutch
I knew Saddam wasn't that dumb.

I don't know about that...

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was visited at one of his palaces by Osama bin Laden in the '80s. A decade later, Saddam's son Uday met with bin Laden, and Saddam gave him money. "He gave to Osama bin Laden," says Parisoula Lampsos, who says she was Saddam's mistress for 30 years.

NY Post Story

29 posted on 09/09/2002 2:42:14 PM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: clamboat
"That doesn't look like it was subject to interpretation or shades of meaning to me. He said Atta was in Baghdad. Now he has to backpedal, and he is trying to get away with it by saying 'Those crazy Italians got it wrong. Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?' "

Yeah, you must be absolutely right...I mean...who has EVER heard of a JOURNALIST getting a quote wrong? </sarcasm>

30 posted on 09/09/2002 3:30:07 PM PDT by cake_crumb
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To: ravingnutter
"* Fears President Bush more than Bush's father."

LOL...and he should. THIS President Bush is a hundred times more dangerous to Saddam than his father was. THIS President Bush...and well love President Bush Sr, don't get me wrong is far FAR more focussed. He obsesses well, in our vernacular, which is a high compliment.

Every disdainful move that Saddam makes with GW seals his fate further. And the most delicious irony of all is that Saddm really doesn't know how to handle this. He's not only trapped by the tradition of his stagnent culture, he's OLD and set in hs ways. He just cannot adjust as easily as he used to.

If it I were describing a better man, it would be sad....but Saddam is an evil, sadistic b@stard who needs to go. Thanks for the link to the NY Post article. I thought his eldest son, Uday, had committed suicide a year or two after his father's unsuccessful attempt to murder him. I didn't know the poor man is still alive and paralized....now THAT is sad.

31 posted on 09/09/2002 3:48:05 PM PDT by cake_crumb
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To: Fitzcarraldo
I beleive you called this the other day.
32 posted on 09/09/2002 3:57:16 PM PDT by gunshy
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To: HAL9000
Richard Perle is a brilliant intelligence expert. He was able to penetrate the evil underworld of terrorism under the pseudonym of "Richard bead".

He managed to escape detection in Europe for many years while he operated undercover as the mysterious Mr. bead, in a manner analogous to that of Ng Lapseng and the "mysterious Mr. Wu".

For years, confused American intelligence authorities believed that Mr. Wu and Ng Lapseng were separate individuals, until someone realized that Mr. Wu and Ng Lapseng were the same person. In Mandarin it was one way, and in classic Chinese it was the other.

Richard Perle apparently pulled the same trick on German "intelligence" officers.

33 posted on 09/09/2002 7:37:43 PM PDT by StopGlobalWhining
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To: cake_crumb
Wasn't it Uday who had an aide killed a couple of weeks ago when he showed up late for a meeting? I think you should spare your pity.
34 posted on 09/09/2002 7:44:15 PM PDT by aristeides
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