"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Orwell-- The US is probably moving toward becoming a heavily controlled Rightist state. This blog is an effort to document how that happened.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sybil Edmonds: Muzzled Whistle-Blower, Part II

Part 2

The Justice Department quickly muzzled Edmonds, and her efforts in court to regain free speech were not successful The first gag order was issued by Michael Chertiff. Court proceedings were blocked when the government twice employed the assertion of the AState Secret Privilege.@ The Project on Public Oversight and The ACLU supported her efforts to regain free speech. Federal Circuit Judge Reggie Walton upheld the government=s right to silence her. He was later to preside over the case of Lewis AScooter@ Libby, who was accused of perjury in the matter of the exposing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. Oddly, Walton, listed no prior employment on the disclosure forms that federal judges must sign.

At the heart of her problems were her claims that Turkish money was making its way to US politicians and that the Turks and others were involved in the drug and illicit arms trade. She has repeatedly claimed that she was gagged because she knew criminally obtained money was reaching people in high places in the United States government. In 1997, British Home Secretary Tom Sackville angered his government by openly stating that Turkey was neck-deep in the international drug trade. He was correct in point of fact, but Turkey is an important western ally, and it would be disconcerting to take the next step and suggest that the US and UK simply look the other way, even when some of this drug money ends up in the coffers of Al Quada.

About $40 billion worth of heroin and illegal drugs pass through Turkey each year; most of it going to Europe. Turkey receives, processes, and ships heroin from a AGolden Triangle,@ Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. The Turkish mafia coordinates all this, but they work in conjunction with the MIT (Turkish Intelligence Agency), the military command, and police. The trade comprises about a quarter of the nation=s GNP, and it can be assumed that much of the profit goes to the state itself.

For some reason, the people on Vice President Cheney=s staff who were busy discrediting CIA agent Valerie Plame and her husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson had close ties to Turkey. So did their ally Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman, who busily discredited Plame and her husband. He was also under investigation for passing classified information to Turkey and AQPAC. It is ironic that Ambassador Joe Wilson first met his wife at the American Turkish Council in 1997. Brewster Jennings, a CIA front for the counterproliferation division, had dealings with all the Turkish American organizations. Some of Sibel=s comments suggest that she thought someone within those organizations found out Plame was a spy and could have been tied to the effort to out her .

It is probably more than coincidental that a number of top neo-cons have business relationships with Turkey. Richard Perle and doug Feith do consulting and lobbying for Turkey through International Advisors, Inc. Others who work or worked for Turkey are Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, Eric Edelman, and former Congressman Stephen Solarz. Most of these people also have close ties to Israel. Of course, there is a strong de facto, but silent alliance between Turkey and Israel. Citizens of both countries work together moving illegal arms and procuring illegal Aend user certificates@ to cover their shipments. Perle, Wolfowitz, and Feith have established records of trying to create loopholes in regulations effecting the arms trade.

In January, 2004, Israeli citizen Asher Karni, who was connected to the network, was arrested for shipping 66 nuclear triggers to Pakistan. Federal judge Thomas Hogan released him on $100,000 bail--- which t he prosecutor did not challenge, and Karni moved into a Jewish rest home. Hogan is the same judge who permitted the FBI to raid William Jefferson=s Congressional office. Karni ws eventually goven a three year sentence. Zeki Bilman. His alleged accomplace, died under strange circumstances.

Karni lived in South Africa for twenty years and is said to have masqueraded as a Muslim. FBI leakers claim that wiretaps named Douglas Feith and Turkish MIT intelligence agents working in the American Turkish Council. (Madsen, February 1, 2007). In 1995, Der Spiegel claimed that Urs Tanner, who operated a plant in Switzerland and was allegedly tied to the ring, was a CIA agent, probably tied to Plame=s Brewster Jennings counterproliferation effort. The same leakers claim that Eric Edelman , former ambassador to Turkey, was deeply involved in the drug and nuclear arms network. He had served as Scooter Libby=s assistant and is now Undersecretary of Defense. Richard Pearle=s International Advisors, Inc., a lobbyist for Turkey, was also tied to the network. Former Speaker Bob Livingston also lobbies for Turkey, and Dennis Hastert has received large political contributions from the Turkish lobby.

Intelligence sources claim it was this network that Valerie Plame was trying to shut down. Her Brewster Jennings operation had intercepted a nuclear materials shipment that was supposed to have been planted in Iraq to make the case for weapons of mass destruction there .Richard Barlow, head of the Counter-Proliferation Divison, was fired in 1989, when he found evidence that the George H.W. Bush administration was helping the A.Q. Khan nuclear manufacturing program in Pakistan. Stephen Hadley, then an assistant to Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney led to effort to fire Barlow. Today, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor =s Office has been complaining that the administration of George w. Bush will not assist it in its investigation of AQ Khan.

The Scooter Libby case is interesting because ATurkey@ kept turning up in documents that were released. When Cheney aids and Rove discussed Plame their discussion evolved into a discussion of Russian mogul Mikhail Khodorkovsky, A Q Khan and the Turks/. At one point, some of the White House e=mail had been lost, but prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald learned that it was stored at a facility in Olney, Maryland. After he found what he needed, the White House also found the missing e-mail and turned it over. In the trial, the prosecution produced hand written notes that proved that Cheney, and Libby, and Deputy White House communications director Cathie Martin, and others conspired to besmirch the reputation of Plame=s husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson. (January 27, 2007) Despite revelation of this damaging information, some believe that Fitzgerald, who covered up some important information regarding the first World Trade Center bombing, has little choice but to take a dive in the current case for the Bush administration and that only Libby would suffer in connection to the revelation that Plame was a CIA covert operative. (January 16, 2007) The defense continually said it would put Vice President Cheney on the stand, but declined to do so in the end. This could be a sign that Libby would eventually be pardoned.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sybil Edmonds: Muzzled Whistle-Blower, Part 1

Sybil Edmonds, then 32, was employed by the FBI after 9.11 to translate intercepts of conversations in Turkish and Farsi. She was employed as a language specialist for the FBI's Washington Field Office. During her work with the bureau, she discovered and reported serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence that had national security implications. She repeatedly claimed that the government had enough information to enable it to foil the 9/11 plot. Specifically, she said the FBI had information that terrorists planned to fly planes into the World Trade Center. She also believed the evidence she saw meant that narcotics money was going to both Al Qaeda and US politicians. Three weeks after she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee she was terminated.

Edmonds found one co-worker who had worked for an organization that was then under FBI surveillance. Edmonds was sure that that woman was changing texts that dealt with Turkish interests. She found a nest of Turkish spies operating in the US, some at the Turkish embassy and others in the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, the American Turkish Associations, and the American Turkish Council. Questionable activities included bribery, espionage, and infiltration of nuclear research labs. Some investigators assume that many of the weapons and secrets were not intended for Turkey, but were to be resold to China and others.

Edmonds first got into trouble with her FBI employers when she complained of sloppy translations being by others and that one translator was asked to translate communications from a former employer. She was forced to take a polygraph test and was hounded for typing her complaints on a home computer even though the inspector general later determined that her supervisor said she could do this.

She claimed that she was instructed to translate slowly so the agency could claim it needed more staff. After she reported these acts to FBI management, she was retaliated against by the FBI and ultimately fired in March 2002. Edmonds found Turks trafficking in nuclear materials and narcotics, and they also has some links to Israel. Moreover, she thought it likely that profits from, these criminal dealings made their way to Speaker Dennis Hastert in the form of campaign contributions and bribes .

According to Daniel Ellsburg’s account of her message: Suitcases of cash were delivered to the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert at his home near Chicago from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.” He interpreted her to mean that Afghan drugs made their way to Turkey where they were processed and sent to Europe via the Kosovo Liberation Army and a number of private military contractors. She also claimed that Al Qaeda was 95% financed by drugs, but the 9/11 Commission went out of its way to write “there is no reliable evidence that Bin Laden was involved in or made his money through drug trafficking.” This drug trade goes back to the CIA’s long-time involvement with Pakistan’s ISI and the BCCI. It grew greatly during the effort to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. If today, the CIA, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda are all involved in the Afghan drug trade, it would not be surprising if they had some bcomon business relationships or, at the least, were all dealing with the same major Afghan drug lords.

She has hinted at corrupt roles of unelected officials, whom some investigators thought could well have been neocons Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and Marc Grossman. It is known that Grossman worked hard to stop probes of the possible link between Turkey and Al Qaeda. Ms. Edmonds told Congress that she thought Al Qaeda was financed almost entirely (95%) by drug money. She has repeatedly spoken about how the international black markets in arms, sex, and drugs are interlinked. Before Congress, she also described the sale of information by State Department employees, various payments, and Adead drops.@ There were also Pentagon officials being paid for passing on secret information.

Representative Henry Waxman and two Senators defended her, Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley . Grassley, a Republican, even went on camera to speak up for her. Behrooz Sarshar, another translator, took information to Grassley to support her claims, but the senator has not acted on it. In an informal meeting, FBI investigators confirmed that there was substance to her charges. John M. Cole, now a retired FBI counter intelligence agent, made the mistake of supporting her and saw his career go up in flames. He was forced to resign in 2004, but not before he was able to use numerous bureau contacts to affirm her story. A Justice Department Inspector General's letter, released January 14, 2004, concluded that her claims "were supported, that the FBI did not take them seriously enough, and that her allegations were, in fact, the most significant factor in the FBI's decision to terminate her services." Attorney General John Ashcroft, retroactively classified what she had told Congress as well as the Inspector General=s report

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What the US Knew about Mohammed Atta before 9/11

A little less is known about Mohammed Atta=s activities than about those of Ali Mohamed, but it is clear that even without information from Able Danger, the government had enough information to keep tabs on him. Moreover, it is clear that the FBI had knowledge of the movements of Atta and two others in Venice, Florida before 9-11. In addition, two Al Qaeda terrorists were tailed in San Diego by the FBI. They resided there with a known FBI asset. The bureau forbade agent Stephen Butler from telling t he 911 Commission of his frustration that his superiors would do nothing about these two subjects, Hazmi and Midhar.

For almost four years, while he was in Germany, Atta was employed by a foundation run by the German and US governments -- Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft. He was an instructor in an exchange program , and did some work for it in Aleppo, Damascus, and Cairo. The US part of the program was overseen by the State Department but ranking private citizens such as David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger were also involved. He also attended the Technical University at Hamburg, and German federal police ( BKA) investigated him for minor drug crimes.

According to a September 24, 2001 article in the German intelligence magazine Focus, German security people were watching and listening to the Hamburg cell in 1998 and 1999, and it is not unreasonable to assume their information was shared with the CIA. In 1999, the CIA attempted to recruit one member of that cell, Mamoun Darhazanli. There is evidence that he visited the Philippines in 1999, but there is no clear evidence that the Germans knew this. The American agency started following Atta in January of 2000 and found that he was buying dangerous chemicals in Frankfurt. On May 18, 2000, he obtained a visa in Berlin and arrived in New Jersey on June 3, 2000. There is some evidence that he had been in the US before, and there is clear evidence that he and Marwan Alshehhi visited the Philippines in 1999. Several months later, while in Florida, he received $100,000 from General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of the Pakistani intelligence service. This man was in Washington on September 10, 2001. In all, they probably received $325,000 from Pakistani intelligence. About $175,000 more came from unknown sources. Atta was attending a flight school at Huffman Avaiation in Venice, but he had previously attend two others. He and Marwan each paid $28,000 for instruction, but there were many places where instruction would cost a great deal less . He was a licensed pilot already and was given the privileges of an instructor. He may have even gone on some drug runs for them. It was known that he had business dealings with men who flew in from Germany to see him. It is also known that twelve other hijackers had lived somewhere near those two flight schools at one time or other.

The DEA confiscated and auctioned a private jet owned by one of the owners of the school. The agency found 43 pounds of heroin. No action was ever taken against the owner Wally Hilliard, a 70 year old born-again retired Midwesterner whose firm=s motto was AFight Sin, Hate Communism, and Back the Pack.@ The DEA did not arrest the pilot even though he had refused to give them his cell phone. He obtained the jet from the same people who provided Barry Seal with jets when he was working for the CIA, bringing drugs into Mena, Arkansas.( Richard Ben-Veniste of the 9/11 Commission had been Seal's lawyer.) The same jet had made 39 weekly milk runs to Venezuela before the DEA acted. The school=s co-owner was Rudi Dekkers, a native of Holland who owed his government $3,000,000. A former Huffman executive said it was clear their drug trade had government protection. Hiliard also operated an air carrier which was used and endorsed by Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush. There was a second flight school at that airport owned by another native of Holland, Arne Kruithof. The two Hollanders bought flight schools within months of one another. Other airlines operated out of that airport, including one known CIA company, Caribe Air, and the little known , Bratannia Aviation which was to obtain a multi-million dollar contract to maintain the Lynchburg, Va. Airport. Pilots for the3 various firms moonlighted by doing missionary flights at night for religions groups like Pat Robertson=s Operation Hope..

Dekkers claimed he did not know her, but they both used Pascal Schreier, a German, to recruit Arab students. From the time Dekkers came to Venice in 1999 Arab students were frequenting ths school in significant numbers. Dekkers and Hilliard had been in business together before, paid too much for the flight school, and had apparently lost millions in their ventures. Money was not their problem. They had an odd habit of conducting private conversations inside a plane that was in a building.

Dekkers said Atta was a terrible person, an incompetent pilot who left school December 20, 2000 and did not return.. Others claim Atta was there in 2001 and that he and the operator were friendly. In August, two of the other hijackers were with Atta, and Atta=s attorney father visited from Egypt. The three younger men were said to hire a Yellow Cab in the evenings which was driven by a retired Navy Seal, who left soon after they left Venice. Another driver reported that the two were on very friendly terms and that they shared a cab to a Sarasota night spot in August, 2001. Atta was apparently a hard drinker, and he sometimes partied with pilots most probably tied to CIA operations. . On September 8, 2001 he was two companions in a Ft. Lauderdale bar named Shuckums, where he got wasted and called out AF**k God.@Atta was also known to gamble and mix with ladies of the night, but he was not the only terrorist who was not a strict Muslim.

Four terrorists lived above a strip club called ALance in Wayne, New Jersey. They were Lebanese pilot Ziad Jarrah and three Saudi musclemen, Ahmed al-Haznawi, Ahmed al-Nami, and Saeed al-Ghamdi Probably because the were portrayed as religious fanatics, the FBI confiscated the security tapes showing them in the club. Videotapes of a nearb y video store patronized b y the hijackers and the Mossad agents tailing them were also seized, and later telephone numbers of the store patrons disappeared in a strange robbery.

The FBI showed up at Shuckums' bar eight hours after his plane hit the World Trade Center. For some reason, the FBI asked all kinds of questions about him in places other than Venice, where he spent much of his time. The FBI also asked a few questions in Venice, and agent talked to a flight school executive four hours after the planes struck. However, the bulk of the investigation there was left to the state Department of Law Enforcement.

Around 2 AM on September 12, according to Venice policemen, the flight school records were spirited away in two Ryder trucks that went to the Sarasota Airport, where Jeb Bush and a Florida Air National Guard C-130 were waiting. .

Mohammed el-Amir Atta insists his son was not involved in 9/11. Unable to accept what appears to have happened,has said that his son telephoned him on September 12, 2001. Almost a year later, he was sticking to his story, saying his son was in hiding.

Following the lead of the FBI, the 9-11 commission did not discuss the schools. The FBI has repeatedly said that Atta left the school in late 2000. At the Moussaoui trial, clear evidence was produced that Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi were still there and flying in February, 2001 and that the FBI knew all about it. Moreover, they violated airpark rules by taking off at night and were observed by a watchman and the police, who conducted the flight school. The FBI subsequently interviewed a Huffman administrator about the incident. Yet, another administrator told a Congressional panel under oath that the school had no knowledge of the two men after December 24, 2000.The Knight Rider papers, the Washington Post, and Newsweek reported a week after 9-11 that five of the hijackers had been trained at US military facilities at one time or another. This did not involve Atta=s brief employment much earlier in Hamburg, before he experienced a religious conversion in Egypt. It was said that Atta was at the International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Abdulaziz Alomari was at the Areospace Medical School in Texas.The Sarasota Herald-Times discovered that Atta lived for more than two months at the Sandpiper Apartments in Venice in March and April of 2001 with a part-time stripper and lingerie model. She reported that the FBI urged her to keep quiet. Florida records show that Atta became a business partner of chief Morrocan military attache Colonel Ahmed Arara and another man in business venture of some sort. The attache could have been related to highjacker Mohammed Araras.
Soon after 9-11, FBI agents were in Venice asking questions that made it clear they knew about Atta=s movements there. The nature mof their questioning activities strongly suggests they were very much aware of Atta=s presence there before 9-11. They questioned another cabbie about their nocturnal rides with the other driver. They seized a pharmacy=s security tape for the day Atta and his father were there and excised that part of the tape. It develops in an odd coincidence that the woman who helped one of the hijackers find an apartment was the wife of Michael Irish, the senior National Enquirer editor who received an anthrax letter. Irish also used that aifield.

There were rumors that the flight schools had a CIA connection, and that their records were removed on September 12, 2001. . The limited action taken after the biggest drug seizure in central Florida history led to speculation about some kind of a protected drug trade. For years there have been rumors about CIA and DIA drug trading; and those who have written about this have had their careers ruined. There will probably never be enough evidence to prove why the Pentagon did not want to move against Atta and now claims it knew nothing about him. One employee said Atta and others moved on to a school in Pompano Beach to learn to fly big jets via simulator. He added that he did not think this approach could be successful.Fired FBI translator Sibel Edmunds was asked if she came across evidence that there was any evidence of a connection between drug trading and 9-11. She said,
"The 9/11 terror plot intersected with the activities of a drug trafficking network of international scope, in ways that form a "crystal clear" picture of what was going on.@ As she came to understand how tight federal gag order placed upon her was, she later answered this question with a "nondenial-denial." Don=t look for solid answers anytime soon. Daniel Hopsiocker, who has long investigated the Venice flight school attended by Atta, ties the seized a hereoin shipment found in the plane of one of the co-owners of the school. Puzzling over why the plane was seized but the politically connected owner was never touched, he concluded that someone with great influence in DC was buying drugs from Osama bin Laden. We know Al Qaeda sells drugs, but that connection is just a guess. It has also been suggested that he had been involved in a protected heroin smuggling operation and that this accounts for the Pentagon=s reluctance to pursue him earlier. Given the history of that airport, it is far more likely that the CIA was moving drugs through it. in 9-11

Quite a bit has been written about 120 Israeli Aart students who were in the United States before 9/11. Very frequently they stayed in close proximity to where Al Qaeda agents were staying. It is very likely that they were keeping the terrorists under surveillance. They worked hard to penetrate some federal agencies, particularly the DEA but their reasons for doing this are unclear. The fact that they were scouting federal facilities in places other than Washington and New York City might suggest they either did not know what the targets were or expected there to be more targets. Some of the agents were deported before 9/11 and several were detained for several months after that event. About 60 Israelis were picked up for questioning. Some speculate that the Israeli=s were working with Al Qaeda, but there is little evidence to sustain that notion. What they were doing was unclear.

There was altogether too much information about Atta and his movements easily available to federal intelligence agencies prior to 9/11. One could also assume that the Germans filled in American intelligence on what they knew. The CIA and Mossad have historically close ties, and it is possible that Langley knew most of what the Israeli painters knew. It would be possible to reach a definite conclusion if we knew for certain that the aviation schools at Venice still had strong CIA ties in 2000 and 2001. We lack that information, so the reader must draw her own conclusions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ali Mohamed

Republicans spun the Able Danger story as an illustration of the failures of the Clinton administration. They noted that the Clinton Pentagon failed to act on information about these terrorists. The Able Danger story can better be grasped in the context of what was known about Mohamed Atta and the BrooklynCell.

James Woolsey, former CIA director and neocon who detested Clinton, worked closely with Pa. Republican Congressman Curt Weldon to give the story a strong anti-Clinton spin. Weldon claimed before the House that Shaffer and civilian contractor James D. Smith told him the Able Danger project had warned the Navy not to refuel the Cole in Yemen in 2000. Former FBI director Louis Freeh has used Able Danger this to sell his book, claiming the Clintons kept him from hunting Al Qaeda. But the fact was that Able Danger was shut down under Bush, and no one has said that Able Danger had stopped tracking Al Qaeda cells outside the US before the project ceased operation. Freeh, has never explained why three good leads within his agency were quashed or why he did not stand by John O=Neill, the best terrorist hunter we have had to date Freeh's greatest failure was not acting on information that it had about the Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn. The FBI knew a great deal about the Brooklyn cell, which was involved in the 1993 bombing. It was led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman. The cell=s chief trainer was Ali Mohamed, a former Egyptian army officer who had taught Green Berets at Fort Bragg.

Ali Mohammed

The strange relationship of the FBI and Ali Mohamed raises many questions.The FBI has a thick file on the target shooting activities of Ali Mohamed and other men from his mosque at Calverton. They apparently went shooting after mosque services in Brooklyn. According to Investigators Tom Hennigan and Peter Lance, he was a triple agent, loyal in the end If they were wrong, the other reasonable conclusion was that the FBI was somehow complicit in his dangerous activities. A somewhat similar situation existed in relationship to Mohammed Atta. Various government agencies knew quite a bit about Atta=s doings. It seems to come down to a matter of incredible incompetence or some degree of complicity.

Ali Mohamed had been the chief security advisor to Osama bin Laden and had trained the terrorist leaders=s security detail. He worked briefly for the CIA in the early eighties. The agency claims it found him unreliable and placed him on a watch list to prevent entry to the United States. Yet he obtained a visa, according to one account through a secret CIA program, and became a US citizen in 1986. At Fort Bragg, he was an instructor in Islamic culture. While there, he frequently traveled to New York, where he trained young Muslims in the use of explosive and fire arms. Ne student bled the head off Rabbi Meyer Kahane. The FBI said he was a Alone gunman.@ Another became involved in a scheme to blow up the United Nations. A third student was convicted in the plot to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993. He also spent time training Islamic fighters in Afghanistan and the CIA has 1989 footage of him training terrorists. It is also known he taught them how to seize an airplane. Ali was detained in a Canadian airport in 1993 when he was found to be carrying two fake Saudi passports. He was released after Royal Canadian Mounted Police called his American handler, John Zent.(Toronto Globe and Mail, 11/22/01)]

In the 1990s, he did surveillance on the US consulate in Nairobi, Kenya and other places in north Africa. One wonders how he explained his frequent absences to his FBI employers and whether they ever doubted his explanations. The 9/11 report ( page 68) bluntly states that he led those who plotted to attack the embassy in Kenya.

In 1989, Ali Mohamed settled in California where he soon helped Ayman al-Zawahiri raise money. Again, in 1994 he helped al Zawahiri. His neighbors were certain he was an intermediary between the CIA and the Afghan rebels , arranging for the movement of arms. By the 1990s, he infiltrated the FBI and became involved in its super-secret Division Five. The agency admitted using him but claimed it was just to track down illegal immigrants, and it did not admit linking him with terrorists. At that time, he somehow obtained the complete list of unindicted coconspirators, which included himself, and faxed it to bin Laden. The FBI held him on a John Doe warrant for 9 months to keep him away from the press and prevent his testimony in the trial of the 1993 bombers. His name came up frequently in the trial and defense lawyers demanded that he be produced as a witness because they knew he worked for the FBI and perhaps also the CIA. In 1996, he was helping Al Qaeda move from Sudan to Afghanistan. Yet, in the late 1990s, he was also in some kind of FBI custody for considerable periods.

As late as 2000, he worked in the bureau's Sacramento office, was briefly detained after that, and then released. Then he was indicted for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings and entered a guilty plea. The people who produced the National Geographic special on him claim that after 9/11 he was able to explain to federal interviewers all the ins and outs of the 9/11 plot.(Peter Lance, "Triple Cross: National Geographic Channel's Whitewash of the Ali Mohamed Story," Huffington Post, 8/29/06, http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20060829/cm_huffpost/028270. )CBS reported in October, 2001 that he was awaiting sentencing, but he then disappeared from the federal criminal justice system.

Next: More on what the US knew about Mohammed Atta

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Able Danger, Part 3

Shaffer was deployed to Afghanistan in October, 2003 , where he had an opportunity to brief Dr. Philip Zelikow and his staffers on Able Danger. Zelikow had worked for Condoleezza Rice in the NSC. He told the Rice deputy that AWe found two or three cells which conducted 9/11, to include Atta.@ After Zelikow told Shaffer to contact him when he returned to Washington. The 9/11 commission materials show that Zelikow called the US almost immediately, at 4AM eastern time. When Shaffer tried to contact Zelikow at the Kean ( 9/11) commission, staffers told him there was no need for a meeting as they had all the necessary information on Able Danger. Zelikow did not give this information to the commission and did not include it in the document. . Zelikow denies the meeting with Shaffer in Afghanistan, but Shaffer has Zelikow=s business card as evidence. Zelikow later said said it was "not historically relevant." Zeliknow had been on loan from the White House National Security Office and is now special counselor to his friend, Secretary of State Rice. The Able Danger project also turned up business dealings between Stanford University Provost and the People’s Republic of China.

The Pentagon initially said that Able Danger never existed, and later said the files on the project had disappeared. . Shaffer, a Bronze medal winner, could not leave well enough alone. He sought to make certain that people in power, including Congressmen, realized what could be accomplished by using the Able Danger approach. He also revealed that the team had been aware of Mohammed Atta and the five Al Qaeda cells in the US and abroad. Shaffer lost his security clearance as well as his DIA job. He was also charged with stealing government pens from an embassy where his father worked when he was thirteen years old. In an effort to frame him, someone sent Shaffer a package with five secret documents and a bag of 20 government pens. A inquiry costing about $400,000 was launched to determine whether Shaffer had fraudulently charged to the government $67 worth of telephone calls over eighteen months.

When he appeared on Wolf Blitzer=s program, the broadcaster blind-sided him with the charge he was sleeping with a woman in the office of Congressman Curt Weldon. Shaffer claimed that when the Bush administration replaced his top superior General Peter Schoomaker, that all hope of using the knowledge gained was gone. Navy Captain Scott Philpott, hade of the team, said they identified Atta as a member of the Brooklyn cell, but the US had certain knowledge Atta was in Hamburg at the time . However, J.D. Smith, a civilian contractor, has said he was "absolutely positive" Atta was in Brooklyn at that time. Smith was to withdraw his firm from the project. . Shaffer was forbidden to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, this decision was later reversed..

The DIA moved to take Shaffer off its payroll, and an unidentified DIA representative told CNN=s Wolf Blitzer that Shaffer was having an affair with one of Congressman Curt Weldon=s staffers. The Congressman answered that the colonel did not know anyone on his staff. Some other members of the Able Danger team are represented by Shaffer=s lawyer and are now saying other members of the data-mining task force do not support his claim that they knew Atta was physically in the United States. The colonel must be under enormous pressure to modify his story. . Two conclusions are inescapable. (1) There was great reluctance on the part of the Pentagon, under both Clinton and Bush, to act on the knowledge it had about Atta and his three friends.( 2) Now it is clear to all, that the Pentagon was and is busy denying it had this knowledge, and it was mightily assisted in this cover-up by the executive director of the 9-11 commission. A third conclusion is likely and may explain much of the lying about Able Danger. Kean Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste openly denied that the United States had any of the data mining capacities described by Colonel Shaffer. It could all be about denying these capabilities and what possession of such capabilities mean to US citizens.

The reason why the Bush Administration worked so bury information about Able Danger are not clear. It was a sophisticated data-mining project designed to gather information about Al Qaeda. Discussion of the findings of the Able Danger project lead to consideration of how much the US knew about Atta and other terrorists before 911. At the very least, it is a picture of incredible incompetence. But some of the evidence could be used to raise questions about what else was being hid. This piece will focus on what was known about Ali Mohamed, who was convicted for involvement with the 1998 embassy bombings and Mohamed Atta. Ali Mohammed is relevant because he was connected to the 1993 bombing and the embassy bombings of 1998. There is clear evidence that he was connected to the FBI, and at least briefly to the CIA. The next post will deal with him.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who worked at the DIA, became aware of Atta and his three colleagues in mid-2000. Shaffer informed the FBI of what was known about these four Al Qaeda operatives. Pentagon lawyers became involved to prevent passing on the information. There were concerns about whether there was adequate supervision of collecting information from open sources, which would necessarily net information on US citizens as well as people legally living within the United States. The lawyers claimed they had problems recommending action against someone holding a green card. But Atta did not have a green card or a valid entry visa. He came to the US three times on a visitor=s visa. For a time he was enrolled at the International Officers at Maxwell Air Force Base. The Pentagon is now denying that it knew anything about these people before 9-11. Pentagon lawyers had also required a unit tied to Able Danger to discard information about four Chinese from corporations in the US that were attempting to acquire US military technology.

There is mounting evidence that concealing information about Able Danger was much more than protecting the methods of an anti-terrorist operation. The Pentagon should not be faulted with keeping quiet about those aspects that involved highly sophisticated electronic surveillance of foreign targets outside the US. There could also have been concerns that FBI action on these leads would eventually lead to revealing information about the governments=s highly sophisticated data mining technology. That would have opened a bigger can of worms. But as it turned out, most Americans later seemed to support the government=s extensive domestic and foreign electronic spying programs.

Another possibility is that a discussion of Able Danger would have led to a discussion of what else government knew about Atta before 9/11. Eventually the Army destroyed the Able Danger files on Atta claiming this was necessary because he was a "US person" under the meaning of legislation that said the military could only retain intelligence information on US persons for 90 days. In all, 2.5 tetrabytes on Al Qaeda were erased. It has been reported that some of the destroyed information involved ties between prominent Americans and the Chinese military The data also showed that several Al Qaeda operatives rented rooms in a New Jersey hotel and that a cell met there. The Able Danger team was so good at tracking these terrorists that they discovered a meeting of representatives of cells at the Wayne Inn in northern New Jersey.. Able Danger was moved from Virginia to Texas, and in February and March of 2001, it was shut down by the Defense Department, only to be reactivated later as Able Providence. Able Danger was shut down soon after the Bush administration took office. General Schoomaker , its protector, retired, and the new officers to whom the Able Danger people were to report were clearly hostile. A two star general in DIA bluntly told Shaffer to back away from the project telling him spying was not his job. The general subsequently denied that the conversation took place.

Friday, March 23, 2007


There have been many conflicting stories about what was involved in Able Danger, a Pentagon effort to use data-mining techniques to track Al Qaeda. There have been numerous efforts to prevent the public from knowing about Able Danger. It is hard to believe that Al Qaeda and many foreign intelligence agencies do not have almost complete information on the project. Why are American citizens kept in the dark? We already knew that US intelligence people had been tracking the future highjackers in Hamburg, Germany for years, and that Al Qaeda Cells in Brooklyn and in the west had also long been in the sights of the FBI. With the revelation of the Able Danger project, it becomes difficult to escape the conclusion that the federal government had more than enough information to prevent 9-11. The 9-ll commission either was not told about Able Danger or it chose to ignore the information because it would have derailed its major conclusions. Commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton said the conclusions would have been different had they known about Able Danger, but he is the man who presided over what seemed to be a clumsy cover up of an October 19, 1980 deal with Iran to hold 52 hostages until after the U.S. election.

In 1999, the Pentagon Special Operations Command in Tampa established Able-Danger, a secret program, to gather information on Al Qaeda. It was begun on the order of General Hugh Shelton, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, and its driving force was General Peter Schoomaker, another four star officer. Some of the advanced software employed were Spire. Starlight, and Parentage. The project purchased information from various brokers, including some who had kept track of people entering mosques around the world. Sometimes the work simply involves thoroughly mining and analyzing information available on the internet. The data was processed by civilian contractors, most important of whom was Raytheon. Able Danger worked closely with a Defense Intelligence operation called Stratus Ivy and the Army Information Dominance Center, but the CIA refused to work closely with the new project. The operation was seen as so promising that then Major Anthony Shaffer briefed the jaunt chiefs of staff twice and CIA Director George Tenet once. The projects day-to-day operations were run by Navy Captain Scott Phillpott.

By 2000, Able Danger identified Mohammed Atta, the architect of 9-11, and three others as members of the cell that attacked the complex in 1993 and as part of the Hamburg, Germany Al Qaeda terrorist cell. .Email Salem, an FBI informer, had warned that some sort of attack was coming, but was driven off before he could provide better information. There was clear evidence linking Atta to Sheik Omar Adbel Rahman, who was behind the 1993 bombing. Atta would mastermind the 9-11, and the other three were also among the hijackers. They knew that Atta and the three others were also tied to the Brooklyn cell of Al Qaeda, but they did not know if they were in the United States. They also identified four Al Qaeda cells outside of the United States. Tracking them in the United States was not their mission, so it became urgent for them to pass what they knew to the FBI. Pentagon superiors refused to permit the information to be passed on. However, it now seems clear that other US agencies knew that Mohammed Atta was in Florida before 9/11.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Eight Ousted US Attorneys

(Revised April 11, 2007)

No US government officials has more power than the 93 US Attorneys. Historically, they have been expected to be completely non-political i n the way they exercise their powers. It appears that all this has changed under the Bush administration. In early 2007, eight were removed and replaced in a way that prevented the Senate from questioning their replacements. A new provision of the of the amended Patriot Act was used in to make them imterim US Attorneys, who could serve indefinitely and whose appointments did not require Senate confirmation. All the facts about why they were removed will never be known as they are protected by Executive Privilege. What is known strongly suggests they were remoed because they did not abuse their powers form partisan purposes.

The most important person purged was Carol Lam of San Diego. She put Congressman Randy Cunningham in prison, and even worse, was following up on connections to his case, and was close to obtaining House documents on Representative Jerry Lewis, a Californian who had been appropriations chairman. Three days before she was removed, Lam had won an indictment of Brenk Wilkes, an important Republican contributor. She was also looking into a Washington D.C. operation that provided media people, Senators, Representatives, and government officials with the services of prostitutes. It was wondered if sexual blackmail was involved in Congressional votes. Most of the people receiving the favors were Republicans, but one Democratic Senator and two liberal pundits were also involved. At the time she was removed, her office announced that there had been a sealed indictment, which now will probably never see the light of day. It is likely that it dealt either/or with Lewis or Hookergate.

The removal of Thomas Di Biagio in Maryland was attributed to his looking into people connected with the Republican governor funneling money from gaming interest to promote legalized slot machines. Senator Peter Domenici pressed for the removal of David C. Iglesias because he had not sped up an investigation in time to damage New Mexico Democrats in the 2006 elections. In Washington State, John McKay had angered superiors because he could not prove that the Democrats had stolen the gubernatorial election of 2004. He said he found no evidence and was unwilling to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury. Paul Charlton of Arizona was removed while he was investigating very questionable land deals on the part of Republican Congressman Rick Renzi. In Arkansas, Karl Rove associate Timothy Griffin was appointed to replace a man with a good record.Griffin had been research director of the Republican National Coimmittee and in 2004 masterminded the “caging” of 70,000 would be voters. “Caging” means they were set up for very effective procedures for challenging their positions on voter registration lists. In most cases they would not know they had been removed until it was too late. They were mostly minority people—some students, some soldiers, and some in homeless shelters.

It developed that Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales had discussed this purge even before Gonzales became Attorney General.However, Gonzales had said that he was not involved in the discussion of the removals. Kyle, Sampson, his former chief of staff, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Attorney General was very much involved in the process. However, Sampson added that he himself had no idea that any of those prosecutors were involved in versy sensitive political investigations. That seemed very implausible. But he admitted that he had suggested firing Patrick Fitzgerald, who was the special prosecutor in the Plame Case. No wonder Republicans on the committee wanted to shut down that hearing.

A study by professors Donald Shields and John Cragan showed that of 375 corruption cases handled by US attorneys under Bush to early 2007, 298 involved Democrats and 67 involved Republicans, and still another 10 were involving independents. These figures suggest what the administration expected from the ousted eight.

It has been recalled that U.S. Attorney Chris Christie on New Jersey opened an investigation of Senator Bob Menendez when he was in a close election contest, suggesting that the criminals he testified against at the risk of his life years ago were actually in league with him. It was also recalled that a career U.S. attorney in Guam was removed in 2002. He had been investigating Jack Abramoff’s activities there. That aspect of the Abramoff investigation ended.

Some Congressional Republicans were critical of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales because his department supplied changing and clearly contradictory explanations of what had happened. However, they fell in line in supporting George W. Bush's decision to hide the full truth by employing the Executive Privilege doctrine. Decades ago, Republicans--especially conservatives-- held themselves to the highest legal standards, but they have now made an exception for law-breaking in the service of partisanship.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ramzi Ahmed Yousef -KSM's Nephew

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s nephew, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef ( born,1967) was a Pakistani born in Kuwait who was connected with a plot to kill the pope (January, 1995) and carry out other terrorist activities. Some day we may have enough evidence to conclude that he was more important than his uncle. He entered the US in 1992 with an Iraqi passport and was known to have placed over thirty telephone calls to Iraq. In his Jersey City home, he assembled a bomb to be used at the World Trade Center in 1993 and rented the van that delivered the device. After the attack, he fled to Paskistan.

In December, 1994 he placed a bomb on Philippine Airlines Flight 434. The Philippine police developed information about a complex and comprehensive plan called “Bojinka” and gave the information to the New York FBI office. The plot included the assassination of John Paul II, and other attacks, including strikes against sites in the United States. Yousef, known in the Philippines as “the chemist,” played a major role in developing Bojinka and visited the Philippines several times. He claimed to be Osama bin Laden’s personal envoy, sent to set up an operation among Muslim rebels. Earlier, in 1992, he planned the WTC 1993 bombing while in those islands. Among his recruits were government agents, but what the Philippine government told the US is unknown, other than it appears to have made a serious effort to share all information about the subsequent Bojinka plan.

By keeping track of Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, the Philippine authorities uncovered Bojinka . A CNN reporter there who followed the story believed the plotters were helped by some Pakistani ISI agents. Yousef‘s computer and notebook were fouind, and he fled and was arrested in Pakistan and extradited to the United States.

The FBI arranged for an imprisoned mobster to provide extensive outside communications for Yousef. The Bojinka plan provided valuable information that might have uncovered the 9/11 plot, but the FBI did not fully exploit his communications and ended the program out of fear it would compromise 9 other cases that were pending. The cooperative gangster had the book thrown at him. Richard Labeviere has reported that Yousef had been a CIA employee in the 1980s, and Newsweek claimed that the FBI was looking into that..

Yousef was sentenced in 1996 life imprisonment for his role in the Bojinka Plot, particularly the part calling for the bombing of US commercial airlines in the Far East. It was recommended that he spend his entire sentence in solitary confinement. In 1998 Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad offered to reveal the missing aspects of the Boninka plan for a plea deal, but no arrangement was reached.


Ramzi Ahmed Yousef -KSM's Nephew

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s nephew, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef ( born,1967) was a Pakistani born in Kuwait who was connected with a plot to kill the pope (January, 1995) and carry out other terrorist activities. Some day we may have enough evidence to conclude that he was more important than his uncle. He entered the US in 1992 with an Iraqi passport and was known to have placed over thirty telephone calls to Iraq. In his Jersey City home, he assembled a bomb to be used at the World Trade Center in 1993 and rented the van that delivered the device. After the attack, he fled to Paskistan.

In December, 1994 he placed a bomb on Philippine Airlines Flight 434. The Philippine police developed information about a complex and comprehensive plan called “Bojinka” and gave the information to the New York FBI office. The plot included the assassination of John Paul II, and other attacks, including strikes against sites in the United States. Yousef, known in the Philippines as “the chemist,” played a major role in developing Bojinka and visited the Philippines several times. He claimed to be Osama bin Laden’s personal envoy, sent to set up an operation among Muslim rebels. Earlier, in 1992, he planned the WTC 1993 bombing while in those islands. Among his recruits were government agents, but what the Philippine government told the US is unknown, other than it appears to have made a serious effort to share all information about the subsequent Bojinka plan.

By keeping track of Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, the Philippine authorities uncovered Bojinka . A CNN reporter there who followed the story believed the plotters were helped by some Pakistani ISI agents. Yousef‘s computer and notebook were fouind, and he fled and was arrested in Pakistan and extradited to the United States.

The FBI arranged for an imprisoned mobster to provide extensive outside communications for Yousef. The Bojinka plan provided valuable information that might have uncovered the 9/11 plot, but the FBI did not fully exploit his communications and ended the program out of fear it would compromise 9 other cases that were pending. The cooperative gangster had the book thrown at him. Richard Labeviere has reported that Yousef had been a CIA employee in the 1980s, and Newsweek claimed that the FBI was looking into that..

Yousef was sentenced in 1996 life imprisonment for his role in the Bojinka Plot, particularly the part calling for the bombing of US commercial airlines in the Far East. It was recommended that he spend his entire sentence in solitary confinement. In 1998 Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad offered to reveal the missing aspects of the Boninka plan for a plea deal, but no arrangement was reached.


Sunday, March 18, 2007


Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a U.S. educated jihadi, played a major role in the plot to hijack airlines and attack buildings. He was allegedly Osama bin Laden’s number three man. At a March, 2007 military hearing, he appeared without a lawyer and without the right to bring witnesses. He told ---actually boasted to --a US military commission of twelve anonymous military judges: "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z," Khalid also took full credit for beheading reporter Daniel Pearl with “my blessed right hand.”. This despicable and possibly mad fellow also took credit for major roles in 28 other terrorist acts that included plots against John Paul II and former U.S. Presidents. He claimed responsibility for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and a future posting will deal with that. . He also said he had been tortured, but maybe the torture did not work as CIA sources said he was their “toughest prisoner.” But we also hear that this just meant he resisted water-boarding longer than others before begging to tell all. After he was captured in Pakistan on March 1, 2003 , he was held by the CIA for six months before being sent to Guantanimo. His sons, 7 and 9, were taken to the U.S. for questioning.

He painted himself as an Islamic George Washington, and probably exaggerated his role. But it is unclear to what extent many of his claims can be believed. Few believed his full confession and European intelligence people saw it as the result of too much torture. . By subjecting him to torture, the Bush administration has probably foreclosed any normal legal process, whose results could be believed or at least pursued. For example, independent investigators will never know about his close ties to the Pakistani intelligence service or to senior Islamists there. In 1996 he was indicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the CIA allegedly knew he was in Quatar, but did not act. A June, 2001 CIA memorandum reported that he traveled to the US with some regularity. How did he evade the spooks? He will not be able to shed light on any of this.

By trying him as an “enemy combatant” in a military commission rather than as the dastardly criminal he is, the Bush administration gave currency to the claim that there is a moral equivalence between the American use of torture and the Al Qaeda resort to terrorism.

The timing of his trial suggests those in power wanted to remind people that the war on terror was far more important than the various bush administration scandals then occupying the headlines His long confession reminds us that Al Qaeda appears to have outthought our 40 billion dollar intelligence operations and supports the official story of 9/11 that bureaucratic glitches and snafus account for our failure to anticipate 9/11.The confession also plays into the theme that the war on terror must trump all other considerations. The Khalid as central figure narrative rests upon Fouad’s interview of him in 2002 that was shown on Al-Jazeera, the case made in the indictment of Moussaoui, and , now, Khalid’s fulsome confession.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Carl Cameron of FOX news did a series in 2002 on Israeli artists who were in the US before 9/11. Cameron thought there were as many as 140 passing themselves off as art students. What is interesting is that two of them came to Miami directly from Hamburg, a city where Mohammed Atta had been and where he retained many ties. Several were working for three Israeli corporations in the U.S. Some were active military and others had the skills one would expect spies to have. They knew how to run polygraph machines and were good with communications. One had been the bodyguard of the head of the Israeli army and the other was the son of a two star general. Another was a former military intelligence agent. Their cover story was that they were here to establish art studios. Some of them failed polygraph tests after 9/11. It is likely they were tracking would-be Arab terrorists. Cameron thought this was the case, but added that his sources told him they were not sharing what they knew. FOX is an odd place to find this kind of information, but the lead is worth pursuing. There is clear evidence that high Mossad officials came to Washington before 9/11 to deliver a grave warning, but one cannot expect FOX to add that part of the story. Cameron admitted that a grave warning was given but wondered if it was accompanied with useful details. Government sources assured him that the warnings were only general.

A November 23, 2001 New York Times story told about 60 Israelis being detained here after 9/11. Le Monde reported on March 6, 2002 that they actually numbered more than a hundred. It added that about 120 were expelled. In June, 1999, Insight magazine reported that Division Five of the FBI had found Israelis tapping White House lines. Apparently, the FBI was also aware of this large spy ring before 9/11.

The Israeli agents seemed to cluster where the terrorists were and in places where drug money was being laundered. The Israelis seemed to be organized into teams of 8 to 10 agents. Often the agents were found in federal buildings and top secret military bases.. The terrorists were probably using drug money as well as the funds that were wired in to them. It is interesting that it was the DEA that first became aware of the activities of the Israeli artists and began to track them. The report showed that the Israelis often were addresses very close to where the terrorists were staying. Coincidence? The DEA report on their activities, what art they bought, etc. is incredibly detailed The British and European press assumed the DEA started watching the Israelis, thinking they were peddling Ecstasy, as some claim that US authorities have farmed out this franchise in the US to Mossad. This cannot be proven, but it can be shown that Mossad has shared the drug trade in southern California with US agencies.

The DEA and Justice Department actually started deporting the Israelis in April, 2001—before the 9/11 attack. The Israelis had a good handle on at lest fcour ofc the terrorists. When the Israelis caught up with two in Hollywood, Florida, the DEA nabbed them and they were deported. At one point the Justice Department threatened to hold “dozens” indefinitely, but in the end they were all released.

Those who deny that the Israelis were spies rely on the fact that the DEA report does not say they were spies. They also note that other Israelis were deported after 9/11 because they lacked proper papers. Finally, it is noted that the intelligence people who usually feed information to the mainstream press are denying there is any significance to the Israeli art students story.

Less than an hour after the first blast at the Trade Center, East Rutherford New Jersey police arrested five Israelis who had been in a white Chevrolet van described in an FBI alert (BOLO) twenty-five minutes before. The Bergen Record offered a different time frame but the same essential information. The FBI spotted them at Liberty State Park. Money, marked maps of the and multiple passports were found in the van. They were videotaping the collapse of the World Trade Center. They were seen giving themselves high fives when the first plane hit. One of them refused to take a lie detector test and subsequently failed when he did submit to one. The van belonged to Urban Moving Systems , whose owner fled to Israel two days later. In the company’s warehouse, investigators found traces of anthrax, fertilizer, and pipes. A number of computers were removed. Much later, The Forward confirmed that two them were spies and that the moving company was a front. An ABC investigation revealed in 2002 that the FBI assumed the agents were in the US to track terrorists. The FBI quickly shut down its investigation, allegedly on orders from the White House.

There is good evidence that another Israeli surveillance team was attached to the World Trade Center. That might help explain why the movers were pleased with themselves. They had gotten the event on tape and may have beaten the other team. One of the movers assumed the Palestinians had done it. He told the police “We are Israelis” and that the police should be worrying about Palestinians. Maybe the observation and documentation force was separated from the agents who were tracking Al Qaeda.

Anti-Semites are quick to conclude that the Israel is behind the bombing or somehow in league with Al Qaeda. A New Jersey police official suggested the latter as did one DEA officer. A variant of this theme is that Mossad was somehow helping US intelligence stage the hit. After all, Mossad has been partner to many US black Ops in the past. But there is no evidence that Mossad took any steps to help the hijackers.

It has been confirmed that two employees of the Odigo Company , an Israeli firm near the WTC, received text messages hours before the attack warning that the WTC would be hit. The story appeared in Ha'aretz, an Israeli paper and was later confirmed by that source. This does not mean the hit was an Israeli plot; it probably means an Israeli agent was worried about some friends.

On September 4, 2001, Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. moved from the WTC to Norfolk. But they had announced the move before and they had ten emp[loyees in the building on September 11. Fortunately they escaped. Daniel Lewin, a former Mosad agent and passenger on Flight 11, was reportedly killed on the plane but reports differ on how he was killed.

Similarly, it is difficult to believe that after all this surveillance of Al Qaeda suspects that Mossad confined itself to very general warnings. That probably could have been done by relying on a few agents in Hamburg, Greater New York, and Florida. Another possibility, though very remote, is that the Mossad agents were simply inept and turned up very little.

One could not be blamed for concluding that Mossad gave the US good leads on what Al Qaeda was up to and that for some reason or other, the US did not pursue the leads. Many times in the past, Mossad has possessed very damaging information about US operations, and it is likely that the existence of such information has given Israel great influence over some US administrations. Perhaps there was not enough time to debate whether the renewed “hold” on investigating suspicious Saudis should be lifted. Perhaps there was simply more ineptitude on the part of the FBI. One cannot remove the possibility that some in government saw that a terrorist attack would have political benefits, including fueling a new and aggressive program to create a new American century. The troub le with accepting the last possibility is that it makes one a conspiracy theorist. Far better to remain respectable and believe Condi Rice’s pronouncements.

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About Me

Sherm spent seven years writing an analytical chronicle of what the Republicans have been up to since the 1970s. It discusses elements in the Republican coalition, their ideologies, strategies, informational and financial resources, and election shenanigans. Abuses of power by the Reagan and G. W. Bush administration and the Republican Congresses are detailed. The New Republican Coalition : Its Rise and Impact, The Seventies to Present (Publish America) can be acquired by calling 301-695-1707. On line, go to http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping. It can also be obtained through the on-line operations of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Do not consider purchasing it if you are looking for something that mirrors the mainstream media!