First, let's dispense with the bull crap. The meeting between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi Intelligence officer Al-Ani, on April 8th, 2001 happened.
Yet, just don't mention it to the MSM, becaue since May of 2002, the MSM declared an all out assault on the story. A meeting incidently, that the Czech government has to this date stood by.
Let's review a little history:
October 13, 2001: Story of the meeting is leaked from somewhere in the Czech foreign service.
October 20, 2001: Ny Times, John Tagliabue writes a story citing other Czech officials said the meeting never took place.
October 26, 2001: Czech Minister of the Interior, Stanislav Gross has a press conference not only confirming the orginal report but giving further details of Atta's other trip to Prague in June 2000.
October 27, 2001: The NY Times "recants" the October 20th denial.
The story continues it's oddessy of 'back and forth' until May 1st, 2002, when Walter Pincus of the Washington Post follows up on this report of Michael Isokoff (room enough for suspicious motive), that the story was bogus.
Primarily Pincus wrote that "There is no evidence that the alleged leader of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta, met in April 2001 with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague, a finding that eliminates a once-suggested link between the terrorist attacks and the government of President Saddam Hussein, according to a senior administration official."
..."But after months of investigation, the Czechs said they were no longer certain that Atta was the person who met al-Ani, saying "he may be different from Atta," the administration official said. More recently, FBI and CIA analysts who went over thousands of travel records concluded that "there was no evidence Atta left or returned to the U.S." at the time he was supposed to be in Prague, the official said.
That determination was first disclosed in Newsweek magazine this week.
"We ran down literally hundreds of thousands of leads and checked every record we could get our hands on, from flight reservations to car rentals to bank accounts," FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a speech in San Francisco last month, setting out for the first time the extent of the investigation and its results."
Here are some other interesting facts:
According to Derok Murdock who wrote in his article "Baathist Fingerprints" in June of last year:
"According to his May 26, 2000 Czech visa application — submitted in Bonn, Germany — Atta called himself a "Hamburg student." He had studied urban planning for seven years at Hamburg-Harburg Technical University and launched an Islamic club there in 1999.
Atta apparently had pressing business in Prague. With his visa application pending until May 31, Atta nonetheless flew to Prague International Airport on May 30 and remained in its transit lounge for about six hours before flying back to Germany. Czech officials suspect he may have met someone there. Two days later, on June 2, he returned to Prague by bus on Czech visa number BONN200005260024. He stayed there for some 20 hours, and then flew to Newark, New Jersey, on June 3.
During the summer of 2000 — as the Los Angeles Times detailed on January 20, 2002 — at least $99,455 flowed from financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates into a Florida SunTrust account Atta shared with his roommate and fellow hijacker, Marwan Al-Shehhi. That August, they began flight lessons at Venice, Florida's Huffman Aviation.
On April 4, 2001, the FBI says, Atta departed Virginia Beach's Diplomat Inn with Al-Shehhi and cashed a SunTrust check for $8,000. No American eyewitness saw Atta again until April 11.
Atta next was observed April 8 by an informant of BIS, the Czech Secret Service, who reported that Al-Ani met an Arabic-speaking man in a discreetly located restaurant on Prague's outskirts. Atta is believed to have returned to America the following day.
While skeptics dismiss this encounter, Czech intelligence found Al-Ani's appointment calendar in Iraq's Prague embassy, presumably after Saddam Hussein's defeat. Al-Ani's diary lists an April 8, 2001, meeting with "Hamburg student." Maybe, in a massive coincidence, Al-Ani dined with a young scholar and traversed the nuances of Nietzsche. Or perhaps Al-Ani saw Mohamed Atta and discussed more practical matters.
For his part, Al-Ani was jettisoned from Prague on April 22, 2001 for allegedly plotting to blow up Radio Free Europe's headquarters there, also home to Radio Free Iraq. (Al-Ani's predecessor, Jabir Salim, defected to England in December 1998. He said Baghdad gave him $150,000 to arrange the car bombing of RFE, but he could recruit no one to complete the mission.) American forces arrested Al-Ani last July 2 in Iraq. Not surprisingly, he denies meeting Atta.
So as Brit Hume would say, “What about all of this”?
Well we know from Jay Epstein’s reporting on this that the FBI’s story that they “had car rentals and records that put Atta in Virginia Beach, Va. Close to, if not during the period he was supposed to be in Prague, “ simply wasn’t plausible as Atta had not yet obtained a driver’s license (a requirement to rent a car).
This “glitch” in the FBI fabrication left George Tenet to admit at one point, “It is possible that Atta traveled under an unknown alias to meet with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague.”
Now here is the big question: “Why did the FBI try to religate the story to the crapper?” What possible motivation would they have had? Why would FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, state they had "records" they could not have possibly had?
Enter Able Danger:
The story of Able Danger – covert operation which used open source intel with data mining identified Atta and the other September 11th hijackers in a New York based Al Qaeda cell in 1999, and continued to monitor him into 2000. Czech intelligence had also been on Atta’s tail during the summer of 2000 and up until April of 2001. The key moment in time was two trips to Prague made by Atta on May 30th, and June 2nd of 2000. Atta had not been allowed entry on the first trip due to not having a visa. On his second trip he was tailed by Czech Intelligence (BIS). Three days after this visit a lot of money found it’s way into Atta’s bank account.
According to Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer – a liason between the Able Danger team and the FBI, during the Summer of 2000 tried to broker meetings between the FBI and Able Danger to share information on Atta but was rebuffed by the now famous “Wall of Separation”, created in the 70’s but reinforced by Deputy US Attorney under Clinton – and 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick in 1995.
As others such as AJ Strata have noted, this wall prevented a full investigation into what the media called "Chinagate" As Jeane Pearce wrong in"How Chinagate Led to 9/11", "By the time Gorelick wrote the March 1995 memo that sealed off American intelligence agencies from each other and the outside world, all of the most critical Chinagate investigations by American intelligence agencies were already underway. Some of their findings were damning:
- In an investigation originally instigated by the CIA, the FBI was beginning its search for the source of the leak of W-88 nuclear warhead technology to China among the more than 1,000 people who had access to the secrets. Despite Justice Department stonewalling and the Department’s refusal to seek wiretap authority in 1997, the investigation eventually led to Wen Ho Lee and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- The FBI first collected extensive evidence in 1995 linking illegal Democratic Party donations to China, according to the Congressional Record. But Congress and the Director of the CIA didn’t find out about the Justice Department’s failure to act upon that evidence until 1997, safely after the 1996 election.
- According to classified CIA documents leaked to the Washington Times, between 1994 and 1997, the CIA learned that China sold Iran missile technology, a nuclear fission reactor, advanced air-defense radar and chemical agents. The Chinese also provided 5,000 ring magnets to Pakistan, used in producing weapons-grade uranium. The Chinese also provided uranium fuel for India's reactors."
Of course we know that when the story of Able Danger broke this summer the 9/11 Commission dismissed it briefly, but then under pressure recanted their position and issued a statement that basically said nothing. Since then Senator Arlene Spector has held hearings but witnesses such as Ltc. Schaffer and others were not permitted to testify. As I said here that decision came directly from the top and left center of Rumsfeld.
Now Rep. Weldon has secured 200 Congressional signatures to open full hearings on the matter. But the question that remains is “Why is this being hidden and stifled?”
I know that the MSM and the Antiwar left dismisses the Atta meeting simply because it would establish at least a connective link between 9/11 and Iraq – a death nail to their “Bush lied” agenda. Although nothing short of “survellience footage of Saddam driving Atta to Portland to catch a flight”, will change their mind.
But there is more than just creating the link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Much more. For you see, as terrible as a result as 9/11 was, the real ramfications of the Clinton years is the wholesale giving away of our National Security to the Chinese who even now are building their military to oppose the US in the future.
Which is why I said hereI believe the civil case of Wen Ho Lee against the Government is going to blow the doors off what really happened in Chinagate. As in any civil trial, witnesses and discovery rules are much more lenient. Add this to hopefully fruitfull Able Danger hearings and Mr. Clinton may be twitching in his BVD's. But more than that, we need to properly assess the damage done through the Clinton/Gorelick wall, and keep our eyes on the east.
iraq Politics News murtha Able Danger Curt Weldon judith miller valerie plame karl rove Valerie Plame PlameGate john hannahcheney libby joe wilson woodward bob woodward