"Jan. 9, 2006 issue - Why did some administration officials—including Vice President Dick Cheney—still lend credit to disputed reports of an April 2001 Prague meeting between 9/11 leader Muhammad Atta and an Iraqi spy even after the 9/11 Commission concluded the encounter probably didn't occur? Administration critics have long suspected that a secret briefing on an alleged Iraq-Qaeda connection, prepared by the Pentagon in 2002, helped keep the tale alive."
It's interesting how much evidence there is that this meeting took place instead of the other way around.
Right now, I'll take my sources, and especially the tried and true work of Jay Epstein and Andrew McCarthy over the 9/11 Omission Commission, specifically when this meeting is so heavily tied into the Able Danger story (which - duh - is why the Commission didn't see anything in it).
Or as this editorial by Delroy Murdock inNational Review from 2004, put together some of the story.
"Czech authorities have defended their story despite the American media's valiant efforts to discredit it.
On October 21, 2002, the New York Times reported on its front page that "The Czech president, Vaclav Havel, has quietly told the White House he has concluded that there is no evidence to confirm earlier reports that Mohamed Atta, the leader in the Sept. 11 attacks, met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague just months before the attacks on New York and Washington, according to Czech officials."
Havel quickly spurned the Times's creative writing. Within hours, his spokesman, Ladislav Spacek, dubbed the Times story "a fabrication." He added, "Nothing like this has occurred."
That same day, Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross reasserted his government's finding, complete with unique spellings of the names of two key characters: "In this moment we can confirm that during the next stay of Mr. Muhammad Atta in the Czech Republic, there was the contact with the official of the Iraqi intelligence, Mr. Al Ani, Ahmed Khalin Ibrahim Samir, who was on the 22nd April 2001 expelled from the Czech Republic on the basis of activities which were not compatible with the diplomatic status."
Two days later, America's so-called "Paper of Record" retreated. On October 23, 2002, it quoted Spacek, Havel's spokesman.
"The president did not call the White House about this. The president never spoke about Atta, not with Bush, not with anyone else."
Hynek Kmonicek booted Al-Ani from Prague. He was then the Czech Republic's deputy foreign minister, and today is its United Nations ambassador. As Kmonicek tersely insisted in the Prague Post in June 2002: "The meeting took place. "Yet even with all this confirmation from the Czechs, the MSM has declared nothing less than all out war against the story throughout 2003-2004 - specifically Michael Isokoff of Newsweek, went to great and stretched links to throw mud on it."
The reason that the Administration still lends credibility to the story is the fact thatthe story is credible, but for obvious reasons Newsweek is still trying to throw mud on it.
iraq Politics News murtha Able Danger Curt Weldon bush war on terror spying patriot act nsa CIA jonathan alter leakkrugman