Friday, April 08, 2005

Do we have a mole next to Bin Laden?

Xymphora directs our attention to this story from Dissident Voice, which indicates that CIA has a mole near Bin Laden. Moreover:

". . . according to one former CIA employee, 'It is entirely likely that Tenet told Bush about the mole at that August meeting at the ranch, if the president didn't already know. Why else would he suddenly race off to Texas on a weekend? Not just to talk about what (Condoleezza) Rice told the 9/11 Commission was something that the administration thought of as an historical recounting of old information. It doesn't make sense.'

A second former intelligence officer said he harbored the same suspicions after news of the Tenet trip and the contents of the PDB became known publicly. 'The DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) simply doesn't interrupt the president's vacation to chat about a relatively innocuous, two or three page report unless there was something extremely sensitive the president needed to know that Tenet didn't want put on paper.'"
This refers to the infamous Presidential Daily Brief of August 6, 2001. What this writer neglects to address is the possibility that this brief was once much longer. I would like to re-post excerpts of something I wrote back on April 18, 2004 (when only a handful of friends read this blog). Some of what follows is now outdated, but the evidence of a longer PDB is still worth pursuing. Obviously, if the current tale is true and CIA does have an "inside man" close to Bin Laden, then we can more easily guess what information might have appeared in those missing pages:


PDB = Phony Documents from Bush?

...the October 2002 Die Zeit story by Oliver Schroem indicates that the key August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing document was originally ten pages longer than the version released with much fanfare to the public. Was Schroem correctly informed? Consider: He published the date, subject matter, and title of a highly classified piece of paper intended for the President's eyes only. As far as I have been able to determine, Schroem published these details before anyone else got wind of the story.

You don't pull off a trick like that unless you have a really good source...

One usenet commentator has offered the interesting suggestion that Schroem's source made a typo when he relayed information about the PDB to the German journalist: 1 and 1/2 pages accidentally came out as 11 1/2 pages. I would not discount the notion out of hand, but the weight of the available evidence is against this theory.

Look again at Schroem's wording:

In the PDB, as it's called in CIA jargon, a senior CIA official presents the President with a summary of the security situation. On this morning the CIA Director personally briefs the President. Instead of the usual two or three pages, today's briefing paper consists of eleven and a half printed page and carries the title "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.". The CIA chief argued that Al Qaeda was now also attempting to carry out attacks inside the US, and there were probably already members of the terror organization located in the US for some time. It's not clear whether or not the CIA Director told the President about statements made by Al Qaeda members who were already in custody. According to their statements, the terror organization had long thought about hijacking airplanes in order to use them as missiles.
The context clearly indicates that DCI George Tenet made the proverbial "big stink" about this briefing, which was substantially longer than usual. (At this point, many will not resist the urge to crack a joke about W's short attention span. I shall refrain.) This fact argues against the "typo" theory.

So does this AP story of November 15, 2003 (available, god help us, on the execrable Newsmax site). In the piece, one 9/11 committee member -- former Representative Tim Roemer, of Indiana -- makes this possibly confirmatory claim:

"We should be requesting the entire PDB, not an article from the PDB," said former Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind. "How can you get the context of how al-Qaida or Afghanistan is being prioritized in 10 or 12 pages when you only are seeing two paragraphs?"
The story does not specify that Roemer's statement refers to the August 6, 2001 PDB, but that would seem to be the safest bet. At the time of this article, only a brief snippet of the PDB in question had passed before the eyes of panel members.

The piece goes on to quote Philip Zelikow (Condoleeza Rice's former writing partner, appointed by Bush as executive director of the Commission) as saying that "None of those articles are being edited. We're seeing everything we asked to see." But to take this statement at face value would be to presume as a given the very point we hope to establish. Obviously, if Roemer saw only two paragraphs of a document which we now know contains at least a page and a half, then some editing must have taken place; the question is how much. Until the public or the commission sees those missing ten pages (presuming those pages exist) we should not presume that they discuss subjects other than Al Qaeda.

Now let's look once again at Schroem's paragraph. We have just begun to squeeze the juice out of it. Everything comes down to one question: Who was the writer's source?

I've written to Schroem care of Die Zeit but have yet to receive an answer. For now, let us note something extraordinary about this passage: It offers details about a highly sensitive meeting between George W. Bush and the Director of Central Intelligence. The passage implies but does not state that the two men were alone. Perhaps other administration staff members were present; even so, we can presume that the famously secretive Bush folks did not leak this material.

So how did it end up in the pages of a German periodical? Deduction: Tenet must have talked to someone.
Comments:
Sorry Joseph, I have to disagree with you on this one...everyone knows that Bush is incapable of reading an 11 1/2 page report ;)
 
How concocted is this?

Likelihood is that, as speculated by many, Bin Laden is another of the "Bush patsies that got away," an exclusive club that also includes Noriega and Saddam Hussein.

Chances are the only reason Bush is hot to get Bin Laden in a deep-security slammer is what he is afraid B.L. could tell the world about the Bush-Bin Laden relationship from the palmy days of Afghanistan rebellion right on through (and especially) 9/11.
 
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