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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New 9/11 revelations -- UPDATE

(I just tried to post this one on the Bradblog. Egads! I'm still a little bamboozled by his interface. Glad to be back at good old Blogger, and I hope I didn't completely screw up Brad's site.)

UPDATE: As you read the piece below, keep in mind the report by Laura Rozen here. Weldon was peddling claims about the Iranian "threat," using information derived from a poor source. I do not think that this fact necessarily discredits what Weldon has to say about ABLE DANGER, since that story has a different source -- one which the New York Times interviewed directly, and apparently found credible.

Two separate sources have revealed startling new information about Mohammed Atta. Taken separately, these revelations are disturbing. Taken together, they could prove explosive.

As I write, the mainstream media is paying much attention to the first of these revelations, but seems chary of the second. Let's start with the big news:

Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee has revealed that a specialized unit of the DIA, code-named ABLE DANGER (which was being run by the Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida) had identified Mohammed Atta and other terrorist associates weeks before the presidential election of 2000. Atta was photographed and named as a member of al Qaida.

Although the unit had recommended action against Atta and the cell, a DOD lawyer allegedly nixed the idea, arguing that green card holders deserved the same privacy rights as American citizens. Almost needless to say, this argument is highly questionable.

Representative Weldon learned about his operation earlier this year. (I've called his office to find out exactly when, but have yet to hear back from his communications director.) Weldon's source was a former intelligence officer who has requested anonymity in news accounts. He has met with journalists for Government Security News and the New York Times. (See also here and here.)

According to the NYT, the office requested anonymity because "he did not want to jeopardize political support and the possible financing for future data-mining operations by speaking publicly."

If true, his reasoning indicates that Washington has become a very bizarre place indeed. The successful identification of Atta proved the value of "data mining;" the problem was the refusal by DIA higher-ups to act upon the information. Why would discussion of a success story jeopardize future funding for similar operations?

Which brings us back to the fundamental question: Why did higher-ups at the DOD refuse to share the information with the FBI?

"We were directed to take those 3M yellow stickers and place them over the faces of Atta and the other terrorists and pretend they didn't exist," the intelligence officer told GSN.

DoD lawyers may also have been reluctant to suggest a bold action by FBI agents after the bureau's disastrous 1993 strike against the Branch Davidian religious cult in Waco, TX, said Weldon and the intelligence officer.
This explanation seems particularly dubious when we recall the publicity given to pre-9/11 al Qaida attacks.

Partisans may suspect that presidential politics might have played a role. The 2000 campaign was underway; conceivably, Bush supporters within the DOD may have felt uneasy at the prospect of handing the outgoing Clinton administration a last-minute "win" against Osama bin Laden. Of course, this theory does not explain why the Bush administration took no action against Atta between inauguration and 9/11.

Another key question: Why was this information kept secret from the independent commission looking into the 9/11 tragedy? Although committee members were made aware that ABLE DANGER existed, they were not told about the identification of Atta. Why the secrecy?

Answers to these posers might lurk within the folds of the second story about Atta to come out in recent days...

This is the scandal few want to discuss, although a part of the story has made its way onto Talking Points Memo.
Atta, we should note, plays no role in the story under discussion there.

(What follows may seem like a diversion from our main story, but bear with me. We'll get back to Atta in a minute.)

The focus is on that notoriously shady Republican wheeler-dealer/lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whom Tom Delay considers one of his "closest, dearest friends." (For further background, you can't do much better than this TPM Cafe page.Josh Marshall draws our attention to this excerpt from an April 26, 2005 Miami Herald article, which reads like something out of Elmore Leonard:

In 2000, [Gus] Boulis sold [casino boat company] SunCruz to a partnership of Washington-based businessmen, including Jack Abramoff, the now infamous lobbyist who was surreptitiously funneling Indian casino millions to key congressmen, including the supposedly anti-gambling Republican leader, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay. A congressional inquiry revealed that Abramoff, then vice chairman of SunCruz, used SunCruz casino money to bring staffers of key Republican congressional leaders to the 2001 Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, Boulis claimed that Abramoff and Adam Kidan had shorted him $23 million. There were reports of fisticuffs between Boulis and Kidan. Kidan took out a restraining order to keep Boulis away.

The restraining order became moot on Feb. 6, 2001, when Boulis was gunned down in a mob-style hit. The murder was never solved.

SunCruz, meanwhile, foundered into bankruptcy. Abramoff sued Kidan for the $60 million he claimed the deal cost him.
I cite this story to establish the links between Abramoff, powerful Republicans, and a milieu which will remind most readers of The Sopranos.

Casino ships are largely unregulated; by definition, they operate largely outside the borders of the United States. Boulis, the unfortunate previous owner of SunCruz, was under investigation for using his operation as a front for money laundering and other illegal activities.

Another party involved in money laundering was Osama bin Laden and his associates.

On September 26, 2001, Associated Press writer Vickie Chachere reported that FBI agents probing Atta's connections had turned their attention to SunCruz casinos -- then owned by Abramoff:

SunCruz Casinos has turned over photographs and other documents to FBI investigators after employees said they recognized some of the men suspected in the terrorist attacks as customers... Names on the passenger list from a Sept. 5 cruise matched those of some of the hijackers...
Since Abramoff used SunCruz to provide services to Republicans (we may safely presume that the Super Bowl junket wasn't the only occasion), I'd very much like to see that September 5, 2001 passenger manifest. Who was on the boat with the terrorists?

Several sources have noted that al Qaida operatives had a strange penchant for haunting casinos -- and few investigators believe that their purpose was gambling. For example, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on November 4, 2001 that Atta and two other 9/11 terrorists took mysterious side trips to Las Vegas, in June and August; FBI investigators suspected that they may have been involved in the passing of counterfeit bills.

The Toronto Star of September 20, 2002 reported that members of al Qaida were arrested in Buffalo, New York, for participation in a money laundering scheme centered at the Casino Niagara.

We have excellent reason to suspect that a similar scheme prompted Mohammed Atta to hop aboard Jack Abramoff's SunCruz ship.

If -- and based on the current state of evidence, we must stresss the word "if" -- if further evidence links Mohammed Atta to G.O.P.-friendly shady operators, then many lingering questions may find an answer. Among those questions: Why was the ABLE DANGER team told to steer clear of Atta?
June 21, 2005 -Venice, FL.
by Daniel Hopsicker
Less than a week before the 9.11 attack, for example, Atta and several other hijackers made a still-unexplained visit onboard one of Abramoff’s casino boats.

link to article in entirety
Sorry- hit 'publish' too soon.....
good to see you are on this one too Joe.
Keep up the good work!
The fact that several 9/11 hijackers were recognized by Abramoff's employees and other customers on his casino boats shows that there is some kind of connection between the Repubs and helping the 9/11 hijackers pull off 9/11 as an inside job using real Saudi Arabians as the patsies. How stupid the American public is, how gullible.

all i can say is Wow! we should have known better as to why the Bush admin deliberately did everything it could to sabotage hearings and a formal investigation into 9/11.

what a scary bunch of criminals who are running this country and getting away with this crap!
At least it seems Cheney and the other Bushists, and with Bush's total acquiescence, had some idea of what _not_ to do if you _don't_ want to hinder terrorist attacks on the U.S. Whether they knew specifically to leave Mohammed Atta alone is an interesting question indeed, even if the answer turns out to be no.
Great work! I think that you should look up Grover Norquist being that he's been linked to many of these 2001 scandals. He helped fund all those Arabic front groups posing as think-tanks. They were really terrorist beauracrats that were posing as dissaffected Arabs and Iraqi's. Even Michelle Malkin wrote about it before she completely sold her soul to satan (Fox Cable News)
sofla said...

The Clinton administration put restrictions on the FBI and other law enforcement/intel to protect the Saudi operations in this country. Bush ordered these restrictions be greater.

The Clinton administration had a secret domestic operation monitoring al-Qaeda/suspected al-Qaeda that were here (not the DIA operation mentioned in this post). Bush ordered that operation cancelled.

Bush also dismantled the Clinton 'get Osama' effort, failing to refly the Predator drone to find his whereabouts, and ordering the two nuclear power submarines with their cruise missiles taken off station in the waters off Afghanistan.

Can you say, accessory before the fact? I knew you could.
Once again -- it can't be said enough --

Keep your eye on the twins.

BushCo & Osama. Bin Laden was being protected all along, and is being protected now. He got away from Tora Bora because he was allowed to. (If indeed Osama is not, by this time, a mere zombie or corpse, with others carrying out the cutout operations.)

The key parts of Al Quaeda may be being protected too, perhaps; we may only have gotten their expendables. That's not as clear as the above.

As with the various Oswalds, Jack Ruby and all the rest, isn't there a clear enough pattern by now of stabling "terrorists" for our Executive Branch's private purposes to jump out of the wingnut bin and into the light of day?

The Abramoff casino boats and other artifacts of this case have an appalling resemblance to things we've heard before, too. Killer camps where gunmen are nourished. Right-wing generals getting their houses shot up to drive home the message that the assassin isn't right wing. Airports where "terrorists" get training with zero surveillance even from the faculty. Etcetera.

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the outlines of the DOMESTIC conspiracy behind 9-11. You have to be wilfully blind not to.
Well, this is all indeed very interesting, not to mention shocking, but it sounds like the plot of a bad Tom Clancy novel (or a good Robert Ludlum). Am I reading it correctly that the suggestion is being made that BushCo is in cahoots with OBL/Al-Quaida for previous (9/11) and future spectacular American terrorist attacks? If that's what y'all are talking about, reread what I just wrote and think about it -- how could it possibly be true? I know you (as well as I) want to think it is, at least in the sense that we're on to the crooks (but not wanting people to be killed, of course) but wanting something isn't reality. If there's truth to it then, as usually happens, it'll eventually rise to the top and light of day (more so than at present), but so far it's barely a blip on the MSM radar (I suppose because it's too crowded with shark attack reports, severe weather reports, and the garbage that Nancy Grace rants about). Why isn't someone speaking up loud enough to be heard beyond the postings of (terrific) blogs like this one? We've become such a passive country, overweight, dull-witted, etc. Where are the protestors of yore (and not that long ago)? Cindy Sheehan should by now have been joined in her vigil by thousands -- not just a handful. Sigh
I have to agree with those who question why the hell more Americans aren't protesting this administration. It astounds me!
Growing up in a Canadian household I was led to believe that Americans are more active and outspoken than we passive Canadians.
"If this were the States we'd be rioting in the streets right now!" was a common comment made by my parents while watching the coverage of some political injustice on the evening news.
Well, I'm more than a little disappointed by the lack of protest against this criminal administration. I'd venture to say that the majority of the world is baffled by it. Is it arrogance that keeps the lot of you on your couches? Can't possibly admit that YOUR government could be THAT corrupt and sinister? Perhaps it's that you have watched a few too many movies and you are waiting for "the good guys" to swoop in and save the day as you play spectator from the comfort and safety of your living rooms. Here's a thought. Perhaps in this blockbuster YOU are the good guys.
And for those of you who wonder what business it is of the rest of the world, your crooked government makes it our business by pushing the rest of us around and crapping in our yards, all for "American interests"!
Cindy Sheehan is leading the way. When will you follow?
"Am I reading it correctly that the suggestion is being made that BushCo is in cahoots with OBL/Al-Quaida for previous (9/11) and future spectacular American terrorist attacks? If that's what y'all are talking about, reread what I just wrote and think about it -- how could it possibly be true?"

Google the following:
"strategy of tension," "operation gladio," "false flag operation," and I think you'll start to see how it can possibly be true.
Joseph: Glad to see you beginning to connect some of the dots. But give credit where it is due. Daniel Hopsicker "Welcome to Terrorland" and on his website has made huge revelations about, inter alia, the non-Islamic fundamentalism of "Mohammed Atta" and his merry crew. We can't even be sure that that is his real name given that 7 of the 19 alleged hijackers named by the FBI (within 24 hours!!!) have turned up alive.
As for your correspondents who seem bewildered at the al-quaeda CIA linkages, they could do a lot worse than reading authrods such as Peter Dale Scott and Nafeez Ahmed on the lengthy history of the cozy relationships between international drug running, the intelligence agencies of the US, UK et al, false flag operations such as Operation Gladio and many others.
Given the hopelessly compromised nature of the FBI, don't hold your breath waitng for indictments against the Bush crowd, their GOP and big business allies, or even some intimation of truth from the mainstream media.
nice work joseph - as always.

i was looking into the suncruz thing and i noticed something weird. that AP article you mention is dated Sep 27, but ashcroft didnt release the pix of the purported hijackers till that same day (altho the names of the hijackers were released on sep14). so we have to assume that when the article says the men were 'recognized', do we assume that someone just noticed their names?

that seems kind of odd - the ships have a capacity of 1200 people, and the employees there had no reason to ever think these people were ever on the boats - so its not like they were looking for them or anything.

i have the details here
btw - is there any specific suggestion that Atta was on the suncruz boat? or is it just "two or three hijackers"?
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