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9/11: evasion, deception, revelation, and speculation

Posted by Richard on August 12, 2005

Captain Ed has had quite a day of blogging, and you should read it all. I want to focus on his 9/11-related posts, which I think are quite important. But don’t overlook his update on Air America stealing $875,000 in taxpayer money from poor kids and Alzheimer’s patients, and he did a fine job of demonstrating that our worst president ever is also a fraud and a liar. There’s other good stuff, too. But, on to 9/11.

First, in The Second Half of 9/11, the good Captain, with links to his earlier post and to his Daily Standard column, discussed Mohammed Afroze’s conviction and sentencing in an Indian court. Afroze led the al Qaeda cell that was supposed to carry out the other half of al Qaeda’s plan for 9/11: passenger plane attacks on targets in England, Australia, and India. Captain Ed noted that the 9/11 commission never mentioned Afroze or the larger, global scope of the 9/11 planning:

The nature of these targets shows that AQ didn’t target America exclusively and should have provided at least some context for their consideration. Like Able Danger, however, they either ignored it or deliberately omitted it as not fitting within the predetermined conclusions they desperately wanted to reach.

Likewise, the media have been singularly uninterested in the Afroze story:

Americans once again find themselves underinformed of the facts of 9/11 despite the vast amount of money, time, and attention spent on supposedly "connecting the dots" after the fact. This willful ignorance on the part of those commissioned to keep us informed should once again demonstrate that the media has aligned itself to certain narratives and have proven unreliable in the main to report facts that do not fit them.

This continues to make life dangerous for Americans and free people around the world. If the media cannot truly depict the issues surrounding global Islamofascist terror, the ignorance they promote about its goals will result in a collapse of will to keep those goals from becoming reality.

Then, in two very important posts, Captain Ed discussed the latest information surrounding Rep. Curt Weldon’s explosive revelations about Able Danger:  9/11 Commission Changes Its Story — Again and Rethinking Prague After Able Danger

In case you’ve been in a cave, Able Danger was a military intelligence unit that identified Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers as part of a "Brooklyn" cell of al Qaeda over a year before 9/11. Efforts to alert the FBI so the cell could be neutralized were stymied. According to Able Danger team members, Clinton administration officials insisted that the team’s information about Atta and his fellow terrorists couldn’t be shared with the FBI or acted upon because Atta was in the country legally.

The 9/11 commission report never mentioned Able Danger or its tracking of Atta’s activities in 1999 and 2000. Intelligence officials are prepared to testify under oath that they fully briefed the 9/11 commission staff about all this on two occasions, but the commission denied it. Co-chair Lee Hamilton was unequivocal (Fox News; emphasis added):

"The Sept. 11 commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell," said Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana. "Had we learned of it obviously it would’ve been a major focus of our investigation."

Then they backpedaled and said they were told about Able Danger, but no one mentioned Atta. Finally, a spokesman admitted that they had the information about Atta, but they ignored it because it "was not meshing" with their other information.

Captain Ed dissected all this impressively, drew an obvious conclusion, and offered some speculations worth taking seriously. The obvious conclusion: The commission buried the intelligence on Atta in order to protect one of its members, Jamie Gorelick, who was the architect of the "wall" that prevented the intelligence on Atta from being communicated or used. Well, duh. It was clear to me in the early days of the commission hearings that the Democrats named Gorelick to the commission for two reasons: (1) so that she wouldn’t be called to testify; (2) so she could steer the findings away from the failings of her Justice Dept. and its hamstringing of anti-terrorist intelligence activities.

I think the Captain got one part of this wrong, however. He said "the Commission itself — not just its low-level staff" knew; I don’t think that’s right. It seems clear from what I’ve read that (as is usually the case) the political celebrities in front of the mikes and cameras knew little of what "the commission" was doing and were led by their staff. The staff did all the real work, took the non-media-show testimony, and wrote the report. Lawyers with government experience were probably overrepresented on the staff. My guess is that some — maybe many — of those staff members had ties to Gorelick and the Clinton administration.

On the speculation front, the Captain offers a couple of interesting ones. First, he notes that commission staff are now searching the National Archives looking for meeting notes about Able Danger. He wants them thrown out quick, observing:

And so now we come back to the National Archives — and October 2003. One of Sandy Berger’s last visits to the Archives where he took highly classified material out the door with him was in October 2003, around the time that the Commission first heard about Able Danger. Does this start to sound just a little too convenient and coincidental?

Then, expanding on a Redstate post, Captain Ed thinks about the Prague spring:

The official line espoused (at least for the moment) by the 9/11 Commission for their omission of the Able Danger data-mining project that correctly identified Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers more than a year prior to 9/11 is that the data supplied by the Army AD intelligence information clashed with what the Commission "knew" about Atta’s whereabouts. …

… the only dispute about Atta’s whereabouts in the days before 9/11 is whether Atta traveled to Prague in April 2001. Czech intelligence insisted — in fact, still insists — that Atta came to Prague on April 9th and met with Iraqi diplomat Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani and a member of the Iraqi intelligence service. A meeting with the Iraqis so close to the mission would strongly indicate a connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein, at least in terms of logistical support.

The Captain outlines what we know about the evidence for and against the Czech intelligence claim, and then wonders whether (emphasis in original):

The reason that "[t]he available evidence does not support the original Czech report of an Atta-Ani meeting" could be that they left out the Able Danger evidence that might support it.

The insistence that Atta could never have been in Prague on April 9, 2001 despite the insistence of Czech intelligence to the contrary never stood on firm ground. With this new revelation about Able Danger and the immediate invocation of the Commission-approved Atta timeline, it becomes even less sure and more suspicious than ever.

If Able Danger supports Czech intelligence, which at the moment remains just speculation, it will prove tremendously explosive. The ramifications will affect not just the careers of the Commissioners and their staff, but a deliberate attempt to suppress Able Danger might well result in criminal prosecution. It will also force a recalculation of the war in Iraq and its place in the war on terror. The involvement of Jamie Gorelick on the Commission will once again cause people to ask why such a conflict of interest was allowed to occur — only this time, Congress won’t be able to avoid the answers.

Read the whole thing. Er, things. Then contact your congresscritter and demand hearings. And tightened security at the National Archives.

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