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Thread: Bush Administration Says It Will Release Evidence Linking Bin Laden To 9/11

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Bush Administration Says It Will Release Evidence Linking Bin Laden To 9/11

    Bush administration says it will release evidence linking bin Laden to 9/11

    by Jane Perlez and Tim Weiner, The New York Times
    Sept. 24, 2001

    The Bush administration plans to make public evidence linking Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda network to the terror attacks on the United States in an effort to persuade the world, and particularly Muslim nations, that a military response is justified.

    The evidence will embrace new information gathered by law enforcement and intelligence agents on the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as material used in indictments against Mr. bin Laden in the bombing of American Embassies in East Africa in 1998, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said today.

    It may also cite leads developed in the investigation of the bombing of the destroyer Cole in Yemen last October.

    The administration sees the evidence as crucial to the support of friendly Muslim countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan - whose governments fear that punishing military action by the United States against the terrorists will spur widespread popular unrest.

    In the Saudi port city of Jidda, the foreign ministers of six Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, pledged "total support and co-operation for international efforts to find the authors of the terrorist acts and bring them to justice." But the statement offered no specific military or other assistance.

    King Abdullah of Jordan - which failed to side with the United States in the gulf war - sounded less equivocal in his support of whatever Washington might do.

    "We realize that the start is always going to be difficult, the first step is always going to be a burden," the king said on ABC's "This Week." "But I believe that the steps undertaken by the American armed forces will have the full support of the international community."

    Two reports are expected within days, officials said: a public one from the State Department, and a secret one prepared by United States intelligence agencies and including details from trusted foreign sources. Officials say they are still arguing over how much information to release - and to which countries.

    The list of nations trusted with all the secret information would be short, and some countries might receive fewer details than others, they said.

    The evident intention is to produce evidence before any American military strike. "If you release it after the action, you're lost," one official said, since Muslim governments would have no chance to make the case for the American acts.

    The evidence, American officials say, reaches from the southern tip of Manhattan to the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. It traces a group that started out running material aid to the rebels fighting the Soviet invaders of Afghanistan in the 1980's and wound up declaring war on the United States.

    The strongest is Mr. bin Laden's declaration of war on Feb. 23, 1998. He proclaimed from his Afghan redoubt: "To kill Americans and their allies, both civil and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim who is able."

    The national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said today that the government had "very good evidence of links" between bin Laden operatives "and what happened on Sept. 11." She added: "We are drawing in investigative services, law enforcement, intelligence from a lot of countries. And so we need to be careful with how we use this information."

    The public report will omit intercepts by the National Security Agency, including conversations among people on the fringes of Mr. bin Laden's network right after the attacks, officials said.

    The secret report will include that type of intelligence information, which will be shared only with some trusted governments.

    Counterterrorism and intelligence officers are sifting through a flood of warnings and threats against the United States made this spring and summer, looking for leads back to Mr. bin Laden. Some of those reports were not quickly reviewed before Sept. 11, in part because of a lack of trained analysts and trusted translators throughout the government, officials said.

    "There are not enough people to examine all the information," said Representative Porter Goss of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee and a former C.I.A. officer. Too few analysts and translators must pore over "reams and reams and reams and reams of take, and say, `Does any of this stuff mean anything?' And especially if it's in a foreign language or in code, that's very hard to deal with. That's hard work."

    Senior officials said they could not include sensitive intelligence information because it could compromise their sources and methods of investigation. But they were also aware, they said, of the concerns of Arab and other leaders. The Saudi foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, has said the American response should be based on justice, not vengeance.

    The Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak, has repeatedly said the United States must be sure that it had the evidence against the suspects. An American attack could otherwise backfire and nurture more Islamic extremists, he has warned. Mr. Mubarak did not appear to suggest that the evidence be sufficient to prove a court case but rather that it persuade the man in the street that Mr. bin Laden is to blame.

    Previous administrations have made effective use of public presentations - most often at the United Nations Security Council - to convince the world that military action was necessary.

    As the chief United States delegate to the United Nations, Madeleine K. Albright displayed photographs of the bombs and integrated circuits that American officials said were to be used in a plot by Iraq to assassinate former President George Bush when he was visiting Kuwait in 1993.

    The presentation was intended to justify the Clinton administration's missile attack on an Iraqi intelligence site in Baghdad.

    One of the most dramatic evidentiary presentations was made by the Kennedy administration's ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai E. Stevenson, who appeared in the Security Council chamber with photographs of Soviet missiles in Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

    But in 1986, American intelligence agencies were dismayed that the Reagan administration publicly cited its electronic interception of messages between Libya and its diplomatic posts after the terrorist bombing of a West Berlin discotheque to win support for a retaliatory bombing raid against the Libyan leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi.

    Administration officials took care today to note that the White House was not preparing evidence on Mr. Bin Laden to satisfy the demand for it from the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan.

    "This is not a government that has given to Western jurispudence, so these calls for proof are somewhat misplaced," the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said on CNN's "Late Edition." Ms. Rice said the evidence would be laid out for "friends, allies and the American people and others."

    In an extended interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Secretary Powell said that both he and the Pentagon were sensitive to the warnings of Mr. Mubarak that a new generation of militants could emerge from American military assaults.

    The secretary stressed that the first objective would be "Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and his presence in Afghanistan." After that goal had been reached, the administration would consider options against other sources of terrorist activity.

    By keeping the narrow scope, and not immediately focusing on Iraq, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz has urged, the United States could keep international support, he said.

    For now, Secretary Powell declined to link Iraq to the attacks. "There are some reports of linkages, but not to the extent that I would say today there is a clear link, but we're looking for links and we're watching very, very carefully," he said.

    While Secretary Powell argued for a narrow focus, Ms. Rice did not exclude toppling the Taliban government. "It's a very repressive and terrible regime," she said. "The Afghan people would be better off without it. We will see what means are at our disposal to do that."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Q Ari, yesterday Secretary Powell was very precise that he was going to put out a report on what we had on bin Laden that could be reported, and not classified. Today, the President shot him down -- and he's been shot down many, many times by the administration -- you seem to be operating -- he also retreated a question of putting out a report. No, I'm wrong?

    MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think that there was just a misinterpretation of the exact words the Secretary used on the Sunday shows. And the Secretary talked about that in a period of time -- I think his word was "soon" -- there would be some type of document that could be made available. As you heard the Secretary say today, he said "as we are able," as it unclassifies.

    Q -- much more emphatic yesterday, I thought.

    MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think he said the word "soon," as I was reminded today by a very knowledgeable official at the State Department, that's called "State Department soon." And so it's fully consistent with what the President has been saying and the Secretary said. You know, I mean, look, it shouldn't surprise anybody. As soon as --

    Q The American people thought "soon" meant "soon." (Laughter.)

    Q Is this a sign, Ari, that --

    MR. FLEISCHER: Kelly, let me -- I was getting there, I was answering Helen. Helen, what I was saying is, it shouldn't surprise anybody that as soon as the attack on our country took place, the immediate reaction is the investigations begin. They begin with the intelligence agencies, they begin with domestic agencies, they begin with a regular law enforcement authorities. And they start to collect a whole series of information.

    Some of that information is going to end up in the form of grand jury information, which of course is subject to secrecy laws. Others coming from intelligence services is by definition going to be classified, and will be treated as such.

    Over the course of time, will there be changes to that, that can lead to some type of declassified document over whatever period of time? That has historically been the pattern, and I think that's what the Secretary was referring to.

    Q That's 50 years from now, if you're talking about a State Department white paper.

    MR. FLEISCHER: Well, again, I'm not aware of anybody who said, white paper, and the Secretary didn't say anything about a white paper yesterday.

    Q Is this a sign, though, that allies, particularly Arab and Muslim allies, really want to see the evidence because they're concerned about any potential action in Afghanistan could lead to instability in the region, so they want to be certain that you have the evidence?

    MR. FLEISCHER: Actually, in the course of the conversations that the President and the Secretary have been having with foreign leaders, their support has been very strong. And they also have information, they also have knowledge. And I remind you, it's not just the United States that collects information and knows that all roads lead to the al Qaeda organization. Other nations have similar means of collecting information.

    Q Ari, it does seem that across the board, on proving that these charitable organizations, non-governmental organizations, banks have links to terror; on proving that bin Laden is behind these acts; on what plans the administration has post whatever movement we make in Afghanistan; the answer is always, that's classified, trust us. Does that really serve the democracy well if all this information on which the government is basing its actions is classified?

    MR. FLEISCHER: I think the American people get it. I think they understand that as the nation moves from a peacetime footing to a wartime footing, the government's need to hold certain pieces of information closer is an important need. And I think the American people are accepting and understanding of that. And I think you all will be the judge if you believe the government has gone too far.

    But I don't think there's any indications among the public, certainly, that that is the case. And I think it's perfectly understandable, as people hide in Afghanistan today, who know that if they were to start moving, the United States would take action.

    The one thing they want more than anything else is, what information do we have that lets us know who they are and where they are and how quick do we get that information. And we are not going to provide that information.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #3
    somebigguy Guest
    Still waiting....

  4. #4
    Eckolaker Guest
    I thought they did with the infamous "confession tape". The one whos source has not been revealed, nor whos methods of discovery have also been unveiled.

  5. #5
    aceace Guest
    Even if they do... OBL was a former cia operative hired and financed by the Saudis and black ops (drug money) to break the Russian army in Afghanistan from 1980-89. Thats how al-qaeda got its name. Linking him just shows that he was given another assignment, recruit some dupes to be on a plane at the right time. I'm sure with his money and influence that was not a problem. Probably had guys lining up wanting to be heroes to strike at the US.

    (Just realized that was a 2001 article, thought it was recent.)
    Last edited by aceace; 06-11-2007 at 04:18 PM. Reason: dohhhh....

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