Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 28

Thread: Who Is Dick Cheney? Someone I'd Like To See Tried For The 9/11 Attacks That's Who.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    (Between 10:10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cheney, Told That Flight 93 Is Still Heading to Washington, Orders It Shot Down
    The Secret Service, viewing projected path information about Flight 93, rather than actual radar returns, does not realize that Flight 93 has already crashed. Based on this erroneous information, a military aide tells Vice President Cheney and others in the White House bunker that the plane is 80 miles away from Washington. Cheney is asked for authority to engage the plane, and he quickly provides authorization. The aide returns a few minutes later and says the plane is 60 miles out. Cheney again gives authorization to engage. A few minutes later and presumably after the flight has crashed or been shot down, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten suggests Cheney contact President Bush to confirm the engage order. Bolten later tells the 9/11 Commission that he had not heard any prior discussion on the topic with Bush, and wanted to make sure Bush knew. Apparently, Cheney calls Bush and obtains confirmation. [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004] However, there is controversy over whether Bush approved a shootdown before this incident or whether Cheney gave himself the authority to make the decision on the spot. As Newsweek notes, it is moot point in one sense, since the decision was made on false data and there is no plane to shoot down. [Newsweek, 6/20/2004]

    10:14 a.m. September 11, 2001: Cheney Gives Engage Order to NMCC to Relay to Fighters
    According to the 9/11 Commission, beginning at this time, the White House repeatedly conveys to the NMCC that Vice President Cheney confirmed fighters were cleared to engage the inbound aircraft if they could verify that the aircraft was hijacked. However, the authorization fails to reach the pilots. [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004]

    (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Medevac Helicopter Provides Scare for Bunkered Cheney, Others
    Vice President Cheney and others in the White House bunker are given a report of another airplane heading toward Washington. Cheney’s Chief of Staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, later states, “We learn that a plane is five miles out and has dropped below 500 feet and can’t be found; it’s missing.” Believing they only have a minute or two before the plane crashes into Washington, Cheney orders fighters to engage the plane, saying, “Take it out.” However, reports that this is another hijacking are mistaken. It is learned later that day that a Medevac helicopter five miles away was mistaken for a hijacked plane. [Newsweek, 12/31/2001; 9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004]

    10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Does Not Pass Along NORAD Shootdown Order
    According to the 9/11 Commission, NORAD Commander Major General Larry Arnold instructs his staff to broadcast the following message over a NORAD chat log: “10:31 Vice President [Cheney] has cleared us to intercept tracks of interest and shoot them down (see 10:14 a.m. September 11, 2001) if they do not respond, per CONR CC [General Arnold].” NEADS first learns of the shootdown order from this message. However, NEADS does not pass the order to the fighter pilots in New York City and Washington. NEADS leaders later say they do not pass it on because they are unsure how the pilots should proceed with this guidance. [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004] The pilots flying over New York City claim they are never given a formal shootdown order that day.

    10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001: Air Force One Threatened? Some Doubt Entire Story
    Vice President Cheney reportedly calls President Bush and tells him of a threat to Air Force One and that it will take 40-90 minutes to get a protective fighter escort in place. Many doubt the existence of this threat. For instance, Representative Martin Meehan (D) says, “I don’t buy the notion Air Force One was a target. That’s just PR, that’s just spin.” [Washington Times, 10/8/2002] A later account calls the threat “completely untrue,” and says Cheney probably made the story up. A well-informed, anonymous Washington official says, “It did two things for [Cheney]. It reinforced his argument that the president should stay out of town, and it gave George W. an excellent reason for doing so.” [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/2001]

    (Before 10:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Andrews Fighters Ordered to Shoot Down Threatening Planes Over Washington
    A Secret Service agent again contacts Andrews Air Force Base and commands, “Get in the air now!” It’s not clear if this is treated as an official scramble order, or how quickly fighters respond to it. According to fighter pilot Lt. Col. Marc Sasseville, almost simultaneously, a call from someone else in the White House declares the Washington area “a free-fire zone. That meant we were given authority to use force, if the situation required it, in defense of the nation’s capital, its property, and people.” [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/9/2002] Apparently, this second call is made to General David Wherley, flight commander of the Air National Guard at Andrews, who has made several phone calls this morning, seeking airborne authorization for his fighters. Wherley had contacted the Secret Service after hearing reports that it wanted fighters airborne. One Secret Service agent, using two telephones at once, relays instructions to Wherley from another Secret Service agent in the White House who has been given the instructions from Vice President Cheney. Wherley’s fighters are to protect the White House and shoot down any planes that threaten Washington. Wherley gives lead pilot Lt. Col. Marc Sasseville the authority to decide whether to execute a shootdown. According to a different account, during this call Wherley is speaking with a woman in the Secret Service’s command and control center at the White House. Wherley says, “She was standing next to the vice president (Dick Cheney) and she said, ‘They want you to put a CAP up.’ Basically what they told me, and this is another one of those things that’s clear in my mind… ‘We want you to intercept any airplane that attempts to fly closer than 20 miles around any airport around the Washington area.… Attempt to turn them away, do whatever you can to turn them away and if they won’t turn away use whatever force is necessary… to keep them from hitting a building downtown.’” President Bush and Vice President Cheney later claim they were not aware that any fighters had scrambled from Andrews at the request of the Secret Service. [Filson, 2004, pp. 79; 9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004] Sasseville and the Capt. Heather Penney Garcia will take off at 10:42 a.m. (see (10:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001)

    10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: Cheney Brings Rumsfeld Up to Date, But Errs on Pilot Knowledge About Shootdown Order
    Vice President Cheney tries to bring Defense Secretary Rumsfeld up to date over the NMCC’s conference call, as Rumsfeld has just arrived there minutes before. Cheney explains that he has given authorization for hijacked planes to be shot down and that this has been told to the fighter pilots. Rumsfeld asks, “So we’ve got a couple of aircraft up there that have those instructions at the present time?” Cheney replies, “That is correct. And it’s my understanding they’ve already taken a couple of aircraft out.” Then Rumsfeld says, “We can’t confirm that. We’re told that one aircraft is down but we do not have a pilot report that they did it.” Cheney is incorrect that this command has reached the pilots. [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004]

    End Part XI
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    (10:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Status of Three Planes Unknown; False Rumors Persist of More Terrorist Activity
    Around this time (roughly), the FAA tells the White House that it still cannot account for three planes in addition to the four that have crashed. It takes the FAA another hour and a half to account for these three aircraft. [Time, 9/14/2001] Vice President Cheney later says, “That’s what we started working off of, that list of six, and we could account for two of them in New York. The third one we didn’t know what had happened to. It turned out it had hit the Pentagon, but the first reports on the Pentagon attack suggested a helicopter and then later a private jet.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/17/2001] Amongst false rumors during the day are reports of a bomb aboard a United Airlines jet that just landed in Rockford, Illinois. “Another plane disappears from radar and might have crashed in Kentucky. The reports are so serious that [FAA head Jane] Garvey notifies the White House that there has been another crash. Only later does she learn the reports are erroneous.” [USA Today, 8/13/2002]

    (Between 10:55 a.m. and 11:41 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Fighter Escort Finally Reaches Air Force One? Reports Conflict
    No fighters escort President Bush’s Air Force One until around this time, but accounts conflict. At 10:32 a.m., Vice President Cheney said it would take until about 11:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to get a fighter escort to Air Force One. [Washington Post, 1/27/2002] However, according to one account, around 10:00 a.m., Air Force One “is joined by an escort of F-16 fighters from a base near Jacksonville, Florida.” [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/2001] Another report states, “At 10:41 [am.]… Air Force One headed toward Jacksonville to meet jets scrambled to give the presidential jet its own air cover.” [New York Times, 9/16/2001] But apparently, when Air Force One takes evasive action around 10:55 a.m., there is still no fighter escort. NORAD commander Major General Larry Arnold later says, “We scrambled available airplanes from Tyndall [near Tallahassee and not near Jacksonville, Florida] and then from Ellington in Houston, Texas,” but he does not say when this occurs. [Code One Magazine, 1/2002 Sources: Larry Arnold] In yet another account, two F16s eventually arrive, piloted by Shane Brotherton and Randy Roberts, from Ellington, not from any Florida base. [CBS News, 9/11/2002] The St. Petersburg Times, after interviewing people on Air Force One, estimate the first fighters, from Texas, arrive between 11:00 and 11:20. [St. Petersburg Times, 7/4/2004] By 11:30 a.m., there are six fighters protecting Air Force One. [Sarasota Magazine, 9/19/2001] The BBC, however, reports that the Ellington, Texas, fighters are scrambled at 11:30 a.m., and quotes ABC reporter Ann Compton, inside Air Force One, saying fighters appear out the windows at 11:41 a.m. [BBC, 9/1/2002] Given that two of the seven bases said to have fighters on alert on 9/11 are in Florida (Homestead Air Station, 185 miles from Sarasota; and Tyndall Air Station, 235 miles from Sarasota), why a fighter escort does not reach Air Force One earlier remains unclear. Philip Melanson, author of a book on the Secret Service, comments, “I can’t imagine by what glitch the protection was not provided to Air Force One as soon as it took off. I would have thought there’d be something in place whereby one phone call from the head of the security would get the fighters in the air immediately.” [St. Petersburg Times, 7/4/2004]

    (12:58 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Bush Argues with Cheney, Others About Where He Should Go Next
    President Bush spends most of his time at Barksdale Air Force Base arguing on the phone with Vice President Cheney and others over where he should go next. “A few minutes before 1 p.m.,” he agrees to fly to Nebraska. As earlier, there are rumors of a “credible terrorist threat” to Air Force One that are said to prevent his return to Washington. [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/2001]

    (3:15 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Bush Meets with Top Officials via Video Conference Call
    At Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, President Bush convenes the first meeting of the National Security Council since the attacks occurred. [Woodward, 2002, pp. 26] He begins the video conference call from a bunker beneath the base. He and Chief of Staff Andrew Card visually communicate directly with Vice President Cheney, National Security Adviser Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, CIA Director Tenet, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, and others. [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/2001; ABC News, 9/11/2002; Washington Times, 10/8/2002] According to Clarke, Bush begins the meeting by saying, “I’m coming back to the White House as soon as the plane is fueled. No discussion.” But according to Condoleezza Rice, he begins with the words, “We’re at war.” Clarke leads a quick review of what has already occurred, and issues that need to be quickly addressed. Bush asks CIA Director Tenet who he thinks is responsible for the day’s attacks. Tenet later recalls, “I told him the same thing I had told the vice president several hours earlier: al-Qaeda. The whole operation looked, smelled, and tasted like bin Laden.” Tenet tells Bush that passenger manifests show that three known al-Qaeda operatives had been on Flight 77. According to Tenet, when he tells the president in particular about Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar (two of the alleged Flight 77 hijackers), Bush gives Mike Morell, his CIA briefer, “one of those ‘I thought I was supposed to be the first to know’ looks.” (Other evidence indicates the third al-Qaeda operative whose name is on the passenger manifest would be Salem Alhazmi (see 9:53 p.m. September 11, 2001).) Tenet tells the meeting that al-Qaeda is “the only terrorist organization capable of such spectacular, well-coordinated attacks,” and that “Intelligence monitoring had overheard a number of known bin Laden operatives congratulating each other after the attacks. Information collected days earlier but only now being translated indicated that various known operatives around the world anticipated a big event. None specified the day, time, place or method of attack.” Richard Clarke later corroborates that Tenet had at this time told the president he was certain that al-Qaeda was to blame. Yet only six weeks later, in an October 24, 2001 interview, Rice will claim differently. She will say, “In the first video conference, the assumption that everybody kind of shared was that it was global terrorists.… I don’t believe anybody said this is likely al-Qaeda. I don’t think so.” Tenet also relays a warning the CIA has received from French intelligence, saying another group of terrorists is within US borders and is preparing a second wave of attacks. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld briefs on the status of US forces, and states that about 120 fighters are now above US cities. [Woodward, 2002, pp. 26-27; Clarke, 2004, pp. 21-22; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 326 and 554; Tenet, 2007, pp. 169] The meeting reportedly ends around 4:00-4:15 p.m. [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/2001; Washington Times, 10/8/2002]

    September 12, 2001: CIA Briefing to the President Lays Out Evidence of Bin Laden Responsibility for Attacks
    CIA Director George Tenet arrives at the White House to give the president his daily intelligence briefing. With him is Mike Morell, the president’s regular CIA briefer. They meet with Bush at 8 a.m. in the Oval Office, joined by Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. The Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) on this day is about ten to twelve pages long, and a further twelve pages includes full reports from case officers, the Directorate of Intelligence, and the National Security Agency. The PDB includes a review of the available intelligence tracing the previous day’s attacks back to Osama bin Laden and his top al-Qaeda associates. Among the evidence presented:
    • Several reports identify Capitol Hill and the White House as intended targets of the attacks.
    • One report says a bin Laden associate incorrectly “gave thanks for the explosion in the Congress building.”
    • A key figure in the bin Laden financing organization Wafa had initially claimed that “The White House has been destroyed,” but then had to correct himself.
    • A report shows that al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan had said at 9:53 a.m. the previous day that the attackers were following through with “the doctor’s program” (see 9:53 a.m. September 11, 2001). This is thought to be a reference to the second-ranking member of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian physician often referred to as “the Doctor.”
    • The CIA and the FBI have evidence connecting at least three of the alleged hijackers to Osama bin Laden and his training camps in Afghanistan. The attacks were also consistent with intelligence reports throughout the summer that indicated bin Laden was planning “spectacular attacks” against US targets.
    • A report out of Kandahar, Afghanistan shows the attacks were “the results of two years’ planning.”
    • Another report says the attacks were “the beginning of the wrath.”
    • A key piece of evidence involves Abu Zubaida, who has been identified as the chief field commander for the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. A supposedly reliable report received after the 9/11 attacks stated that Zubaida had referred to September 11 as “zero hour.”

    According to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, “For Tenet, the evidence on bin Laden was conclusive—game, set, match.” Though Tenet, along with Rice and other officials, has already spent several months working on a plan to vastly expand covert action in Afghanistan and worldwide, he tells Bush that an even more extensive plan will soon be presented for approval, and this will be very expensive. The president tells him, “Whatever it takes.” [Woodward, 2002, pp. 39-41; Washington Post, 1/28/2002; Kessler, 2003, pp. 231-233; Tenet, 2007, pp. 165] Bush will approve Tenet’s plan by the following Monday (see September 17, 2001).

    September 14, 2001: Conflicting Accounts About Planes Near Flight 93’s Crash
    Officials admit that two planes were near Flight 93 when it crashed, which matches numerous eyewitness accounts. For example, local man Dennis Decker says that immediately after hearing an explosion, “We looked up, we saw a midsized jet flying low and fast. It appeared to make a loop or part of a circle, and then it turned fast and headed out. If you were here to see it, you’d have no doubt. It was a jet plane, and it had to be flying real close when that 757 went down… If I was the FBI, I’d find out who was driving that plane.” [Bergen Record, 9/14/2001] Later the same day, the military says it can “neither confirm nor deny” the nearby planes. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/14/2001] Two days later, they claim there were two planes near, but that they were a military cargo plane and business jet, and neither had anything to do with the crash. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/16/2001] Supposedly, the business jet was requested to fly low over the crash site to help rescuers find the crash site, 25 minutes after all aircraft in the US had been ordered to land. However, the story appears physically impossible since the FBI says this jet was at 37,000 feet and asked to descend to 5,000 feet. [Pittsburgh Channel, 9/15/2001] That would have taken many minutes for that kind of plane, and witnesses report seeing the plane flying very low even before the crash. [Bergen Record, 9/14/2001] Another explanation of a farmer’s plane 45 minutes later is put forth, but that also does not fit the time at all. [Pittsburgh Channel, 9/15/2001] Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz states: “We responded awfully quickly, I might say, on Tuesday [9/11], and, in fact, we were already tracking in on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I think it was the heroism of the passengers on board that brought it down. But the Air Force was in a position to do so if we had had to.” [NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 9/14/2001] The next day, Maj. Gen. Paul Weaver, the director of the Air National Guard denies that any plane was scrambled after Flight 93. [Seattle Times, 9/16/2001] That in turn contradicts what Vice President Cheney will say later. [Washington Post, 1/27/2002]

    End Part XII
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    September 15, 2001: Top Officials Meet at Camp David; Wolfowitz Suggests Striking Iraq
    George W. Bush, CIA Director George Tenet, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, Paul Wolfowitz, and perhaps other officials as well, meet at Camp David to discuss war plans in Afghanistan. The meeting reportedly begins at 9:30 AM with a prayer. [Washington Post, 1/31/2002; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 232] There is discussion on a paper submitted by the Defense Department depicting Iraq, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda as priority targets. Paul Wolfowitz pushes for regime change in Iraq, claiming that there is a 10 to 50 percent chance that Iraq was involved in the attacks. [Woodward, 2002, pp. 83; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 232; Washington Post, 7/23/2004] Wolfowitz will later recall in an interview with Vanity Fair: “On the surface of the debate it at least appeared to be about not whether but when. There seemed to be a kind of agreement that yes it should be, but the disagreement was whether it should be in the immediate response or whether you should concentrate simply on Afghanistan first. To the extent it was a debate about tactics and timing, the president clearly came down on the side of Afghanistan first. To the extent it was a debate about strategy and what the larger goal was, it is at least clear with 20/20 hindsight that the president came down on the side of the larger goal.” [Vanity Fair, 5/9/2003]

    September 16, 2001: Cheney Says Iraq Is ‘Bottled Up,’ Not Tied to 9/11
    Vice President Dick Cheney is asked on NBC’s Meet the Press if the US has evidence that Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists. Cheney responds: “There is—in the past, there have been some activities related to terrorism by Saddam Hussein. But at this stage, you know, the focus is over here on al-Qaeda and the most recent events in New York. Saddam Hussein’s bottled up, at this point, but clearly, we continue to have a fairly tough policy where the Iraqis are concerned.” [Meet the Press, 9/16/2001] When asked if the US has any evidence linking Hussein or any Iraqis to the attacks, Cheney replies, “No.” [White House, 9/16/2001]

    September 19, 2001-Present: Claims of an Atta-Iraqi Spy Meeting Are Repeatedly Asserted and Denied
    Media coverage relating to an alleged meeting between hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi spy named Ahmed al-Ani took place in Prague, Czech Republic, has changed repeatedly over time:
    • September 19, 2001: It is first reported that an April 8, 2001, meeting took place; Atta is named later. [Los Angeles Times, 9/19/2001; CNN, 10/11/2001]
    • October 20, 2001: The story is denied. [New York Times, 10/20/2001]
    • October 27, 2001: The story is confirmed. [New York Times, 10/27/2001]
    • October 27, 2001: It is claimed Atta met with Iraqi agents four times in Prague, plus in Germany, Spain, and Italy. [London Times, 10/27/2001]
    • November 12, 2001: Conservative columnist William Safire calls the meeting an “undisputed fact.” [New York Times, 11/12/2001]
    • December 9, 2001: Vice President Cheney asserts that the existence of the meeting is “pretty well confirmed.” [Washington Post, 12/9/2001]
    • December 16, 2001: The identities of both al-Ani and Atta, alleged to have been at the meetings, are disputed. [New York Times, 12/16/2001]
    • January 12, 2002: It is claimed at least two meetings took place, including one a year earlier. [Daily Telegraph, 1/12/2002]
    • February 6, 2002: It is reported that the meeting probably took place, but was not connected to the 9/11 attacks. [New York Times, 2/6/2002]
    • March 15, 2002: Evidence that the meeting took place is considered between “slim” and “none.” [Washington Post, 3/15/2002]
    • March 18, 2002: William Safire again strongly asserts that the meeting took place. [New York Times, 3/18/2002]
    • April 28-May 2, 2002: The meeting is largely discredited. For example, the Washington Post quotes FBI Director Mueller stating that, “We ran down literally hundreds of thousands of leads and checked every record we could get our hands on, from flight reservations to car rentals to bank accounts,” yet no evidence that Atta left the country was found. According to the Post, “[a]fter months of investigation, the Czechs [say] they [are] no longer certain that Atta was the person who met al-Ani, saying ‘he may be different from Atta.’” [Washington Post, 5/1/2002] Newsweek cites a US official who contends that, “Neither we nor the Czechs nor anybody else has any information [Atta] was coming or going [to Prague] at that time.” [Newsweek, 4/28/2002; Washington Post, 5/1/2002; New York Times, 5/2/2002]
    • May 8, 2002: Some Czech officials continue to affirm the meeting took place. [Prague Post, 5/8/2002]
    • May 9, 2002: William Safire refuses to give up the story, claiming a “protect-Saddam cabal” in the high levels of the US government is burying the story. [New York Times, 5/9/2002]
    • July 15, 2002: The head of Czech foreign intelligence states that reports of the meeting are unproved and implausible. [Prague Post, 7/15/2002]
    • August 2, 2002: With a war against Iraq growing more likely, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer suggests the meeting did happen, “despite deep doubts by the CIA and FBI.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/2/2002]
    • August 19, 2002: Newsweek states: “The sole evidence for the alleged meeting is the uncorroborated claim of a Czech informant.” According to Newsweek, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is nonetheless pushing the FBI to have the meeting accepted as fact. [Newsweek, 8/19/2002]
    • September 10, 2002: The Bush administration is no longer actively asserting that the meeting took place. [Washington Post, 9/10/2002]
    • September 17, 2002: Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld “accept reports from Czech diplomats” that the meeting took place. [USA Today, 9/17/2002]
    • September 23, 2002: Newsweek reports that the CIA is resisting Pentagon demands to obtain pictures of the alleged meeting from Iraqi exiles. One official says, “We do not shy away from evidence. But we also don’t make it up.” [Newsweek, 9/23/2002]
    • October 20, 2002: Czech officials, including President Vaclav Havel, emphatically deny that the meeting ever took place. It now appears Atta was not even in the Czech Republic during the month the meeting was supposed to have taken place. President Havel told Bush “quietly some time earlier this year” that the meeting did not happen. [United Press International, 10/20/2002; New York Times, 10/21/2002]
    • December 8, 2002: Bush adviser Richard Perle continues to push the story, stating, “To the best of my knowledge that meeting took place.” [CBS News, 9/5/2002]
    • July 9, 2003: Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmed al-Ani is captured by US forces in Iraq. [Washington Post, 7/9/2003]
    • July 10, 2003: In a story confirming al-Ani’s capture, ABC News cites US and British intelligence officials who have seen surveillance photos of al-Ani’s meetings in Prague, and who say that there is a man who looks somewhat like Atta, but is not Atta. [ABC News, 7/10/2003]
    • September 14, 2003: Vice President Cheney repeats the claims that Atta met with al-Ani in Prague on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [Washington Post, 9/15/2003]
    • December 13, 2003: It is reported that al-Ani told interrogators he did not meet Atta in Prague. [Washington Post, 9/29/2003; Reuters, 12/13/2003]
    • June 16, 2004: The 9/11 Commission concludes that the meeting never happened. They claim cell phone records and other records show Atta never left Florida during the time in question. [9/11 Commission, 6/16/2004]
    • July 17, 2004: Vice President Cheney says no one has “been able to confirm” the Atta meeting in Prague or to “to knock it down.” [CNN, 6/18/2004]


    End Part XIII
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    October 2001: NSA Creates Massive Database of US Citizens’ Phone Calls
    The National Security Agency, as part of its huge, covert, and possibly illegal wiretapping program directed at US citizens (see September 13, 2001), begins collecting telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by telecommunications firms such as AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth. The media does not report on this database until May 2006. The program collects information on US citizens not suspected of any crime or any terrorist connections. Although informed sources say the NSA is not listening to, or recording, actual conversations, the agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity. “It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world,” says one anonymous source. The NSA intends “to create a database of every call ever made.” As a result, the NSA has detailed records of the phone activities of tens of millions of US citizens, from local calls to family and friends to international calls. The three telecommunications companies are working with the NSA in part under the Communications Assistance Act for Law Enforcement (CALEA) (see January 1, 1995 and June 13, 2006) and in part under contract to the agency. The wiretapping program, which features electronic surveillance of US citizens without court warrants or judicial oversight, is far more extensive than anything the White House or the NSA has ever acknowledged. President Bush has insisted that the NSA focuses exclusively on monitoring international calls where one of the call participants is a known terrorist suspect or has a connection to terrorist groups (see December 15, 2005, and he and other officials have always insisted that domestic calls are not monitored. This has now been shown to be false. The NSA has become expert at “data mining,” sifting through reams of information in search of patterns. The warrantless wiretapping database is one source of information for the NSA’s data mining. As long as the NSA does not collect “personal identifiers”—names, Social Security numbers, street addresses, and the like—such data mining is legal. But the actual efficacy of the wiretapping program in learning about terrorists and possibly preventing terrorist attacks is unclear at best. And many wonder if the NSA is not repeating its activities from the 1950s and 1960s, when it conducted “Operation Shamrock” (see 1945-1975), a 20-year program of warrantless wiretaps of international phone calls at the behest of the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Operation Shamrock, among other things, led to the 1978 passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (see 1978). [USA Today, 5/11/2006] In May 2006, former NSA director Bobby Ray Inman will say flatly, “[T]his activity is not authorized” (see May 12, 2006). Retired AT&T technician Mark Klein, a 22-year veteran of the firm, will say in 2006 that he saw the company construct what journalist Ryan Singel calls “a secret room in its switching center in San Francisco, where they took portions of the fiber optic cable that carry Internet traffic and shunted it into a private room, a little secret room that supposedly had a large data bank with some secret data mining hardware, and he said he also saw—he had also heard that this had happened in other switching locations…. And it wasn’t just AT&T’s internet connections, according to his statement. What he said he saw was that where AT&T’s internet network connected up with other networks, say, Qwest’s, for example, where you trade your traffic, that those links also got put into the cabinet.” [Democracy Now!, 5/12/2006] Of the four largest telecommunications carriers, only Qwest has refused to cooperate with the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. Qwest officials are not sure it is legal to hand over customer information to the government without warrants. Qwest’s refusal to participate in the program leaves a gaping hole in the NSA’s database, with the NSA only getting partial coverage of US citizens in the West and Northwest. Until recently, AT&T and other phone companies have routinely insisted on court warrants before turning over call data to government agencies, protocols growing out of the historical concerns of the Bell Telephone system for customer service and privacy. Gene Kimmelman of the Consumers Union will say in 2006 that such insistence on court warrants was a bedrock principle of the Bell systems. “No court order, no customer information—period.” he says. “That’s how it was for decades.” The Bell system was also concerned with following the law, specifically the Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits telephone companies from giving out such information without court orders. Bush and other government officials say that his 2002 executive order allowing the NSA to wiretap American phones without warrants gives the telephone companies legal cover, but many legal experts and civil liberties groups disagree. After 9/11, the NSA approached the four companies with offers to pay for US citizens’ call histories and for updates, which would allow the agency to track citizens’ phone habits. Three of the four agreed to the NSA proposal. An AT&T spokesman will say in May 2006, “We do not comment on matters of national security, except to say that we only assist law enforcement and government agencies charged with protecting national security in strict accordance with the law.” BellSouth will say that the company “does not provide any confidential customer information to the NSA or any governmental agency without proper legal authority.” Verizon will add that the company acts “in full compliance with the law and we are committed to safeguarding our customers’ privacy.” Neither AT&T nor Qwest, the company who refuses to cooperate with the NSA, will comment at all. [USA Today, 5/11/2006] (Shortly thereafter, both Verizon and BellSouth will deny providing the NSA with data on their customers. A BellSouth spokesman will say, somewhat ingenuously, “We’re not aware of any database that NSA has, so we’re not aware of our customer information being there at all.” And Verizon conspicuously fails to mention possible data from MCI, the long-distance provider it has recently bought.) Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will say of the various companies’ participations, “The thing that concerns me is some [companies] said yes and some said no” when asked to participate. “If the government really thought this was legal and necessary, why let some say yes and some say no? It’s either legal and necessary, or it’s not.” [USA Today, 5/16/2006] In February 2006, seven telecommunications executives confirm that the companies have indeed cooperated with the NSA (see February 5, 2006). USA Today, which is the first to report BellSouth’s and Verizon’s involvement, will later say that it cannot independently confirm the participation of either corporation. [Bloomberg, 6/30/2006] Sources say that the CEO of Qwest, Joe Nacchio, is so disturbed by the idea of the NSA wiretapping phones without warrants, and was so unsure of what information would be collected and how it might be used, that he decided the company would not cooperate. The NSA told Qwest and the other companies that not only would it compile and maintain data on US citizens’ phone habits, but it may well share that information with other US government agencies, including the CIA, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the FBI. Indeed, the NSA shares what it calls “product” with other intelligence agencies, and perhaps with other governmental agencies. After Nacchio decides not to comply with the NSA’s request, the agency begins pressuring the firm, accusing it of threatening national security and implying that Qwest might not be eligible for future governmental contracts. When Qwest asks the NSA to take its proposal to the FISA Court (FISC), the agency refuses, making Qwest that much more dubious about the NSA operation, especially when NSA lawyers say they won’t take the proposal to FISC because that court “might not agree with them.” The NSA also refuses to ask for authorization from the attorney general’s office. Nacchio will leave Qwest under fire for allegedly misleading shareholders about the company’s financial prospects, but his successor, Richard Notebaert, continues to refuse to cooperate with the NSA. [USA Today, 5/11/2006; USA Today, 5/11/2006] Interestingly, by 2004 the Federal Communications Commission will list Qwest and Verizon as essentially the same company. [Federal Communications Commission, 12/10/2004] Journalist Tim Shorrock will note in 2006 that the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), which he calls “kind of a murky organization [that] meets twice a year with people at the White House,” including Vice President Dick Cheney at their most recent meeting, advises the White House on national security issues involving the telecommunications system. The NSTAC is chaired in 2006 by F. Duane Ackerman, the president and CEO of BellSouth, and is made up of executives from a number of telecom companies and other companies that are involved in telecommunications, including Verizon. Shorrock will say, “Of course, the committee says they don’t discuss surveillance or these kinds of issues, but, you know, they do meet, and they talk about national security.” Firms such as Sprint Nextel have a number of executives with a history of involvement in national security and defense, including chairman and CEO Gary Forsee, who is a board member of NSTAC. Shorrock will observe, “[T]hey all contract with the intelligence community to do various kinds of work, and, you know, they brag about it in their testimony. They say, you know, ‘We have a long record of cooperation with intelligence,’ and so on. So, these relationships go back many, many years, and I think what we have now is a group of people that meet, and they all have high—they all have security clearances to do this.” Shorrock will say of the NSA data mining program, “These are United States citizens within the United States they are putting into this database. This is what’s really dangerous about this, and what the New York Times reported back in December was that they were listening to United States citizens talking to foreigners. Now, they’re building a database out of US citizens talking to US citizens.” [Democracy Now!, 5/12/2006]

    October 25, 2001 and November 14, 2001: Senior Lawmakers Briefed on NSA Wiretapping Program
    Vice President Dick Cheney summons the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to the White House for a classified briefing on the secret NSA warrantless wiretapping program (see Early 2002.) Cheney makes it clear to the lawmakers that he is merely informing them about the program, and not seeking their approval. [Washington Post, 12/18/2005] The leaders are briefed by Cheney, CIA director George Tenet, and NSA director Michael Hayden. The Congressional leaders refuse to comment publicly about what they did and did not learn about the program, even after the program is revealed to the public (see December 15, 2005). In 2003, when Senator John D. Rockefeller ascends to the Democratic leadership of the Senate committee, and is himself briefed on the program, he will write to Cheney expressing his concerns over the program (see July 17, 2003). [New York Times, 12/15/2005]

    End Part XIV
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    November 6, 2001
    The Geneva Conventions are mentioned in a memo issued the day after the publication of the Heritage Foundation paper (see November 5, 2001), but only to suggest that suspected terrorists should not be entitled to the rights enclosed in them. Patrick F. Philbin, a deputy in the OLC, sends a confidential 35-page memo to the White House legal counsel Gonzales, arguing that the president, as Commander-in-Chief, has “inherent authority” to establish military commissions without authorization from the US Congress. The 9/11 attacks are themselves “plainly sufficient” to justify the application of the laws of war. Furthermore, putting terrorists on trial under the laws of war, “does not mean,” according to Philbin, “that terrorists will receive the protections of the Geneva Conventions or the rights that laws of war accord to lawful combatants.” The Philbin memo will serve as a basis for a Presidential order (see November 13, 2001) establishing the option of military commissions, which will be drafted by Deputy White House Counsel Timothy E. Flanigan and David S. Addington, the legal counsel to Vice President Cheney. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]

    November 10, 2001
    Vice-President Cheney leads a meeting at the White House to put the finishing touches on a draft Presidential Order establishing military commissions (see November 9, 2001). The meeting includes Ashcroft, Haynes, and the White House lawyers, but leaves out senior officials of the State Department and the National Security Council. Two officials later claim Cheney advocated withholding the document from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to a former official, Cheney discusses the draft with Bush over lunch a few days later. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]

    Late November 2001: CIA Advises Bush and Cheney That Allies Won’t Help Trap Bin Laden, but No Action Is Taken
    According to author Ron Suskind, CIA Deputy Counter Terrorism Center Director Hank Crumpton briefs President Bush and Vice President Cheney about the looming battle in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, where about 1,000 al-Qaeda and Taliban are settling in. He points out the region is very mountainous, with many tunnels and escape routes. Bush asks about the passages to Pakistan that the Pakistani government has agreed to block (see November 2001). Using a map, Crumpton shows “the area on the Pakistani side of the line [is] a lawless, tribal region that [Pakistan has] little control over. In any event, satellite images showed that [Pakistan’s] promised troops hadn’t arrived, and seemed unlikely to appear soon.” Crumpton adds that the Afghan forces in the region allied to the US are “tired and cold and, many of them are far from home.” They were battered from fighting in the south against Taliban forces, and “they’re just not invested in getting bin Laden.” He tells Bush that “we’re going to lose our prey if we’re not careful” and strongly recommends the US marines being sent to Kandahar (see November 26, 2001) get immediately redirected to Tora Bora instead. Cheney says nothing. Bush presses Crumpton for more information. “How bad off are these Afghani forces, really? Are they up to the job?” Crumpton replies, “Definitely not, Mr. President. Definitely not.” However, the Pentagon is not voicing the same concerns to Bush. The marines are not redirected to seal off the passes. [Suskind, 2006, pp. 58-59]

    Early December 2001: CIA Again Warns Bush ‘Back Door Is Open’ for Bin Laden to Escape Tora Bora
    According to author Ron Suskind, the CIA continues to press President Bush to send US troops to surround the caves in Tora Bora where bin Laden is believed to be hiding. It is about a 15 square-mile area. The CIA issued similar warnings a few weeks earlier (see Late November 2001). Suskind relates: “A fierce debate was raging inside the upper reaches of the US government. The White House had received a guarantee from [Pakistani President Pervez] Musharraf in November that the Pakistani army would cover the southern pass from the caves (see November 2001). Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld felt the Pakistani leader’s assurance was sound. Classified CIA reports passed to Bush in his morning briefings of early December, however, warned that ‘the back door is open’ and that a bare few Pakistani army units were visible gathering near the Pakistani border.… Musharraf, when pressed by the White House, said troop movements were slow, but not to worry-they were on their way.” [Suskind, 2006, pp. 74] But again, no US troops are sent, and Pakistani troops fail to arrive in time. Bin Laden eventually will escape into Pakistan (see Mid-December 2001).

    (2002)
    Vice President Dick Cheney asks that his daily intelligence briefer from the CIA be replaced. An unnamed former CIA official later explains to Vanity Fair magazine: “One briefer annoyed Cheney and he asked that she be replaced. He asked for a new briefer. That sent a chill through the whole process. It sent out the message to the analysts, ‘Be careful with some of this stuff. Be careful what you say.’” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 242-244 Sources: Unnamed former CIA official]

    January 24, 2002: Cheney and Bush Pressure Senator to Avoid 9/11 Inquiry
    Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) later claims that on this day, Vice President Cheney calls him and urges that no 9/11 inquiry be made. President Bush repeats the request on January 28, and Daschle is repeatedly pressured thereafter. Newsweek summarizes one of these conversations: “Bush administration officials might say they’re too busy running the war on terrorism to show up. Press the issue… and you risk being accused of interfering with the mission.” [Newsweek, 2/4/2002] Cheney later disagrees: “Tom’s wrong. He has, in this case, let’s say a misinterpretation.” [Reuters, 5/27/2002]

    January 27, 2002: Cheney Calls Guantanamo Detainees ‘Worst of a Very Bad Lot’
    Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney describes the Guantanamo prisoners: “These are the worst of a very bad lot. They are very dangerous. They are devoted to killing millions of Americans, innocent Americans, if they can, and they are perfectly prepared to die in the effort.” [Fox News, 1/28/2002]

    February 2002
    Vice President Dick Cheney prepares for a March trip to the Middle East. According to public statements by the Bush administration, Cheney will be conferring with Arab leaders on US Iraq policy. However, a senior Bush administration official tells the Philadelphia Inquirer: “He’s not going to beg for support. He’s going to inform them that the president’s decision has been made and will be carried out, and if they want some input into how and when it’s carried out, now’s the time for them to speak up.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/13/2002 Sources: Unnamed Bush administration official]

    February 8, 2002
    Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer meets with US Vice President Dick Cheney and tells him that Israel is concerned that Iran, which Israel believes will have nuclear weapons by 2005, represents a greater threat to Israel than Iraq. “The danger, as I see it, is from a Hezbollah-Iran-Palestinian triangle, with Iran leading this triangle and putting together a coalition of terror,” he tells Cheney. [Ha'aretz, 2/9/2002]

    End Part XV
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    February 12, 2002: Defense Intelligence Agency Issues Report on Recent Italian Intelligence Report; Leaves Out Caveats
    The Defense Intelligence Agency issues a report summarizing the February 5, 2002 SISMI report (see February 5, 2002) that suggested that Iraq had struck an agreement with Niger to purchase 500 tons of uranium per year. The report, titled “Niamey signed an agreement to sell 500 tons of uranium a year to Baghdad,” concludes that “Iraq probably is searching abroad for natural uranium to assist in its nuclear weapons program.” It fails to mention the concerns shared by some US intelligence analysts about the credibility of the source. The report is included in a morning briefing to Vice President Dick Cheney (see (February 13, 2002)). [US Congress, 7/7/2004] Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes Cheney’s receipt of this document as “odd.” “[I]n more than two years of briefing then-Vice President George H. W. Bush every other morning, not once did he ask a question about a DIA report or even indicate that he had read one,” McGovern will note. “That this particular report was given to Cheney almost certainly reflects the widespread practice of ‘cherry picking’ intelligence.” [AfterDowningStreet (.org), 7/25/2005]

    (February 13, 2002): Cheney Asks CIA to Probe Deeper into Allegation that Iraq Attempted to Purchase Uranium from Niger
    Vice President Dick Cheney asks his morning intelligence briefer about the Defense Intelligence Agency’s recent analysis (see February 12, 2002) of SISMI’s February 5 report (see February 5, 2002) suggesting that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger. [Time, 7/21/2003; New Yorker, 10/27/2003; US Congress, 7/7/2004 Sources: Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, Cathie Martin] Cheney is reportedly dissatisfied with his briefer’s initial response, and asks the agency to take another look (see Shortly after February 12, 2002). [New Yorker, 10/27/2003 Sources: Former high-level CIA official]

    February 21, 2002-March 4, 2002: Joseph Wilson Visits Niger to Investigate Allegations that Iraq Attempted to Purchase Uranium from the Country
    The CIA sends Joseph C. Wilson, a retired US diplomat, to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from that country. The trip is paid for by the CIA. But the identity of the party who requests the mission is later disputed. While Wilson will claim the trip was requested directly by Dick Cheney’s office, other sources will indicate that the CIA had decided (see February 19, 2002) that a delegation to Niger was needed in order to investigate questions raised by one of Dick Cheney’s aides. [New York Times, 5/6/2003; Washington Post, 6/12/2003; Independent, 6/29/2003; New York Times, 7/6/2003; US Congress, 7/7/2004 Sources: Joseph C. Wilson, Unnamed senior officials] Wilson arrives in Niger on February 26, two days after Marine General Carlton W. Fulford Jr.‘s meeting (see February 24, 2002) with Nigerien officials. Wilson meets with US Ambassador to Niger Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick who informs Wilson that she has already concluded that the allegations of uranium sales to Iraq are unfounded. She tells Wilson “she had already debunked them in her reports to Washington.” After spending several days chatting with current government officials, former government officials, and people associated with the country’s uranium business, Wilson concludes the rumors are false. He calls the allegations “bogus and unrealistic.” [Washington Post, 6/12/2003; Knight Ridder, 6/13/2003; Independent, 6/29/2003; New York Times, 7/6/2003; CBS News, 7/11/2003; Town Hall (.com), 7/14/2003; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 282 Sources: Joseph C. Wilson]

    March 2002: Cheney Says The Decision Has Been Made to Invade Iraq
    Vice President Dick Cheney drops by a Senate Republican policy lunch and instructs everyone that what he is about to say should not be repeated to anyone. He then explains that the question is no longer if the US will attack Iraq, but when. Time magazine reports this in May 2002. [Time, 5/5/2002]

    March 5, 2002: Vice President’s Office Updated on Niger Issue
    In response to a request from Vice President Dick Cheney for an update on the Niger uranium issue made a few days earlier, CIA WINPAC analysts provide an analytic update to Cheney’s intelligence briefer stating that the government of Niger has said it is making all efforts to ensure that its uranium will be used for only peaceful purposes. The update says the foreign government service (Italian military intelligence agency, SISMI) that provided the original report “was unable to provide new information, but continues to assess that its source is reliable.” The update also notes that the CIA would “be debriefing a source [Joseph Wilson] who may have information related to the alleged sale on March 5 (see March 5, 2002).” [US Congress, 7/7/2004]

    March 12, 2002: Top Bush Officials Receive Two CIA Reports That Cite Aluminum Tubes as Evidence that Iraq Reconstituting Nuclear Program
    Vice President Richard Cheney and other senior administration officials receive two CIA reports that cite the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq as evidence that “Iraq… may be trying to reconstitute its gas centrifuge program.” Neither report mentions the fact that leading centrifuge experts at the Energy Department strongly disagree with the CIA’s theory. [New York Times, 10/3/2004]

    Late March 2002
    After Dick Cheney’s 10-day trip across the Middle East, during which he was told by several Middle East leaders that their respective governments would not support an invasion of Iraq, an official tells the Telegraph of London: “I don’t think it will change the administration’s thinking. We are quite determined on this account.” [Daily Telegraph, 3/24/2002]

    April 4, 2002: Treasury Secretary Meeting Raises Political Influence Questions
    In the wake of the Operation Greenquest raid on the SAAR network (see March 20, 2002), disgruntled Muslim-American leaders meet with Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill to complain about the raid. At the time, the Treasury Department had control over the Customs Department, which ran Greenquest. The meeting is arranged by prominent Republican activist Grover Norquist. About a dozen leaders are asked to attend the meeting. O’Neill pledges to look into concerns the leaders have about the raid. [Wall Street Journal, 4/18/2002; Harper's, 3/2004] Those who meet with O’Neill include:

    • Khaled Saffuri. He is head of the Islamic Institute, a group he co-founded with Norquist to organize conservative Muslims (see 1998-September 2001). The institute accepted $20,000 in donations from the Safa Trust, which was targeted in the raid. The Safa Trust in turn has been funded by Youssef Nada, who had his assets frozen shortly after 9/11 on suspicion on funding al-Qaeda (see November 7, 2001). The institute also received donations from Abdurahman Alamoudi, another target of the raid who will later receive a long prison term (see October 15, 2004). [Wall Street Journal, 4/18/2002; Harper's, 3/2004]
    • Talat Othman. The Wall Street Journal calls him “a longtime associate and supporter of President Bush’s family who gave a benediction at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in August 2000.” He serves on the board of Amana Mutual Funds Trust, an investment firm founded by Yaqub Mirza, the director of most of the organizations targeted in the raid. Amana was not a target of the raid, but two other organization that were raided held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutual funds. Othman claims to know Mirza only slightly. Othman is also on the board of Saffuri’s Islamic Institute. Further, Othman served on the board of Harken Energy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, at the same time that President Bush did. At the time, Othman represented Saudi businessman Abdullah Bakhsh on Harken Energy’s board, and the investments through Bakhsh were considered essential in saving Harken from bankruptcy. Bakhsh has indirect connections to the notorious criminal bank BCCI (see July 5, 1991), and in 1996 reputedly attended a secret meeting with al-Qaeda representatives, where the attendees agreed to pay al-Qaeda many millions of dollars of protection money (see May 1996). [Wall Street Journal, 12/6/1991; Wall Street Journal, 4/18/2002] Bakhsh will head a subsidiary of Halliburton, the oil services company formerly run by Vice President Cheney. Othman reportedly remains a friend of Bush. [Harper's, 3/2004] Harper’s magazine will note that “large sums of money from the suspect groups have moved through Amana, [yet] Greenquest agents chose not to raid the firm,” and will hint that political influence from Othman and others may have saved Amana from being raided. [Harper's, 3/2004]

    April 25, 2002: Saudi Prince Said to Meet Suspected Hijacker Associate While Visiting Bush
    Osama Basnan, an alleged associate of 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, reports his passport stolen to Houston police. [Newsweek, 11/24/2002] This confirms that Basnan is in Houston on the same day that Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Prince Saud al-Faisal, and Saudi US Ambassador Prince Bandar meet with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Powell, and National Security Adviser Rice at Bush’s ranch in nearby Crawford, Texas. [US-Saudi Arabian Business Council, 4/25/2002] Abdullah’s entourage passes through Houston that week en route to Bush’s ranch. While in Texas, it is believed that Basnan “met with a high Saudi prince who has responsibilities for intelligence matters and is known to bring suitcases full of cash into the United States.” [Newsweek, 11/24/2002; Guardian, 11/25/2002] The still-classified section of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry is said to discuss the possibility of Basnan meeting this figure at this time. [Associated Press, 8/2/2003]

    May 16, 2002: Cheney Warns Democrats Against Criticizing Handling of Pre-9/11 Warnings
    In the wake of new information on what President Bush knew, Vice President Cheney states, “[M]y Democratic friends in Congress… need to be very cautious not to seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions, as were made by some today, that the White House had advance information that would have prevented the tragic attacks of 9/11.” He calls such criticism “thoroughly irresponsible… in time of war” and states that any serious probe of 9/11 foreknowledge would be tantamount to giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy. [Washington Post, 5/17/2002]

    End Part XVI
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    May 20-24, 2002: Flurry of Government Terrorist Warnings Given at Politically Suspicious Time
    The Bush administration issues a remarkable series of terror warnings that many believe are politically motivated. Vice President Cheney warns it is “not a matter of if, but when” al-Qaeda will next attack the US. [CNN, 5/20/2002] Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge says the same thing. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says terrorists will “inevitably” obtain weapons of mass destruction. FBI Director Mueller says more suicide bombings are “inevitable.” [Washington Post, 5/22/2002] Authorities also issue separate warnings that al-Qaeda militants might target apartment buildings nationwide, banks, rail and transit systems, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. USA Today titles an article, “Some Question Motives Behind Series of Alerts.” [USA Today, 5/24/2002] David Martin, CBS’s national security correspondent, says, “Right now they’re putting out all these warnings to change the subject from what was known prior to September 11 to what is known now.” It had been revealed the week before that Bush received a briefing in August 2001 entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” (see August 6, 2001). [Washington Post, 5/27/2002] Remarkably, even Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says the alerts were issued “as a result of all the controversy that took place last week.” [Washington Times, 5/22/2002; Village Voice, 5/23/2002] A retired CIA official reveals that the administration “made a political decision” to make any threat public, even those deemed to be hoaxes. In response to the alleged threat to New York, the former head of the FBI bureau there states that “there really isn’t any hard information.” [Rolling Stone, 9/21/2006 pdf file] Time notes, “Though uncorroborated and vague, the terror alerts were a political godsend for an administration trying to fend off a bruising bipartisan inquiry into its handling of the terrorist chatter last summer. After the wave of warnings, the Democratic clamor for an investigation into the government’s mistakes subsided.” [Time, 5/27/2002]

    June 26, 2002
    Entifadh Qunbar, a lobbyist for the Iraqi National Congress (INC), sends a memo to the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in which he provides information about a State Department-funded intelligence program, known as the “information-collection program,” run by the INC. Qunbar, who says he is the overall manager of the group, states in the memo that under the program, “defectors, reports and raw intelligence are cultivated and analyzed,” and “the results are reported through the INC newspaper (Al Mutamar), the Arabic and Western media and to appropriate governmental, nongovernmental and international agencies.” Information is also passed on to William Luti, who will later run the Office of Special Plans (see September 2002), and John Hannah, a senior national-security aide on Cheney’s staff, who Qunbar describes as the “principal point of contact.” [Newsweek, 12/15/2003; New York Times, 2/12/2004 Sources: Memo] The memo provides a description of some of the people involved in the group and their activities. It says that the analytical group includes five analysts with a background in Iraq’s military, Iraq’s intelligence services and human rights. One person, a consultant, monitors the Iraqi government’s alleged efforts to develop banned weapons. The five analysts process information and write reports, which are sent to Al Mutamar, the INC’s newspaper, as well as the US government and many mainstream news organizations. Qunbar says that the information-collection program issued 30 reports between August 2001 and June 2002, which were sent to Al Mutamar. According to the memo, the group published 28 private reports in collaboration with the INC’s headquarters in London. The memo reveals that between October 2001 and May 2002, information provided by the INC was cited in 108 articles published by a variety of English-language news publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, CNN, Fox News, and several others. [New York Times, 2/12/2004; New Yorker, 6/7/2004 Sources: Memo]

    August 7, 2002
    Speaking to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, Cheney states, “Many of us, I think, are skeptical that simply returning the inspectors will solve the problem. A debate with [Mr Hussein] over inspectors simply, I think, would be an effort by him to obfuscate, delay and avoid having to live up to the accords that he signed up to at the end of the Gulf war.” [New York Times, 8/7/2002; Observer, 8/11/2002] In the speech, he also tells his audience that Saddam “sits on top of 10 per cent of the world’s oil reserves. He has enormous wealth being generated by that,” adding, “And left to his own devices, it’s the judgment of many of us that in the not too distant future he will acquire nuclear weapons.” [New York Times, 8/7/2002; Observer, 8/11/2002]

    August 26, 2002
    In a speech to the Nashville convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vice President Richard Cheney says Saddam Hussein will “seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.” He also states unequivocally that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” he says. “There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us… What he wants is time, and more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons.” Therefore he argues, the answer is not weapons inspections. “Against that background, a person would be right to question any suggestion that we should just get inspectors back into Iraq, and then our worries will be over. Saddam has perfected the game of shoot and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with UN resolutions.” [White House, 8/26/2002] Cheney’s speech marks the first major statement from the White House regarding the Bush administration’s Iraq policy following a flood of criticisms from former officials. Significantly, the speech was not cleared by the CIA or the State Department. [Newsweek, 9/9/2002 Sources: Unnamed sources interviewed by Newsweek] Furthermore, Cheney’s comments dismissing the need for the return of inspectors, were not cleared by President Bush. [Newsweek, 9/9/2002 Sources: Andrew Card] Three days after the speech, a State Department source tells CNN that Powell’s view clashes with that which was presented in Cheney’s speech, explaining that the secretary of state is opposed to any military action in which the US would “go it alone … as if it doesn’t give a damn” what other nations think. The source also says that Powell and “others in the State Department were ‘blindsided’ by Cheney’s ‘time is running out’ speech… and were just as surprised as everyone else,” CNN reports. [CNN, 8/30/2002 Sources: Unnamed source interviewed by CNN]

    End Part XVII
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    September 2002: Northern Gulf Affairs Office Renamed ‘Office of Special Plans’
    Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, adamant hawks, rename the Northern Gulf Affairs Office on the Pentagon’s fourth floor (in the seventh corridor of D Ring) the “Office of Special Plans” (OSP) and increase its four-person staff to sixteen. [Knight Ridder, 8/16/2002; Los Angeles Times, 11/24/2002; New Yorker, 5/12/2003; Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003; Tom Paine (.com), 8/27/2003; American Conservative, 12/1/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Karen Kwiatkowski, Unnamed administration official] William Luti, a former navy officer and ex-aide to Vice President Cheney, is put in charge of the day-to-day operations. [Guardian, 7/17/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004] The Office of Special Plans is staffed with a tight group of like-minded neoconservative ideologues, who are known advocates of regime change in Iraq. Notably, the staffers have little background in intelligence or Iraqi history and culture. [Salon, 7/16/2003; Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003; American Conservative, 12/1/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Karen Kwiatkowski, A Pentagon adviser] Some of the people associated with this office were earlier involved with the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group, also known as the “Wurmser-Maloof” project (see Shortly After September 11, 2001). They hire “scores of temporary ‘consultants’… including like-minded lawyers, congressional staffers, and policy wonks from the numerous right-wing think-tanks in the US capital.” Neoconservative ideologues, like Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, and Newt Gingrich, are afforded direct input into the Office of Special Plans. [Guardian, 7/17/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004; Vanity Fair, 7/2006, pp. 150] OSP staffer Karen Kwiatkowski says she sees Ledeen going “in and out of there (OSP) all the time.” [Vanity Fair, 7/2006, pp. 150] The office works alongside the Near East and South Asia (NESA) bureau, also under the authority of Douglas Feith [Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski] The official business of Special Plans is to help plan for post-Saddam Iraq. The office’s staff members presumably “develop defense policies aimed at building an international coalition, prepare the secretary of defense and his top deputies for interagency meetings, coordinate troop-deployment orders, craft policies for dealing with prisoners of war and illegal combatants, postwar assistance and reconstruction policy planning, postwar governance, Iraqi oil infrastructure policy, postwar Iraqi property disputes, war crimes and atrocities, war-plan review and, in their spare time, prepare congressional testimony for their principals.” [Insight, 12/2/2003] But according to numerous well-placed sources, the office becomes a source for many of the administration’s prewar allegations against Iraq. It is accused of exaggerating, politicizing, and misrepresenting intelligence, which is “stovepiped” to top administration officials who use the intelligence in their policy decisions on Iraq. [Knight Ridder, 8/16/2002; Los Angeles Times, 11/24/2002; New Yorker, 5/12/2003; Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003; Tom Paine (.com), 8/27/2003; American Conservative, 12/1/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004; Daily Telegraph, 7/11/2004; CNN, 7/11/2004 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Karen Kwiatkowski, Unnamed administration official] There are very few news reports in the American mainstream media that report on the office. In fact, the office is reportedly Top Secret. [Bamford, 2004, pp. 308] “We were instructed at a staff meeting that this office was not to be discussed or explained,” Kwiatkowski will later say, “and if people in the Joint Staff, among others, asked, we were to offer no comment.” [American Conservative, 12/1/2003] Colin Powell is said to have felt that Cheney and the neoconservatives in this “Gestapo” office had established what was essentially a separate government. [Washington Post, 4/17/2004 Sources: Top officials interviewed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward] Among the claims critics find most troubling about the office are:
    • The office relies heavily on accounts from Iraqi exiles and defectors associated with Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC), long considered suspect by other US intelligence agencies. [New Yorker, 5/12/2003; Salon, 7/16/2003; Guardian, 7/17/2003; Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003; Independent, 9/30/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Unnamed administration official] One defector in particular, code-named “Curveball,” provides as much as 98 percent of the intelligence on Iraq’s alleged arsenal of biological weapons. [CNN, 7/11/2004] Much of the information provided by the INC’s sources consists of “misleading and often faked intelligence reports,” which often flow to Special Plans and NESA directly, “sometimes through Defense Intelligence Agency debriefings of Iraqi defectors via the Defense Human Intelligence Service and sometimes through the INC’s own US-funded Intelligence Collection Program, which was overseen by the Pentagon.” [Mother Jones, 1/2004] According to Karen Kwiatkowski, the movement of intelligence from the INC to the Office of Special Plans is facilitated by Colonel Bruner, a former military aide to Gingrich. [Newsweek, 12/15/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004; Salon, 3/10/2004 Sources: Memo, Karen Kwiatkowski] Bruner “was Chalabi’s handler,” Kwiatkowski will tell Mother Jones. “He would arrange meetings with Chalabi and Chalabi’s folks.” [Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski]
    • The Office of Special Plans purposefully ignores intelligence that undermines the case for war while exaggerating any leads that support it. “It wasn’t intelligence,—it was propaganda,” Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked at the NESA desk, will later explain. “They’d take a little bit of intelligence, cherry-pick it, make it sound much more exciting, usually by taking it out of context, often by juxtaposition of two pieces of information that don’t belong together.” [New York Times, 10/24/2002; New Yorker, 5/12/2003; Salon, 7/16/2003; Guardian, 7/17/2003; Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003; Independent, 9/30/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Unnamed former intelligence official, Ellen Tauscher]
    • The OSP bypasses established oversight procedures by sending its intelligence assessments directly to the White House and National Security Council without having them first vetted by a review process involving other US intelligence agencies. [New Yorker, 5/12/2003; Salon, 7/16/2003; Guardian, 7/17/2003; Mother Jones, 1/2004 Sources: David Obey, Greg Thielmann] The people at Special Plans are so successful at bypassing conventional procedures, in part, because their neoconservative colleagues hold key positions in several other agencies and offices. Their contacts in other agencies include: John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International; Bolton’s adviser, David Wurmser, a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute, who was just recently working in a secret Pentagon planning unit at Douglas Feith’s office (see Shortly After September 11, 2001); Elizabeth Cheney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs; Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser; Elliott Abrams, The National Security Council’s top Middle East aide; and Richard Perle, Newt Gingrich, James Woolsey and Kenneth Adelman of the Defense Policy Board. The office provides very little information about its work to other US intelligence offices. [Salon, 7/16/2003; Guardian, 7/17/2003; Inter Press Service, 8/7/2003 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski, Greg Thielmann, David Obey]
    • Lastly, the people involved in Special Plans openly exhibit strong pro-Israel and anti-Arab bias. The problem, note critics, is that the analysis of intelligence is supposed to be apolitical and untainted by ideological viewpoints. [American Conservative, 12/1/2003 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski] According to a CIA intelligence official and four members of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, Special Plans is the group responsible for the claim Bush will make in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had attempted to procure uranium from an African country (see 9:01 pm January 28, 2003). [Nation, 6/19/2003; Information Clearing House, 7/16/2003] After the existence of the Office of Special Plans is revealed to the public, the Pentagon will deny that it served as a direct conduit to the White House for misleading intelligence, instead claiming that its activities had been limited to postwar plans for Iraq. [New Yorker, 5/12/2003] And a December 2003 opinion piece published in Insight magazine will call the allegations surrounding the Office of Special Plans the work of conspiracy theorists. [Insight, 12/2/2003]
    End Part XVIII
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    September 3, 2002: Bush Attempts to Solicit Support from Skeptical Congressional Leaders for Confronting Iraq
    President Bush invites a group of congressional leaders to have breakfast with him and Cheney in the White House’s private dining room to discuss Iraq. Present at the meeting are Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. At some point during the meeting, Daschle suggests that it would be better to postpone the debate on a congressional resolution authorizing military action in Iraq until after the November elections, so as to take politics out of the equation. According to Daschle, Bush looks at Cheney, who replies with a “half smile.” Then Bush answers, “We just have to do it now.” [New York Times, 9/7/2002; Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 23]

    September 4, 2002: In Meeting with Bush and Cheney, Top Republican Congressman Warns about Invading Iraq
    President Bush invites eighteen senior members of the House and Senate to discuss Iraq with him in the White House Cabinet Room. During the discussion, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Ia), who is opposed to military action against Iraq, tells the president, “Mr. President, if you go in there, you’re likely to be stuck in a quagmire that will endanger your domestic agenda for the rest of your presidency.” He finishes his comments with a line from Shakespeare that he had gleaned from a country music song: “Our fears make cowards of us all.” Cheney and Bush reply that he should refrain from making public remarks dissenting from the White House’s policy on Iraq, at least until after he has been fully briefed on Iraq. Army agrees. [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 2]

    (September 4, 2002): Top Administration Officials Discuss Iraqi Policy with Senators
    The Bush administration invites two dozen senators from both parties to the Pentagon to discuss Iraqi policy with Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George J. Tenet. [New York Times, 9/7/2002]

    September 5, 2002: Cheney and Tenet Discuss ‘Sensitive’ Iraq Information with Top Four Senators
    Vice President Dick Cheney and CIA Director George Tenet meet with senators Trent Lott (R-Miss), Tom Daschle (S-SD), Dennis Hastert (R-Ill), and Richard Gephardt (D-Mo) and, in the words of Cheney, “share the most sensitive information [on Iraq’s alleged WMDs] with them.” [New York Times, 9/7/2002; Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 30] They show blurry satellite photos of buildings or warehouses that Cheney insists are Iraqi nuclear weapons sites, and shots of drone aircraft presumably capable of attacking Israel with biological and chemical weapons. They also share sketches of tractor trailers that Tenet says are mobile biological weapons factories. Daschle, a former Air Force photo analyst intelligence officer, is skeptical of the photos, but says nothing. [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 30]

    September 8, 2002: Cheney Says No Decision Has Been Made To Use Military Force Against Iraq
    When asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” how long US troops would be in Iraq after the expected US invasion, how much it would cost, and whether or not the military operation would be a cakewalk, Vice President Dick Cheney insists that “first of all, no decision’s been made yet to launch a military operation.” Addressing host Tim Russert’s question, he explains, “We clearly would have to stay for a long time,” and admits that it “could be very costly.” [Meet the Press, 9/8/2002; Daily Telegraph, 3/21/2005]

    9:00 a.m. September 8, 2002
    Vice President Dick Cheney is interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss the Bush administration’s position on Iraq and the alleged threat Iraq poses to the world. “Based on intelligence that’s becoming available—some of it has been made public [referring to the recent New York Times story (see (1:00 a.m.) September 8, 2002)]—… he has indeed stepped up his capacity to produce and deliver biological weapons,… he has reconstituted his nuclear program to develop a nuclear weapon,… there are efforts under way inside Iraq to significantly expand his capability.… [H]e now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs.… There’s a story in The New York Times this morning… [I]t’s now public that, in fact, he has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge. And the centrifuge is required to take low-grade uranium and enhance it into highly enriched uranium, which is what you have to have in order to build a bomb. This is a technology he was working on back, say, before the Gulf War. And one of the reasons it’s of concern,… is… [that] we know about a particular shipment. We’ve intercepted that. We don’t know what else—what other avenues he may be taking out there, what he may have already acquired. We do know he’s had four years without any inspections at all in Iraq to develop that capability.… [W]e do know, with absolute certainty, that he [Saddam Hussein] is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment [aluminum tubes] he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.” Cheney says the US intends to work with the international community, but hints that the US is willing to confront Saddam without international support. “We are trying very hard not be unilateralist,” he says. “We are working to build support with the American people, with the Congress, as many have suggested we should. And we are also as many of us suggested we should, going to the United Nations, and the president will address this issue.… We would like to do it with the sanction of the international community. But the point in Iraq is this problem has to be dealt with one way or the other.” [Meet the Press, 9/8/2002; Washington File, 9/9/2002; Washington Post, 2/7/2003; Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10/27/2003; New York Times, 10/3/2004] [b]

    September 9, 2002: Cheney: Iraqis Will ‘Welcome the US Force as Liberators’
    Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing on CNN’s American Morning, says: “I think that the people of Iraq would welcome the US force as liberators; they would not see us as oppressors, by any means.” [American Morning with Paula Zahn, 9/9/2002]

    September 10, 2002: Threat Level Raised to Orange for First 9/11 Anniversary
    The government raises the National Alert Level to orange, the second highest level possible. This is the first time such an alert has been raised since 9/11. The government temporarily closes for public business about two dozen US diplomatic posts worldwide. Officials say there is no specific known threat against targets in the US. [Washington Post, 9/10/2002] President Bush personally makes the announcement while Vice President Cheney flees to a “secure location.” Attorney General John Ashcroft warns that the threat targets “transportation and energy sectors.” More specific detail on the nature or targets of the threat is not supplied. The heightened terror alert coincides with the President’s address to the nation from Ellis Island on the first anniversary of 9/11. [Rolling Stone, 9/21/2006 pdf file]

    (Mid-Late 2002): Scooter Libby Confronts Richard Clarke about His Position on the Alleged Iraq-Praque Connection
    In the driveway outside the West Wing of the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, allegedly grabs counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and says, “I hear you don’t believe this report that Mohamed Atta was talking to Iraqi people in Prague.” Clarke responds, “I don’t believe it because it’s not true.” According to Clarke, Libby replies, “You’re wrong. You know you’re wrong. Go back and find out; look at the rest of the reports, and find out that you’re wrong.” Clarke believes that the intended message of Libby’s remarks is that Clarke should keep his opinions on the matter to himself. [PBS Frontline, 6/20/2006; Michael Kirk, 6/20/2006 Sources: Richard A. Clarke] It is not clear exactly when this conversation takes place or to which “report” Scooter was referring.

    September 16, 2002: Pentagon Researchers Give Briefing to White House Officials on Alleged Ties Between Iraq and Militant Islamic Groups
    Two days before the CIA is to issue an assessment (see (August 2002)) on Iraq’s supposed links to militant Islamic groups, Pentagon officials working in the Office of Special Plans deliver a briefing in the White House to several top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis Libby; and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice’s deputy, Stephen Hadley. The briefing says that there were “fundamental problems” with CIA intelligence-gathering methods and includes a detailed breakdown of the alleged April 2001 Prague meeting between Mohamed Atta and Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani. [Daily Telegraph, 7/11/2004; Newsweek, 7/19/2004]

    Late September 2002: Iraqi Foreign Minister Tells CIA Status of Iraq’s WMD Program
    The French arrange a backchannel meeting between a friend of Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri Hadithi and the CIA’s station chief in Paris, Bill Murray. Sabri’s friend, a Lebanese journalist, tells Murray that Sabri would be willing to provide the CIA with accurate information on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program in exchange for $1 million. The CIA agrees to advance the journalist $200,000. [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 45; MSNBC, 3/21/2006] When CIA Director George Tenet announces the deal during a high-level meeting at the White House—attended by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice—the news is greeted with enthusiasm. “They were enthusiastic because they said, they were excited that we had a high-level penetration of Iraqis,” Tyler Drumheller, the agency’s head of spying in Europe, later tells 60 Minutes. [CBS News, 4/23/2006] But Sabri does not tell the CIA what the White House is expecting to hear. In a New York hotel room, the Lebanese journalist says that according to Sabri Iraq does not have a significant, active biological weapons program. He does however acknowledge that Iraq has some “poison gas” left over from the first Gulf War. Regarding the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program, Sabri’s friend says the Iraqis do not have an active program because they lack the fissile material needed to develop a nuclear bomb. But he does concede that Hussein desperately wants one. [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 62-63; MSNBC, 3/21/2006] The White House immediately loses interest in Sabri as a source after the New York meeting. Luis (his full name has not been disclosed) and John Maguire, the chief and deputy chief of the Iraq Operations Group, respectively, also lose interest in the lead. In one confrontation between Maguire and Murray, Maguire allegedly says, “One of these days you’re going to get it. This is not about intelligence. This is about regime change.” [MSNBC, 3/21/2006; CBS News, 4/23/2006]

    (Late September 2002): Top Republican In House Finds Cheney’s WMD Briefing Unconvincing
    Vice President Dick Cheney invites House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) to his private office in the Capitol building to discuss the administration’s intelligence on Iraq. Armey has been a silent skeptic of the administration’s case for war, and Cheney wants to win him over. As reporters David Corn and Michael Isikoff note in their book Hubris, Armey is “the number two Republican in the House. If he broke ranks, that would be a problem. So Cheney was dispatched to do the job himself.” But Armey is unconvinced with Cheney’s presentation, which includes pictures of the aluminum tubes, satellite images of alleged weapons sites, sketches of mobile weapons labs, and photos of UAVSs. The pictures could have been of anything, he later recalls. “It wasn’t very convincing. If I’d gotten the same briefing from President Clinton or Al Gore, I probably would have said, ‘Ah, bullshit.’ But you don’t do that with your own people.” In spite of his doubts, Armey does not challenge Cheney. Nor does he commit to support the resolution in Congress that will authorize the president to take military action against Iraq. [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 124-125]

    October 10, 2002: Bush Backtracks on Support for Independent 9/11 Investigation
    A tentative congressional deal to create an independent commission to investigate the 9/11 attacks falls apart hours after the White House objected to the plan (it appears Vice President Cheney called Republican leaders and told them to renege on the agreement [New York Times, 11/2/2002] ). Bush had pledged to support such a commission a few weeks earlier (see September 20, 2002), but doubters who questioned his sincerity appear to have been proven correct. Hours after top Republican leaders announced at a press conference that an agreement had been reached, House Republican leaders said they wouldn’t bring the legislation to the full House for a vote unless the commission proposal was changed. There are worries that if the White House can delay the legislation for a few more days until Congress adjourns, it could stop the creation of a commission for months, if not permanently. [New York Times, 10/11/2002] Another deal is made a few weeks later (see November 15, 2002) and the commission goes forward.

    End Part XIX
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,718
    November 2002-March 2003
    The Bush administration disagrees with the United Nations and other member states over what precisely should qualify as a “material breach” of UN Resolution 1441. The UN and other nations believe that only serious violations should count. The US, however, takes the position that any violation, no matter how small, should be considered a material breach and thus sufficient cause for using military force against Iraq. The difference in opinion is acknowledged by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who says, “The US does seem… to have a lower threshold than others may have” to justify the use of military force. He also says, “I think the discussion in the council made it clear we should be looking for something serious and meaningful, and not for excuses to do something.” President Bush, reflecting the stance of his hawkish advisors, says the Security Council should have “zero tolerance,” implying that even minor infractions could be considered a “material breach.” [Washington Post, 11/17/2002 Sources: US and UN officials] Colin Powell and Vice President Cheney contend that the delay of, or omissions and inaccuracies in, Iraq’s early December declaration would constitute a breach. Iraq is warned to this effect. [Evening News With Dan Rather, 11/21/2002; Observer, 12/8/2002] During a dinner meeting on November 18, Hans Blix reminds a close aide to Saddam Hussein that a failure to meet the deadline would be considered by the United States to be a “material breach.” [Independent, 11/20/2002]

    December 2, 2002
    In a speech to the Air National Guard Senior Leadership Conference in Denver, Vice President Dick Cheney calls Saddam’s government an “outlaw regime” and accuses the leader of “harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror,” asserting that his government “has had high-level contacts with al-Qaeda going back a decade and has provided training to al-Qaeda terrorists.” [White House, 12/2/2002; Washington Post, 12/3/2002]

    December 9, 2002: Judge Rules Against Disclosing Energy Task Force Documents
    A federal judge rules against the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, in its attempt to force Vice President Cheney to disclose his Energy Task Force documents (see May 16, 2001). The judge writes, “This case, in which neither a House of Congress nor any congressional committee has issued a subpoena for the disputed information or authorized this suit, is not the setting for such unprecedented judicial action.” [Associated Press, 12/9/2002] The GAO later declines to appeal the ruling (see February 7, 2003). In a similar suit being filed by Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club, the Bush Administration has successfully delayed deadlines forcing these documents to be turned over. That case continues, with another deadline avoided on December 6. [Associated Press, 12/6/2002]

    Early January 2003
    The Bush administration prepares a “Theater Nuclear Planning Document” for Iraq which includes the possible use of nuclear weapons. According to multiple sources interviewed by columnist and reporter William Arkin, nuclear weapons are being considered for use in an attack against Iraqi facilities located deep underground or to preempt the use of weapons of mass destruction. The planning is being carried out at “STRATCOM’s Omaha headquarters, among small teams in Washington and at Vice President Dick Cheney’s ‘undisclosed location’ in Pennsylvania,” the Los Angeles Times reports. [Los Angeles Times, 1/26/2003 Sources: Unnamed senior military officials at US Central Command]

    January 25, 2003: Libby Presents Early Draft of Powell UN Speech to Several Top Officials
    Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, presents the latest draft of a paper that is meant to serve as a rebuttal to Iraq’s December 7 declaration (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003) to Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Richard Armitage, Michael Gerson, and Karen Hughes. The paper, written with the help of John Hannah, is supposed to serve as the basis for the speech Secretary of State Colin Powell will deliver to the UN Security Council on February 5 (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003). In his presentation, Libby says that intercepts and human intelligence reports indicate that Saddam Hussein has been attempting to conceal items. He doesn’t know what items are being hidden by the Iraqis, but he says it must be weapons of mass destruction. He also claims that Iraq has extensive ties to al-Qaeda, and cites the alleged meeting between Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi Intelligence agent (see April 8, 2001) as one example. While Armitage is disappointed with Libby’s presentation, Wolfowitz and Rove seem impressed. Karen Hughes warns Libby not to stretch the facts. [Bamford, 2004, pp. 368; Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 175]

    January 30, 2003-January 31, 2003: Powell’s Top Aide Refuses to Include Material From White House Reports in Powell’s Upcoming UN Speech
    Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, meets with other administration officials and aides at the CIA’s Langley headquarters in a conference room down the hall from George Tenet’s office to review two White House reports on Iraq’s alleged illegal activities. The team includes George Tenet, John McLaughlin, William Tobey and Robert Joseph from the National Security Council, and John Hannah from Cheney’s office. The two dossiers are meant to serve as the basis for Powell’s upcoming speech at the UN (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003). One of the reports—a 48-page dossier that had been provided to Powell’s office a few days earlier (see January 29, 2003) —deals with Iraq’s supposed arsenal of weapons of mass destruction while the other, a slightly more recent report totaling some 45 pages, addresses the issue of Iraq’s history of human rights violations and its alleged ties to Islamic militant groups. Shortly after Wilkerson begins reviewing the 48-page report on Iraq’s alleged WMD, it becomes apparent that the material is not well sourced. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 230; Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 177] Wilkerson forces Hannah to show him the actual sources for each assertion made in the document. As Wilkerson will later recall, “It was clear the thing was put together by cherry-picking everything from the New York Times to the DIA.” Reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn will write in their book, Hubris, that “a Defense Intelligence Agency report was not being used properly, a CIA report was not being cited in a fair way, a referenced New York Times article was quoting a DIA report out of context,” and that much of the material had come from the Iraqi National Congress and its chief, Alhmed Chalabi. [US News and World Report, 6/9/2003; Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 177] Powell’s staff is also “convinced that much of it had been funneled directly to Cheney by a tiny separate intelligence unit set up by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,” Vanity Fair magazine later reports. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 230] One item in the White House’s original draft alleged that Iraq had obtained software from an Australian company that would provide Iraqis with sensitive information about US topography. The argument was that Iraqis, using that knowledge, could one day attack the US with biological or chemical weapons deployed from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). But when Powell’s intelligence team investigated the issue, it became “clear that the information was not ironclad.” (see October 1, 2002) [US News and World Report, 6/9/2003 Sources: Unnamed senior source] “We were so appalled at what had arrived from the White House,” one official later says. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 230] After about six hours, the decision is made to scrap the White House reports and start from scratch, using the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq that had been completed the previous October as the new starting point. [Bamford, 2004, pp. 368-9; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 230; Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 177-178] As one senior official (likely Wilkerson) will later recall, “We went through that for about six-hours—item by item, page by page and about halfway through the day I realized this is idiocy, we cannot possibly do this, because it was all bullsh_t—it was unsourced, a lot of it was just out of the newspapers, it was—and I look back in retrospect—it was a [Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas] Feith product, it was a Scooter Libby product, it was a Vice President’s office product. It was a product of collusion between that group. And it had no way of standing up, anywhere, I mean it was nuts.” [Bamford, 2004, pp. 368-9] (NOTE: It is possible that the 45-page report on terrorism mentioned above is the same as the “25-page report” mentioned in the February 1, 2003-February 4, 2003 event )

    (10:00 a.m.) February 5, 2003: Scooter Libby Pushes for Inclusion of Claim about Prague Connection into Powell’s UN Speech
    Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, attempts to telephone Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, in order to persuade Powell to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and include the widely discredited claim (see October 21, 2002) that Mohamed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer in April 2001 (see April 8, 2001). Wilkerson refuses to take the call. “Scooter,” one State Department aide later explains to Vanity Fair magazine, “wasn’t happy.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pp. 232]

    End Part XX
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


Similar Threads

  1. Dick Cheney And His Next War
    By Gold9472 in forum The New News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-04-2007, 06:09 AM
  2. Replies: 34
    Last Post: 09-27-2007, 10:34 PM
  3. Dick Cheney Really Is That Bad
    By Gold9472 in forum The New News
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-29-2007, 08:09 AM
  4. BREAKING NEWS: Dick Cheney Behind 9/11 Attacks - MUST READ
    By Gold9472 in forum 9/11 Justice Forum
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 02-15-2007, 07:39 PM
  5. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 02-03-2005, 10:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •