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Thread: 9/11 Relatives Charge Cover-Up

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    9/11 Relatives Charge Cover-Up

    9/11 relatives charge cover-up
    They react to reported Defense Dept. bid to close Senate hearing on pre-attack identification of hijacker

    http://www.silive.com/news/advance/i...160.xml&coll=1

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005
    By TERENCE J. KIVLAN

    WASHINGTON -- Sept. 11 family members are protesting a reported Pentagon attempt to close this week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a claim that military intelligence had lead hijacker Mohammed Atta in its sights as early as 1999.

    "They want to sweep it under the rug," said Joan Molinaro, a former Eltingville resident, whose firefighter son was killed at Ground Zero.

    "They have been denying this Atta thing up, down and sideways for weeks," she said. "And now they want to cover it up."

    Bruce DeCell of Dongan Hills, who lost a son-in-law and cousin at the World Trade Center, said he has wearied of attempts by government officials to suppress 9/11-related information. "They always plead national security," he said. "But 9/11 was about national security and 3,000 people died because they let it happen."

    "It would be a travesty to keep the facts surrounding this operation from the public," said Kristen Breitweiser of New Jersey, who lost her husband at Ground Zero.

    Judiciary Committee sources confirmed that the Pentagon was negotiating with panel members on whether the testimony of some witnesses due to appear at tomorrow's hearing could involve classified information and should be taken in private session.

    But at this point, the committee intends to conduct an open hearing, the sources said.

    Aides to Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, who requested the hearing, said it was "news to us" that the session might be closed. "It's still public as far as we know," said John Tomaszewski, a Weldon spokesman.

    Weldon has claimed that a military intelligence program known as Able Danger identified Atta as a member of al-Qaida in late 1999 while he was living in this country.

    The claim conflicts with the 9/11 commission's finding last year that Atta did not enter the United States to start taking flight courses until June 2000 and that he did not appear on the radar screen of U.S. intelligence until he flew American Flight 11 into the Trade Center's North Tower.

    Members of the now disbanded commission and the Pentagon have dismissed Weldon's claim as bogus, saying that no confirmation could be found despite a massive search of Pentagon files and numerous interviews with military intelligence officials.

    "Bluntly, it just did not happen," said commissioner Slade Gorton, a former senator from Washington State, at a press conference here last week.

    Weldon has said a Pentagon employee is prepared to testify at the hearing that he was ordered to destroy a large volume of Able Danger documents, including those mentioning Atta.

    Terence J. Kivlan is Washington correspondent for the Advance. He may be reached at terence.kivlan@newhouse.com
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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


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