July 23, 2004

There is evidence of foreign intelligence backing for the 9/11 hijackers. Why is the US government so keen to cover it up?

"Out, out damn spot!"

Michael Meacher, Guardian: A fourth witness is Sibel
Edmonds. She is a 33-year-old Turkish-American former
FBI translator of intelligence, fluent in Farsi, the
language spoken mainly in Iran and Afghanistan, who
had top-secret security clearance. She tried to blow
the whistle on the cover-up of intelligence that names
some of the culprits who orchestrated the 9/11
attacks, but is now under two gagging orders that
forbid her from testifying in court or mentioning the
names of the people or the countries involved. She has
been quoted as saying: "My translations of the 9/11
intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering,
detailed and date-specific information ... if they
were to do real investigations, we would see several
significant high-level criminal prosecutions in this
country [the US] ... and believe me, they will do
everything to cover this up"...
It has been rumoured that Pearl was especially
interested in any role played by the US in training or
backing the ISI. Daniel Ellsberg, the former US
defence department whistleblower who has accompanied
Edmonds in court, has stated: "It seems to me quite
plausible that Pakistan was quite involved in this ...
To say Pakistan is, to me, to say CIA because ... it's
hard to say that the ISI knew something that the CIA
had no knowledge of." Ahmed's close relations with the
CIA would seem to confirm this. For years the CIA used
the ISI as a conduit to pump billions of dollars into
militant Islamist groups in Afghanistan, both before
and after the Soviet invasion of 1979.
W ith CIA backing, the ISI has developed, since the
early 1980s, into a parallel structure, a state within
a state, with staff and informers estimated by some at
150,000. It wields enormous power over all aspects of
government. The case of Ahmed confirms that parts of
the ISI directly supported and financed al-Qaida, and
it has long been established that the ISI has acted as
go-between in intelligence operations on behalf of the
CIA.
Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate select
committee on intelligence, has said: "I think there is
very compelling evidence that at least some of the
terrorists were assisted, not just in financing ... by
a sovereign foreign government." In that context,
Horst Ehmke, former coordinator of the West German
secret services, observed: "Terrorists could not have
carried out such an operation with four hijacked
planes without the support of a secret service."

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1266317,00.html

Comment

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Pakistan connection

There is evidence of foreign intelligence backing for the 9/11 hijackers. Why is the US government so keen to cover it up?

Michael Meacher
Thursday July 22, 2004
The Guardian

Omar Sheikh, a British-born Islamist militant, is
waiting to be hanged in Pakistan for a murder he
almost certainly didn't commit - of the Wall Street
Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. Both the US
government and Pearl's wife have since acknowledged
that Sheikh was not responsible. Yet the Pakistani
government is refusing to try other suspects newly
implicated in Pearl's kidnap and murder for fear the
evidence they produce in court might acquit Sheikh and
reveal too much.
Significantly, Sheikh is also the man who, on the
instructions of General Mahmoud Ahmed, the then head
of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), wired
$100,000 before the 9/11 attacks to Mohammed Atta, the
lead hijacker. It is extraordinary that neither Ahmed
nor Sheikh have been charged and brought to trial on
this count. Why not?

Ahmed, the paymaster for the hijackers, was actually
in Washington on 9/11, and had a series of pre-9/11
top-level meetings in the White House, the Pentagon,
the national security council, and with George Tenet,
then head of the CIA, and Marc Grossman, the
under-secretary of state for political affairs. When
Ahmed was exposed by the Wall Street Journal as having
sent the money to the hijackers, he was forced to
"retire" by President Pervez Musharraf. Why hasn't the
US demanded that he be questioned and tried in court?

Another person who must know a great deal about what
led up to 9/11 is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, allegedly
arrested in Rawalpindi on March 1 2003. A joint
Senate-House intelligence select committee inquiry in
July 2003 stated: "KSM appears to be one of Bin
Laden's most trusted lieutenants and was active in
recruiting people to travel outside Afghanistan,
including to the US, on behalf of Bin Laden."
According to the report, the clear implication was
that they would be engaged in planning
terrorist-related activities.

The report was sent from the CIA to the FBI, but
neither agency apparently recognised the significance
of a Bin Laden lieutenant sending terrorists to the US
and asking them to establish contacts with colleagues
already there. Yet the New York Times has since noted
that "American officials said that KSM, once
al-Qaida's top operational commander, personally
executed Daniel Pearl ... but he was unlikely to be
accused of the crime in an American criminal court
because of the risk of divulging classified
information". Indeed, he may never be brought to
trial.

A fourth witness is Sibel Edmonds. She is a
33-year-old Turkish-American former FBI translator of
intelligence, fluent in Farsi, the language spoken
mainly in Iran and Afghanistan, who had top-secret
security clearance. She tried to blow the whistle on
the cover-up of intelligence that names some of the
culprits who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, but is now
under two gagging orders that forbid her from
testifying in court or mentioning the names of the
people or the countries involved. She has been quoted
as saying: "My translations of the 9/11 intercepts
included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and
date-specific information ... if they were to do real
investigations, we would see several significant
high-level criminal prosecutions in this country [the
US] ... and believe me, they will do everything to
cover this up".

Furthermore, the trial in the US of Zacharias
Moussaoui (allegedly the 20th hijacker) is in danger
of collapse apparently because of "the CIA's
reluctance to allow key lieutenants of Osama bin Laden
to testify at the trial". Two of the alleged
conspirators have already been set free in Germany for
the same reason.

The FBI, illegally, continues to refuse the to release
of their agent Robert Wright's 500-page manuscript
Fatal Betrayals of the Intelligence Mission, and has
even refused to turn the manuscript over to Senator
Shelby, vice-chairman of the joint intelligence
committee charged with investigating America's 9/11
intelligence failures. And the US government still
refuses to declassify 28 secret pages of a recent
report on 9/11.

It has been rumoured that Pearl was especially
interested in any role played by the US in training or
backing the ISI. Daniel Ellsberg, the former US
defence department whistleblower who has accompanied
Edmonds in court, has stated: "It seems to me quite
plausible that Pakistan was quite involved in this ...
To say Pakistan is, to me, to say CIA because ... it's
hard to say that the ISI knew something that the CIA
had no knowledge of." Ahmed's close relations with the
CIA would seem to confirm this. For years the CIA used
the ISI as a conduit to pump billions of dollars into
militant Islamist groups in Afghanistan, both before
and after the Soviet invasion of 1979.

W ith CIA backing, the ISI has developed, since the
early 1980s, into a parallel structure, a state within
a state, with staff and informers estimated by some at
150,000. It wields enormous power over all aspects of
government. The case of Ahmed confirms that parts of
the ISI directly supported and financed al-Qaida, and
it has long been established that the ISI has acted as
go-between in intelligence operations on behalf of the
CIA.

Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate select
committee on intelligence, has said: "I think there is
very compelling evidence that at least some of the
terrorists were assisted, not just in financing ... by
a sovereign foreign government." In that context,
Horst Ehmke, former coordinator of the West German
secret services, observed: "Terrorists could not have
carried out such an operation with four hijacked
planes without the support of a secret service."

That might give meaning to the reaction on 9/11 of
Richard Clarke, the White House counter-terrorism
chief, when he saw the passenger lists later on the
day itself: "I was stunned ... that there were
al-Qaida operatives on board using names that the FBI
knew were al-Qaida." It was just that, as Dale Watson,
head of counter-terrorism at the FBI told him, the
"CIA forgot to tell us about them".

Michael Meacher is Labour MP for Oldham West and
Royton. He was environment minister 1997-2003

massonm@parliament.uk


Posted by richard at July 23, 2004 01:26 PM