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Monday, January 02, 2006

Bin Laden's Plan to Boogie to Baghdad?

In light of all the hoopla surrounding the NSA and President Bush ordering wiretaps of communications with terrorists, I pulled out my dusty copy of the Official 9/11 Commission Report. I had only read a little bit of it initially but got caught up in the pre-election craziness and writing my book and never finished reading it. Let's face it, the reading is kinda dry...

Anyway...I was stunned when I got to Chapter 4 "Response to Al Qaeda's Initial Assaults". That chapter alone told me more about the complete failure of the Clinton administration to heed the obvious warning signs of an impending Al Qaeda attack. It also makes me even more suspicious about what it was that Sandy Berger pilfered in his pants...

Here is one little item that jumped out at me:

“In Feb 1999, Allen (Charles Allen – George Tenet’s Assistant Director for Collection) proposed flying a U-2 mission over Afghanistan to build a baseline of intelligence outside the areas where the tribals had coverage. Clarke (Richard Clarke) was nervous about such a mission because he continued to fear that Bin Laden might leave for someplace less accessible. He wrote Deputy National Security Advisor Donald Kerrick that one reliable source reported Bin Laden having met with Iraqi officials, who ‘may have offered him asylum.’ Other intelligence sources said that some Taliban leaders, though not Mullah Omar, had urged Bin Laden to go to Iraq. If Bin Laden actually moved to Iraq, wrote Clarke, his network would be at Saddam Hussein’s service, and it would be ‘virtually impossible’ to find him… Berger (Sandy ‘guess what’s in my pants’ Berger) suggested sending one U-2 flight but Clarke opposed even this. It would require Pakistani approval, he wrote: ‘and Pakistani intelligence service is in bed with Bin Laden” and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for a bombing campaign. ‘Armed with that knowledge, old wily Osama will likely boogie to Baghdad.”

So despite all his bleating about the Bush administration's failure to protect us from 9/11, Clarke himself admits that there was a connection between Osama and Iraq back in 1998. (Not to mention the fact that Clarke called the murderous bastard Osama "old wily"). How many have heard this information in the reporting on the 9/11 commission's findings? I cannot recall hearing it. If it was reported it was buried deep in an article somewhere.

Over the next couple of days, I am going to post other excerpts from Chapter 4 of the 9/11 Commission's Report that will hit you like a ton of bricks. Including one little tidbit about "domestic surveillance" in 1998 and Clinton's frequent memory lapses and misspoken statements during his testimony to the Commission. Not to mention Janet Reno's concern about retaliation should we try to take out Bin Laden in 1999...

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