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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cambone expected to resign in December

This is apparently old news, but I missed it until now. If you recall, Cambone and his assistant Butch Willard were both involved in retaliation against LTC Shaffer.

Exodus of senior Pentagon officials expected

The exodus will not include Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, who was asked by Gates last week to remain at his post as the Pentagon’s chief operating officer.

But sources said others who will be leaving include Stephen Cambone, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence; Kenneth Krieg, the undersecretary for acquisitions; Christopher “Ryan” Henry, the principal deputy undersecretary for policy; Tina Jonas, the Pentagon’s comptroller; Dorrance Smith, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman; and possibly Richard Lawless, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international affairs.

“Most of these folks will resign before Gates comes in,” said one former defense official who has spoken to some of the departing officials.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Karen Finn, could not confirm any of the departures.

Some of these wanted to leave months ago, but were persuaded by Rumsfeld to stay, the former official said. Although their close association with Rumsfeld is likely to be seen as the prime reason for leaving, many senior executives are exhausted with the long hours and work, the former official said.

“Cambone is Rumsfeld’s man, but he has one daughter whom he barely sees,” the former official said. “He would have left earlier if Rumsfeld had quit earlier.”


An Exodus of Hawks Follows Rumsfeld from the Pentagon

Two administration officials said yesterday that the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Stephen Cambone, was also looking to leave the Pentagon. Mr. Cambone is likely to face a subpoena from congressional Democrats looking to investigate his role in the drafting of interrogation policies.

Lance challenges McCarthy

Via Huffington Post:

NY Post Kills Triple Cross Review by an Angry Ex-Fed

This is one item guaranteed not to appear in Page Six, the edgy gossip column that is the single reason most educated New Yorkers buy The New York Post. Yesterday, after a Post editor agreed to run a review of my new book TRIPLE CROSS in their Sunday edition, Bob McManus, editor of the editorial page abruptly cancelled the review.

This after editor-in-chief Col Allan, an Aussie and close friend of owner Rupert Murdoch, learned that the author of the "review" was none other than Andrew C. McCarthy, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the SDNY who I indicted in the book for failing to stop al Qaeda's master spy Ali Mohamed....

It's ironic. I was praiseworthy of Andrew C. McCarthy in parts of TRIPLE CROSS, principally for his well-placed criticism of former Deputy Attorney General (and 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick) after she issued the infamous "wall memo" which sought to separate FBI investigators probing past al Qaeda crimes with Foreign Counter Intelligence agents seeking to prevent future attacks.

It's clear from Andrew McCarthy's reaction to TRIPLE CROSS that he's hiding behind the wall of deception that prevented the U.S. public from realizing just how betrayed they really were by the FBI and SDNY in their utter failure to stop al Qaeda operatives like Ali Mohamed and keep this country safe. Maybe McCarthy, a former U.S. Marshal, will have the guts to step out from behind the safe confines of The New Corp. and face off with me in the Huffington Post.

Peter Lance on Court TV

Peter Lance on Let Them Talk

Via letemtalk.blogspot.com, a local TV show in Manhattan:



Investigative reporter Peter Lance discusses his newest book Triple Cross on a US Attorney and the road to 9/11. Approximately 28 minutes.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Peter Lance on Democracy Now

Here is the full transcript from DemocracyNow.org:

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New details have emerged about how an al Qaeda spy named Ali Mohamed penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI before the 9/11 attacks. We speak with investigative journalist Peter Lance about his new book, "Triple Cross."

Ali Mohamed was a member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle who operated freely within the United States for years before 9/11. Despite being a top al Qaeda operative, he managed to become a naturalized US citizen, join the US Army, get posted to the military base where Green Berets and Delta Force train and infiltrate both the CIA and FBI. And while he was an FBI informant he smuggled bin Laden in and out of Afghanistan and helped plan the attacks on US embassies in Africa. He ended up playing a pivotal role in 9/11.

Journalist Peter Lance joins me here in our firehouse studio. He is a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His new book is called "Triple Cross: How Bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI - And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him."

Peter Lance, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His latest book is "Triple Cross." His previous books include "1000 Years For Revenge" and "Cover Up."
Website: Peterlance.com

RUSH TRANSCRIPT
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
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AMY GOODMAN: This all according to journalist Peter Lance, who joins us here in New York, a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter, former ABC News correspondent. His new book is quite a tome. It’s called Triple Cross: How Bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI - And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him. Welcome to Democracy Now!

PETER LANCE: Good to be back, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, lay out this story.

PETER LANCE: Okay. Well, Ali Mohamed was -- the story actually begins 20 years before 9/11 with the murder of Anwar Sadat. Ali Mohamed was actually a member of the radical Egyptian army unit that murdered Sadat. Only, at the time, he escaped investigation because he happened to be at Fort Bragg even then on an officer exchange program. And when Mubarak took over in Egypt, he purged the military of some radical elements, and Ali was discharged.

But Dr. Imam al-Zawahiri, who was then emerging as the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, recognized Ali Mohamed’s potential. Amy, he was an army commando. He spoke four languages, including Hebrew. He had two degrees in psychology. So Dr. al-Zawahiri pretty much adopted him and sponsored him and first vectored him toward Egypt Air. He spent a year at Egypt Air, the state airline, where he studied all the air piracy counterterrorism measures.

He then -- you know, there was the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon in ’83, October. And the previous April, there was the embassy bombing, the kidnapping of the CIA station chief. So the CIA was desperate at that point in early ’84 to get anyone who, you know, could speak Arabic or had any sense of the Islamic world. So Ali walked into the CIA station in Cairo and presented himself, and they vetted him to some degree, but they sent him to Hamburg, where the primary CIA station looking into Hezbollah was operated. And he went to work briefly as a CIA operative in Hamburg and infiltrated a mosque, only, according to legend, blown his cover.

But, Amy, mysteriously he was able to get past the US watch list. And one of his former CO at Fort Bragg told me he believed that he had had help from the CIA getting into America. On the plane on the way in, a TWA flight, he met a woman from California who was coming back from Greece on vacation, about ten years older than him. And six weeks later, they were married at a drive-through wedding chapel in Reno, Nevada. He is now living in Santa Clara in her condo in the middle of, you know, the high-tech heartland, and eventually enlists in the US Army, as you said, goes in as an enlisted man, because I believe that, you know, OCS, Officer Candidate School, would have subjected him to greater scrutiny.

But in any event, he ends up at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, which is the heart of the advanced training for Delta Force and the Greet Berets. And his CO, Colonel Anderson, told us, he said it would be easier to win the power ball lottery than to be in the unit that murdered Anwar Sadat and get past the watch list and end up at the SWC, they call it.

AMY GOODMAN: How do you know all this?

PETER LANCE: Well, I know it because, you know, I have been working for five years now, Amy, focusing primarily on the two bin Laden offices of origin, the New York office of the FBI and the Southern District Prosecutor’s Office. Up until 9/11, the war on terror, as you know, was fought as a series of legal cases, a stones throw from where we are here in the Southern District.

And so, what I did when I went -- right after 9/11, when I began, really “How did this happen?” and “Could it happen again?” were my two questions. So, what I did was, I read all 40,000 pages of the Southern District cases. I read every book on the subject, 10,000 articles. You know, Paul Thompson has -- I’ve worked closely with Paul Thompson of cooperativeresearch.org and basically, you know, began developing sources inside and outside of the bureau.

And one day, I woke up -- after the first book, I showed tremendous negligence by the bureau, and then gross negligence, in my second book, to the point of suppression of some evidence. And I still couldn’t connect the dots. And one day, I woke up, and I went, “Ali Mohamed is the key.” I mentioned him briefly in my first two books. And there had been about a dozen articles on him, which I cite in the beginning of the book. New York Times had done pieces on him. But no one had ever looked at him in depth.

And when I began to, you know, peel back the layers on Ali Mohamed’s career, I realized that the principal fed, the principal prosecutor who was running Squad I-49 effectively in the New York office of the bureau, the bin Laden squad, was Patrick Fitzgerald. Patrick Fitzgerald, from January 1996, was charged by the Justice Department with pretty much getting bin Laden. President Clinton had issued --

AMY GOODMAN: Explain his position at the time.

PETER LANCE: At the time, he was a prosecutor in the Southern District. He was soon to become, ironically, head of Organized Crime and Terrorism in the Southern District. And this is the office, by the way, that produced Rudy Giuliani, Louis Freeh. It’s the primary -- it’s the stellar US federal prosecutor's office.

AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, Patrick Fitzgerald is the man who eventually went on to investigate the Valerie Plame case.

PETER LANCE: Absolutely, and became US Attorney in Chicago. In fact, he made -- I would speak metaphorically and say he made his bones, he became famous, on the African embassy bombing case, which was called US v. Bin Laden in February of ’01. But he ended up convicting one primary player, Wadi al-Hajj, but the other people convicted were fairly minor players.

Ali Mohamed, Amy, on the other hand, was the principal -- not only did he do the surveillance for the bombing in 1993, but bin Laden himself, according to Ali’s testimony, pointed to the pictures and said, “This is where I want the suicide truck bomb to go.” Five years later, that’s exactly where the bomb in Nairobi went off. Ali sustained the cell. He interacted regularly with Wadi al-Hajj, and yet he's also an FBI informant on the West Coast from 1992. Amy, this man trained the original World Trade Center bombing cell. He trained the --

AMY GOODMAN: You mean in 1993.

PETER LANCE: In 1993. The cell that worked with Ramzi Yousef to do the first World Trade Center bombing. He trained El Sayyid Nosair, the Egyptian who murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1990. In fact, he stayed at his house. He used to come up weekends from Fort Bragg, and he would bring top-secret -- I have like 30 pages of heretofore classified documents in the book. And he would bring these top-secret memos from Fort Bragg, and he’d give them to Nosair. They found them the night after the rabbi’s murder in Nosair’s apartment. And they also found two operatives, Abu Halima and Salameh, that night. They arrested them. And these men were photographed, along with Nosair, in Calverton, Long Island in 1989. Now, this was when Bush 41 is in the White House.

The New York office of the FBI, their elite unit that got John Gotti, over four weekends in July of ’89, they followed a group of men -- MEs, they called them, for Middle Eastern men -- and they followed them, Amy, from the Al Farooq Mosque on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn out to the shooting range, where they’re firing automatic weapons in the middle of the summer. And of the men photographed by the FBI when Bush 41 was in the White House, three were later convicted in the Trade Center bombing. One, Nosair, was convicted both initially for the gun charges and the rabbi’s death, and eventually Patrick Fitzgerald and Andrew McCarthy convicted him in what was called the “Day of Terror” plot, the bridge and tunnel plot.

So the FBI had Ali Mohamed’s cell on the radar in ’89. They had Ali himself working as an informant from 1992. And he is literally, as you pointed out -- he moved the entire al-Qaeda leadership from Afghanistan to Sudan. He set up the al-Qaeda training camps. He trained bin Laden’s personal body guard, lived in bin Laden's house and, as I said, was the primary player behind the African embassy bombings.

I prove in this book -- and I challenge Patrick Fitzgerald who refused to talk to me, but I challenge him to show me where they could not have prevented the African embassy bombings. Squad I-49, this elite squad of FBI units, which he was effectively directing, had a wiretap on the home in Kenya of Wadi al-Hajj. They searched Wadi al-Hajj’s house, Amy, in August of ’97 in Kenya. They found Ali Mohamed’s phone number and contact information in Sacramento.

Patrick Fitzgerald himself had a meeting with Ali Mohamed, face to face, in Sacramento in October, at which point Ali said to him -- and by the way, at this point Ali Mohamed is a naturalized US citizen, an Army veteran getting a pension, you know, from the US Army -- he said to Patrick Fitzgerald across the table, “I love bin Laden. I do not need a fatwa to attack America. I have a number of sleepers who I can make operational like that. And I could just” --

AMY GOODMAN: And this, you have from what, this information?

PETER LANCE: From Jack Cloonan, the principal agent who was at the meeting. He was the principal agent -- one of the two or three principal agents in Squad I-49, was at the meeting. So it’s, you know, from the mouth of the agent who was there. And after the meeting, Patrick Fitzgerald turned to Cloonan and said, “That is the most dangerous man I have ever met. We cannot leave him on the street.” And yet, they did, Amy, for ten more months, only to have the bombs go off. They waited a month to arrest him. And even when they arrested him, they kept him on a John Doe warrant for nine months in the Southern District, because they didn’t want the media to know effectively they had been snookered by this guy.

AMY GOODMAN: A John Doe warrant means they didn’t name him.

PETER LANCE: Didn’t name him. And they negotiated with him for almost two years to cut a deal. But Ali had all the cards, if you will, in the poker game. Why? Because he knew that the feds would never want the record that is now contained in this book to come out, how they had been bamboozled and snookered for many years by this principal spy.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m looking at some criticism by Larry Johnson, the former CIA analyst, who says, "Here’s the truth: there’s not one document, piece of court evidence or retired FBI agent that supports the claim that in the year prior to the bombing of the US embassies in East Africa Ali Mohamed was recorded stating his intent to attack those embassies. Not one.”

PETER LANCE: Larry Johnson is a joke, okay? Larry Johnson was a former CIA officer who happened to be in the same class as Valerie Plame. If you google “Larry C. Johnson” and google “the declining terrorist threat,” he wrote an Op-Ed page piece on July 10th of 2001, the day the Phoenix memo was issued, that basically said the declining terrorist threat -- he was quoted in the New York Times as saying, bin Laden is highly overestimated, he’s being treated like a Fortune 500 leader when in fact al-Qaeda is fragmented.

Larry Johnson has had an animus against me personally for years. Amy, last week, on his website he actually said that I had not won five Emmy Awards. He came right out and said it, and I called the National Academy. They furnished him with proof. It was all on my website. My five Emmys were listed. And he literally maliciously, without even talking to me to confirm, withdrew that, you know, false malicious statement. Larry Johnson’s upset because I’ve named him in my book as an example of how the feds failed on the road to 9/11. He’s a regular talking head, because he has supported, you know -- and by the way, I support the investigation --

AMY GOODMAN: And what about the point that there is not one document, not one former FBI agent who supports this idea that he said that he was going to take out the embassies before they were bombed?

PETER LANCE: He never said -- I never ever said in my book that he did. I never ever said in my book that Ali Mohamed said he was going to take out the embassies before they were bombed. What was true, what Jack Cloonan told me, was that Harlan Bell, one of the agents in Squad I-49, after the embassy bombing, he went back and he looked at -- he had recorded some conversations with Ali, and Ali said, “We have an operation going on in Africa.” He never mentioned the bombings. I never even said that in the book. What Larry Johnson is trying to do is, because he’s upset that I’ve impeached his credibility, he's trying to attack my book. And by the way, he made that statement before the book had even come out. He hadn’t even read the book.

AMY GOODMAN: Where is Ali Mohamed today?

PETER LANCE: Ali Mohamed is in some kind of custodial witness protection. As I said, he cut a deal. He escaped the death penalty. He is -- I believe he’s in the New York area somewhere, because Cloonan said his wife Linda Sanchez remains loyal to him, visits him regularly, and Cloonan lives in the New York area, and he says, “I see Linda when she comes in to visit Ali.” But they may have moved him by now.

AMY GOODMAN: Why would the US be protecting him?

PETER LANCE: Because he is a one-man 9/11 commission. Ali Mohamed, if he ever told the full truth under oath, would expose all the years of negligence by the Southern District. Amy, look, Patrick Fitzgerald and the Southern District prosecutors have had an almost unblemished reputation for years as being the primary, you know, terror-busters. You know, Vanity Fair did this glowing article on him, in which they described him as the bin Laden brain, scary smart intelligence.

No one has ever, ever gone back and audited Patrick Fitzgerald in the Southern District. The 9/11 Commission didn’t, because Dietrich Snell was a co-prosecutor with Fitzgerald, is the one who wrote Staff Statement 16 on the origin of the plot. And he literally pushed the plot, the 9/11 plot forward from Manila, the Philippines, with Yousef and Khalid Shaikh. He moved it to 1996, claiming that Khalid Shaikh wasn’t even a member of al-Qaeda at the time.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think needs to happen now?

PETER LANCE: What I think needs to happen is there needs to be a real investigation of 9/11, not staffed by alumni of the very agencies that, you know, were asleep at the switch in the years leading up to 9/11. It should be staffed by American citizens, journalists, scholars, widows, the Jersey girls should be on it. It should be fully funded, and it should have subpoena power, because anyone that thinks that in reading the 9/11 Commission Report you’ve gotten the full story is wrong. No accountability. They never named a single name in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Ali Mohamed’s entire career is mentioned in one tiny little paragraph of the 9/11 report. Jamie Gorelick was deputy attorney general. She literally -- they had Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, was captured in December of 1994 with a Newton PDA, a treasure trove of evidence linking him to the Blind Sheikh in New York and Yousef’s cell in Manila. And Jamie Gorelick effectively pushed him out of country to Jordan, even though her own State Department, the State Department said he's a terrorist, we should investigate him. Not a word of that is in the 9/11 report.

Nor in The Looming Tower. I mean, Lawrence Wright, in this book -- and he’s an excellent writer for the New Yorker -- Lawrence Wright mentions Mohammed Jamal Khalifa twenty times and never even mentions the fact that he was captured by the bureau, because he interviewed many of these agents and just took their word at face value. What I’ve done is I’ve gone back and I’ve audited them. So anyone who’s read this book -- and I recommend that everyone read The Looming Tower, by the way, it’s an excellent book -- but that’s half of the story. We need to audit the Justice Department. We need to go back. And this transcends administrations. Fitzgerald is still working for Bush 43. Valerie Caproni, who was party to a cover-up of evidence in 1996 in the Eastern District and with Ramzi Yousef, she is the general counsel to the FBI. So many of these same people are working under Bush 43.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there. A very complex story. Peter Lance’s latest book is called Triple Cross: How Bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI - And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him. His earlier book, One Thousand Years for Revenge. Also wrote Cover Up. Thank you, Peter, for being with us.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Peter Lance on FOX and MSNBC

Via PeterLance.com here is the video of his interview on the O'Reilly Factor from Tuesday and on MSNBC this Thursday. You can also read a brief print interview with New York Magazine here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Larry Johnson, real class act

Here is a cached version of a post Larry made on Wednesday. He had basically accused Peter Lance of only winning two Emmy awards instead of five, without checking all the facts first. His response to finding out that he was wrong? Try to hide the evidence.

Peter Lance does indeed have 5 Emmy Awards. He was awarded 3 National Emmy Awards -- the 2 our database indicated, plus an additional 1 for Community and Public Service for a campaign on WABC. The database lists just the sponsor of the campaign WABC; but the Emmy Award goes to the producer, who in this case was Peter Lance. In addition, Peter Lance has won two Emmys from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which I have verified with them.

We would appreciate your correcting this information on your website immediately.

Cheryl Daly
Director, Communications
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


He has since deleted the post, and does not have any clarification on his website, despite the fact the false information is still available for download on his site.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Read the damn book first, Larry

I wanted to leave my review of Triple Cross at the top of the page, but this was too good to pass up:

Peter Lance, Crisscrossed

by Larry C Johnson

Peter Lance is back hawking his latest book, Triple Cross. Unfortunately, it does not come with a “Buyer Beware” label. Peter, in my judgment, confuses self-promotion with analysis and is prone to jump to conclusions not supported by actual evidence. Consider for example Lance’s specious claim in his recent post on Huffington Post, touting his book and his accomplishments:

What isn't known and will be revealed for the first time in Triple Cross was that Ali Mohamed had been acting as an FBI informant on the West Coast since 1992 - a year before the WTC bombing carried out by the same cell members he'd trained.


Really?


Johnson goes on to quote from two news articles, both of which quote none other than Larry Johnson but neither of which claim Ali Mohamed was an informant since 1992 or provide any details about his handling agent, John Zent. My emphasis added. Lance has entire chapters full of details about Ali Mohamed and his inept FBI handling agent. Larry might know this if he read the book, but seeing as how it is not in stores yet, I guess he knew all he had to know from the cover. Leaving no truth unspurned, he keeps digging:

Peter does a slick job of intermixing facts and conjecture to create the impression that he has a special truth. Consider the following from Peter:

Using evidence from the SDNY court cases, interviews with current and retired Special Agents and documents from the FBI's own files, I prove in Triple Cross that Patrick Fitzgerald and Squad I-49 in the NYO could have prevented those bombings - not just by getting the truth from FBI informant Ali Mohamed, but by connecting him to Wadih El-Hage, one of the Kenya cell leaders.


Here’s the truth—there is not one document, piece of court evidence, or retired FBI agent that supports the claim that in the year prior to the bombing of the US Embassies in East Africa Ali Mohamed was recorded stating his intent to attack those embassies. Not one.


This is an easy one. Lance never said Mohamed stated his intention to attack the embassies beforehand! He said the FBI should have been able to stop the bombings by connecting him to Wadih El Hage. One of the articles Larry quoted describes the connection:

Ali Mohamed's testimony, which will likely earn him a reduced sentence, may prove particularly damning to el-Hage. The former U.S. Army sergeant, a naturalized American citizen born in Egypt, claims he worked with el-Hage in Nairobi and that during a visit to the man's house, bin Laden's security chief told him to surveil American, British, French, and Israeli "targets" in Senegal.


Of course, there is always that link chart Jay Boesen made in 2000 which shows two clear connections between them. First as personal advisors to Bin Laden, and second as associates of Abouhalima and the Brooklyn Cell of Al Qaeda in New York. Nonetheless, Larry continues:

Peter’s venom spewed at Patrick Fitzgerald is particularly crazy. Consider the following claim by Lance:

How was it that Fitzgerald, the man Vanity Fair described as the bin Laden "brain," possessing "scary smart" intelligence, had not connected the dots and ordered the same kind of "perch" or "plant" to watch Sphinx that the Bureau had used against Gotti?


Well, for starters, prosecutors in the United States are not like prosecutors in France. Fitzgerald and other junior prosecutors do not have the luxury of waking up each morning and deciding on their own to follow a hunch. Moreover, they normally don’t direct Federal investigations. The investigative part is handled by FBI agents who run field offices.


I'll have to quote Patrick Fitzgerald on this one:

I was on a prosecution team in New York that began a criminal investigation of Usama Bin Laden in early 1996. The team – prosecutors and FBI agents assigned to the criminal case – had access to a number of sources. We could talk to citizens. We could talk to local police officers. We could talk to other U.S. Government agencies. We could talk to foreign police officers. Even foreign intelligence personnel. And foreign citizens. And we did all those things as often as we could. We could even talk to al Qaeda members – and we did. We actually called several members and associates of al Qaeda to testify before a grand jury in New York. And we even debriefed al Qaeda members overseas who agreed to become cooperating witnesses.

But there was one group of people we were not permitted to talk to. Who? The FBI agents across the street from us in lower Manhattan assigned to a parallel intelligence investigation of Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda. We could not learn what information they had gathered. That was “the wall.” A rule that a federal court has since agreed was fundamentally flawed – and dangerous.


"The Wall?" Hmm, why does that sound so familiar?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lance breaks new ground on Able Danger

While I was deciding how I should start my review of Peter Lance's new book - "Triple Cross: How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI -- And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him" - I remembered a quote from Monica Gabrielle, one of the Jersey Girls, in a documentary about 9/11:

The one thing that I personally was hoping for was another Woodward and Bernstein with regard to 9/11. Someone, anyone that was willing to put their teeth into this.


Well, we have found that person, and his name is Peter Lance. In his third book on the origins of the 9/11 plot and the failures of the FBI and others to stop the attack, Lance focuses on Ali Mohamed - yet another figure relegated to footnotes in the 9/11 Report who Lance shows played a central role in Al Qaeda's plan of attack. Not only did he create the "Brooklyn Cell" which supported the 9/11 hijackers, but he wrote the training manual for Al Qaeda and created training camps for hijackers! Arrested in 1998 for his role in the embassy bombings, Ali Mohamed has demonstrated foreknowledge of the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and an outline of the 9/11 plot itself, all of which he did not reveal to the FBI until after the attacks! Worse, he has still not been formally sentenced because the FBI believes they can use him to get information on Al Qaeda even when he's been playing the FBI for two decades.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I am quoted twice in the Epilogue to Triple Cross. However, this review of the book is not based on my limited contacts with Lance. It is based entirely on the content of the book, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in Able Danger. Some have expressed frustration at the delays in publication, but I can attest to the fact that Lance needed the extra time in order to include all of the latest details from the interviews National Geographic conducted for their documentary based on his book and the latest developments in the Able Danger and Greg Scarpa Jr. scandals.

The best part of Triple Cross is the way Lance weaves together the different strands of the 9/11 story and enhances them with his own original reporting on each. For example, the book quotes from numerous interviews Lance conducted with Tony Shaffer, Curt Weldon, and other members of the Able Danger team. While not a complete history of Able Danger, it is by far the most complete version published to date. He devotes four chapters to the subject and weaves together the story of Able Danger with the story of how the "Big Five" intelligence agencies all failed to detect the plot on time. He also provides new evidence that the discovery of what a central role Ali Mohamed played in the Al Qaeda leadership may have played a role in the destruction of all the Able Danger charts and data at LIWA in April 2000. This took place literally days after the chart linked above was produced by a member of the Able Danger team.

To give you an idea of the level of detail Lance includes about Able Danger, here is how he opens Chapter 37, "The Briefing in Bagram":

That October in 2003, Shaffer, then an army major, was aboard an army UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter snaking along the Kabul River toward Asadabad, a small firebase in Northeast Afghanistan eight clicks from the Pakistani Border. Wearing forty pounds of body armor and brandishing an M-4 carbine and an M-11 pistol, Tony was attached to Task Force 180, whose mission was to "deter and defeat the re-emergence of terrorism" after 9/11 by hunting down and eliminating members of the fugitive Taliban. As a clandestine officer with the DIA, he was assigned to work in unison with the other "three-letter" agencies, including the FBI and the CIA, in what was a hoped-for reintegration of the intel services that had become so fragmented and stovepiped in the years before 9/11. While he got along well with the FBI agents who were engaged in the Taliban hunt, Tony and other DIA operatives still regarded the CIA as independents, nicknaming them the "Klingons" after the Star Trek aliens, who were reluctant members of "the Federation."


Able Danger is mentioned throughout the book, but some other chapters which focus on it include Chapter 31, "Operation Able Danger", Chapter 32, "Obliterating the Dots", and Chapter 33, "Able Danger Part Two". Over the past nine months, I was beginning to doubt if anyone would ever give the Able Danger story the treatment it deserves. Peter Lance has gone above and beyond my expectations in "Triple Cross" and anyone who is interested in getting to the bottom of the Able Danger story should read it.

Among other things, he points out flaws in the IG Report on Able Danger:

It's also clear that, in attempting to impeach Capt. Phillpott, the IG relied heavily on the word of Dietrich Snell, the 9/11 Commission senior counsel, who found Phillpott's account of the Able Danger findings "not sufficiently reliable to warrant revision of the [Commission] report or further investigation." That was Snell's conclusion following a July 12, 2004, meeting with Phillpott ten days before the Commission's "final report" was to go to press:

We considered Mr. Snell's negative assessment of Capt. Phillpott's claims particularly persuasive given Mr. Snell's knowledge and background in antiterrorist efforts involving al Qaeda. Mr. Snell considered Capt. Phillpott's recollection with respect to Able Danger identification of Mohammed Atta inaccurate because it was 'one hundred per cent inconsistent with everything we knew about Mohammed Atta and his collegues at the time.' Mr. Snell went on to describe his knowledge of Mohammed Atta's overseas travel and associations before 9/11 noting the "utter absense of any information suggesting any kind of a tie between Atta and anyone located in this country during the first half of the year 2000," when Able Danger had allegedly identified him.


But in this book we've demonstrated that there was massive evidence on the high visibility of 9/11 hijackers al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, who were living openly in San Diego as early as January 2000. We showed how Atta himself entered the United States on June 3 and rented a room in Brooklyn near the Al Farooq Mosque, using his own name. Just how difficult would it have been for the Able Danger analysts to track his movements via airline reservations and immigration sources, since, according to the IG's report, the Able Danger data harvest was "collecting data from 10,000 websites each day"?

In an interview following release of the report, one operative close to the data-mining operation told me that "we also accessed INS databases in the data harvest, so picking up Atta who had to get airline tickers and a visa prior to his arrival in early June was no big deal."


This Tuesday, go pick up a copy of "Triple Cross", then tune in to "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News, where Lance is scheduled to appear for an interview with Bill.

Peter Lance on O'Reilly this Tuesday

He is launching his book, Triple Cross, which includes four chapters on Able Danger.

Here is the full schedule:

Media appearances

11.21.06 8:00 p.m. EST Fox News: The O'Reilly Factor

11.22.06 1:00 a.m. EST WOR 710 AM: The Joey Reynolds Show

11.22.06 10:00 p.m. EST KHNC 1360 AM: Dr. Stan Monteith

11.24.06 11:00 p.m. EST Radio Liberty Network: Dr. Stan Monteith

11.27.06 5:00 p.m. EST Court TV: Catherine Crier Live

11.28.06 8:00 p.m. EST CNN: Paula Zahn Now

11.30.06 7:00 p.m. EST Genesis Radio Network: Dr. Stan Monteith

How Patrick Fitzgerald failed to stop 9/11

Many more posts on Triple Cross to follow, including my review of the book.

Harper Collins issued the following press release announcing Peter Lance's new book about Ali Mohamed, Able Danger, and the failure of the FBI to stop the 9/11 attacks:

Click here to download the PDF.

TRIPLE CROSS

How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI -- And
Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him

By Peter Lance

In TRIPLE CROSS, five-time Emmy-award winning investigative reporter Peter Lance reveals how U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the FBI’s elite bin Laden squad failed to stop Ali Mohamed, a1 Qaeda’s master spy, in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Recruited as an FBI informant as early as 1992, Mohamed -- an intimate of Osama bin Laden -- was allowed to remain free for years, planning and executing multiple acts of terror, including the 1998 African embassy bombings that killed 224 and injured 4000 -- while Fitzgerald and key FBI agents did little to stop him.

Mohamed had been on the FBI’s radar since 1989, when the FBI’s Special Operations Group photographed a cell of his trainees firing AK-47s at a Long Island shooting range. Yet despite their prior knowledge of this New York cell, the Bureau ended its investigation, paving the way for multiple acts of terror in the years that followed.

Of the Islamic radicals trained by Ali Mohamed and photographed by the FBI: one went on to kill Rabbi Meier Kahane in 1990, three were convicted in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and another American Muslim was convicted by Patrick Fitzgerald in 1995 in a plot to blow up the bridge and tunnels into Manhattan. Mohamed himself was opened as a Bureau informant on the West Coast in 1992-a year before the WTC bombing. Worse, he continued to snooker Fitzgerald and other FBI and Justice Department officials for years as he learned the FBI’s playbook on a1 Qaeda.

After a five-year investigation into FBI negligence on the road to 9/11, Lance reveals:

How Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who was directing the FBI’s elite bin Laden squad (I-49), allowed Ali Mohamed to remain an active a1 Qaeda agent despite the fact that the FBI knew he had sworn allegiance to bin Laden as early as 1993. Mohamed moved the Saudi billionaire from Afghanistan to Sudan, trained his personal bodyguard, set up a1 Qaeda terror camps in Khartoum, and trained the terrorists responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing and Day of Terror plots.

How Fitzgerald and other top officials buried a treasure trove of a1 Qaeda-related evidence in 1996 -- including proof of a liquid-based airliner bomb plot that was a precursor to the August 2006 plot revealed by U.K. authorities. The evidence included proof of an active a1 Qaeda cell operating in NYC five years before
9/11.

How Mohamed twice smuggled a1 Qaeda’s second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, into the U.S. in the 1990s to raise half a million dollars for the Jihad -- and left his post at Fort Bragg, against orders, to hunt down Soviet Spetsnaz commandos in Afghanistan in the midst of America’s covert war.

How Mohamed stole TOP SECRET memos and other classified intelligence from Fort Bragg and passed it onto the a1 Qaeda leadership, including memos to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the positions of all Special Forces units worldwide. Copies of that intelligence, with Mohamed’s notes in Arabic, are part of more than 30 pages of declassified or formerly SECRET documents included as appendices to the book.

How, after meeting Mohamed face-to-face in 1997, Fitzgerald called him “the most dangerous man I have ever met” and vowed, “We cannot let this man out on the street.” Yet for another ten months he allowed Mohamed to remain free, while the a1 Qaeda spy continued to support the African embassy bombing plot he had set in motion in 1993-after being freed from custody on the word of his FBI control agent.

How Mohamed had told Fitzgerald that he had “hundreds” of a1 Qaeda sleepers ready to go “operational” at any time -- and yet to this day the FBI has failed to detect them. Mohamed, who wasn’t even arrested until a month after the 1998 embassy bombings, remained in U.S. custody for three full years before 9/11. But even after cutting a deal that allowed him to escape the death penalty and enter witness protection, Fitzgerald failed to extract the 9/11 planes-as-missiles plot from Mohamed.

How as early as 1991 the FBI was aware of a New Jersey mail box store directly linked to a1 Qaeda, but failed to monitor the location. Fitzgerald himself had named the store owner as an unindicted coconspirator in the 1995 Day of Terror case. Six years later, in July 2001 , the FBI blew an extraordinary chance to interdict the 9/11 plot when two of the 9/11 hijackers got their fake IDS at the very same store. “All the FBI had to do was monitor that location, the way they sat on John Gotti’s Ravenite Social Club,” says Lance, “and they would have been in the middle of the 9/11 plot.”

PETER LANCE’S first two FBI investigative books, 1000 Yearsfor Revenge and Cover Up, were national bestsellers. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called 1000 Years “A must read for the FBI, the 9/11 Commission, Congress and anyone whose job it is to protect national security.” Kristen Breitweiser, one of the “Jersey Girls,” called it “a 500-page smoking gun.” Lance testified before the 9/11 Commission in 2004.

His investigation of former FBI agent R. Lindley DeVecchio, reported in Cover Up, led to DeVecchio’s indictment on four counts of second degree murder in March 2006.

TRIPLE CROSS

How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the FBIand
Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him

By Peter Lance

Hardcover: $27.95 ISBN 978-0-06-088688-2

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rory O'Connor reviews Triple Cross

The 9/11 Conspiracy of Incompetence

What if I told you that a member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle operated with impunity within the United States for years before September 11? That despite being an ardent and avowed jihadi, he managed to become a naturalized citizen, to join the US Army, to get posted to the Special Warfare Center where Green Berets and Delta Force train, and to work with both the CIA and the FBI? And all the while he was a top al Qaeda operative, hosting its second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri when he traveled to the US in the 1990's to raise money, and training both bin Laden's personal bodyguard and radical Muslims who would go on to assassinate Jewish militant Meir Kahane and detonate a truck bomb at the World Trade Center?

...Count author Peter Lance, an Emmy-winning former reporter and producer for ABC News, among those who believe in the "9/11 Incompetence Conspiracy Theory." Lance's new book, "Triple Cross," tells the amazing story of an al-Qaeda superspy named Ali Mohamed. As Lance writes, "In the annals of espionage, few men have moved in and out of the deep black world between the hunters and the hunted with as much audacity as Ali Mohamed."

...Given the many mistakes and apparent government deception obvious from even a cursory examination of the Ali Mohamed case, along with related miscues involving the Central Intelligence Agency (see "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright, and "State of Denial" by Bob Woodward), the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and high officials at Special Operations Command, Central Command, and yes, the White House. it's no wonder that conspiracists see evidence -- if not outright proof -- for their "loose change" theories of what happened on 9/11.

But in writing his brilliantly researched, highly detailed, exhaustive (and at nearly 500 pages, exhausting!) account of how Osama bin Laden's master spy "triple crossed" the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI, Lance has actually done the 9/11 truth movement a distinct service. The media and the government's national security apparatus may have failed to "connect the dots," but Peter Lance certainly has in "Triple Cross."

Was there a government conspiracy behind the attacks of 9/11? Or did the true conspiracy begin only after the attacks, in a desperate but thus far successful attempt to avoid scandal and obscure the truth that our intelligence agencies had suppressed critical intelligence and bungled their jobs? Whatever your faith and belief, the Ali Mohamed story seems key to understanding the full truth of 9/11. "Could the attacks have been prevented?" Lance asks. "If so, who in our government should be blamed for the failure?" And finally, and most importantly, "have our intelligence agencies undergone sufficient reform to prevent future assaults on America?"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Good news for Weldon too late

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Big news is coming, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.) promised midway through his unsuccessful bid for reelection.

And it was, although not the kind he expected.

Disclosure of a federal criminal investigation and FBI raids at the homes of his daughter and a close friend dominated the final weeks of the campaign.

Last week, observers finally saw what Weldon had in mind. The Air Force awarded a contract to Boeing Co. to build 141 search-and-rescue helicopters at the company's Ridley Township plant. The contract means "hundreds of new jobs for Delaware County," Weldon said in a statement.

Trouble is, the Air Force announced the contract late Thursday, 48 hours after the polls closed. Can Weldon catch a break? "Not from the press. Not from the Pentagon," answered Russ Caso, his chief of staff.


Meanwhile, McClatchy provides this update:

Cell phones were wiretapped for four months in an investigation of Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., government sources say.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Weldon on YouTube

Found some more classic C-SPAN clips on YouTube here and here.

Now the good news

Just heard from Peter Lance who launched his redesigned website this morning. Triple Cross will be in stores November 21st. Here is the new book cover.



Among other things, the site includes a new chart produced by Jay Boesen while he was employed at Orion with JD Smith working on the Able Danger project. This new chart shows that DIA knew Ali Mohamed was a member of Bin Laden's inner circle as early at March 2000. It also shows they knew Ramzi Yousef was directly connected to Al Qaeda and that two of Bin Laden's closest advisors were connected to Abouhalima and the Brooklyn cell of Al Qaeda that pulled off the 1993 WTC bombing. The best part about this chart? It is completely unclassified and based upon open source information. Ha! If they found all this about Ali Mohamed, image what they could have found out about Mohamed Atta if the program had not run into so many roadblocks along the way.

First the bad news

As you all know, Congressman Weldon lost on Tuesday:

Television cameras zoomed in on Weldon as he walked past a baby grand piano in the Springfield Country Club lobby on his way to make a concession speech Tuesday night. He held his granddaughter, Reagan, in his arms as he spoke to waiting reporters.

"It was a good fight. Three weeks ago, we were seven points up. It is what it is."

He then asked his young grandchild, 'Who am I?' And she said, 'Cho Cho.' Weldon continued. "I'm Cho Cho to my granddaughter and that's all that matters."

When Weldon took the stage above cheering supporters, he conceded a 55 to 45 percent victory without parts of Chester and Montgomery Counties reporting.

"I think I helped a lot of people, a lot of people are better off," Weldon said. "This could well be the deciding race for control of the House. That's why (the Democrats) put so much money into it.

"We had all volunteers at our poll. We were out-spent. Every time I went to the polls and people were there, they weren't from our district. That's OK. That's democracy in America today. The good thing about our democracy is it still works."

Weldon thanked a number of campaign workers and supporters in the crowd, including campaign manager Michael Puppio, former Republican Party head Charlie Sexton and many others. There were some tears in the banquet hall as Weldon walked out shaking hands and giving hugs and kisses.

"It's great to be with you all and now it's time to ride off into the sunset."

Weldon, a native of Marcus Hook, began his public service as a volunteer firefighter there, then chief. He also worked as a teacher and was elected mayor of his hometown. In Congress, Weldon was a member of the Armed Services Committee and led congressional delegations to North Korea to address nuclear proliferation, trade, and human rights.


Rob Simmons, another advocate behind the scenes for Able Danger, may have lost, too:

A mandatory recount is officially underway to determine the winner of the 2nd Congressional District race. Republican Congressman Rob Simmons now trails by 166 votes against Democrat Joe Courtney.

It's democracy at it's finest. Quietly and carefully, poll officials at the Hebron Elementary School checked and re-checked each and every ballot, making absolutely certain, each and every vote is counted.

Just 167 votes out of over 240,000 cast separate three-term incumbent Simmons and Courtney. Shortly after the election Simmons had already done the math.

"Anything can happen," Simmons said. "We have 65 towns. Our numbers show 167 votes. That factors out to three votes a town that can cut either way. But if you look at the numbers that way that's an exceedingly close race."


Of course, both Weldon and Simmons will still be in office for another two months, so there might be some work on tying up loose ends which can get done now, after all.

On a brighter note, Chris Shays won in a close race, and his legislation for protecting national security whistleblowers has a better chance under a Democratic Congress bent on limiting Cheney's reach than it had under a Republican Congress.

UPDATE: Apparently, we might get a better nominee to be the new DODIG, as well. Last but not least, Don "unknown knowns" Rumsfeld lost his job, too. Well past time.

Keep your head up. Able Danger Blog is still here. Peter Lance has a new book due out in two weeks, and from what I hear it confirms much of the Able Danger story.

Triple Cross

How Bin Laden's Chief Security Adviser Penetrated the CIA, the FBI, and the Green Berets

By Peter Lance

Price: $27.95
On Sale: 11/21/2006
Formats: Hardcover | E-Book

"This is the most dangerous man I have ever met. We cannot let this man out on the street."

—Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, 1997

In the years leading to the 9/11 attacks, no single agent of al Qaeda was more successful in compromising the U.S. intelligence community than Ali Mohamed. A former Egyptian army captain, Mohamed succeeded in infiltrating the CIA in Europe, the Green Berets at Fort Bragg, and the FBI in California—even as he helped to orchestrate the al Qaeda campaign of terror that culminated in 9/11. As investigative reporter Peter Lance demonstrates in this gripping narrative, senior U.S. law enforcement officials—including the now-celebrated U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who personally interviewed Mohamed long before he was brought to ground—were powerless to stop him. In the annals of espionage, few men have moved between the hunters and the hunted with as much audacity as Ali Mohamed. For almost two decades, the former Egyptian army commando succeeded in living a double life. Brazenly slipping past watch lists, he moved in and out of the U.S. with impunity, marrying an American woman, becoming a naturalized citizen, and posing as an FBI informant—all while acting as chief of security for Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Known to his fellow terrorists as Ali Amiriki, or "Ali the American," Mohamed gained access to the most sensitive intelligence in the U.S. counterterrorism arsenal while brokering terror summits, planning bombing missions, and training jihadis in bomb building, assassination, the creation of sleeper cells, and other acts of espionage.Building on the investigation he first chronicled in his previous books, 1000 Years for Revenge and Cover Up, Lance uses Mohamed to trace the untold story of al Qaeda's rise in the 1980s and 1990s. Incredibly, Mohamed, who remains in custodial witness protection today, has never been sentenced for his crimes. He exists under a veil of secrecy—a living witness to how the U.S. intelligence community was outflanked for years by the terror network.

From his first appearance on the FBI's radar in 1989—training Islamic extremists on Long Island—to his presence in the database of Operation Able Danger eighteen months before 9/11, this devious triple agent was the one terrorist they had to sweep under the rug. Filled with news-making revelations, Triple Cross exposes the incompetence and duplicity of the FBI and Justice Department before 9/11 . . . and raises serious questions about how many more secrets the Feds may still be hiding.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why this 2004 DNC delegate supports Weldon

I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Delco Times last week:

As a life long Democrat and delegate to the 2004 DNC National Convention, you might not expect me to be supporting Curt Weldon. However, as the creator of abledangerblog.com, I've had a chance to watch the Congressman over the past year and I've been impressed with his honesty and courage. Both have become a rare commodity in Washington these days. When Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Capt. Scott Phillpott came forward with information about their work to target Al Qaeda worldwide in the years before 9/11, Curt Weldon was the only member of Congress who was willing to speak publicly on their behalf. He took a personal interest in members of the Able Danger team and believed it was important for their full story to be heard, regardless of which party might be embarrassed.

Unfortunately, the full story has still never been told. A promised Senate Intelligence Committee report on Able Danger was never issued. An after action report, which describes how Able Danger spotted Al Qaeda activity in the Port of Aden two days before the attack on the USS Cole, remains highly classified. Neither the 9/11 Commission nor the DOD IG considered this classified report. The DOD Inspector General - cited in the Delco Times's endorsement of Weldon's opponent - did not even investigate any classified aspects of the project. A friend of mine who works as a Democratic consultant explained to me that it was not in the interest of either party to look back at what happened before 9/11. Well, is it in the interest of either party to find out what went wrong so we can prevent the next attack? Unfortunately, it seems like another friend was right when he told me the only people determined to uncover the full story are the families of the dead, a few curious bloggers, and Congressman Curt Weldon.

Whether or not Able Danger identified Mohamed Atta before the attacks, we do know from the IG report that half a dozen military intelligence officers have testified under oath they believe they identified Mohamed Atta before 9/11. We know many of these officers believe their information could have been used to prevent the attacks, if only it was handled differently. We know Able Danger created offensive options for targeting Al Qaeda which were accepted by General Hugh Shelton in January of 2001. We also know Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephen Cambone testified under oath in the House that Able Danger successfully identified several cells of Al Qaeda prior to the attacks and provided the foundation for efforts to target the terrorist network after September 2001. What happened in between? We may never know, especially if Curt Weldon loses.

If any of your readers have ever watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", they might recall the scene where baskets and baskets full of letters are brought to the floor of the Senate decrying what an embarrassment Mr. Smith has become and demanding his expulsion from the Senate. Against similar odds, Congressman Weldon has refused to abandon the members of the Able Danger team who won his trust, regardless of the consequences. Sure, I would like to see Democratic control of the House as much as the next Democrat, but not if it means losing Congressman Weldon. Not many members of Congress would put the interests of others above their own. Curt Weldon does. That's the type of guy most people want as their representative. Maybe real life never works out quite like the movies, but that doesn't mean we can't root for the good guy and hope he wins.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

"AP Runs DNC Dirty Tricks Propaganda"

From AJ Strata:

The liberal news media needs to be dismantled. Now they are openly running DNC opposition research by trying to tie Curt Weldon to Slobodan Milosevic! This article is worse than the “6 degrees to Kevin Bacon” game in its thin connections:

A daughter of Rep. Curt Weldon did public relations work for a Serbian family with ties to an alleged war criminal and tried to help one member get a visa to visit the U.S., a newspaper reported Thursday.


Got that? Weldon’s daugther (not Weldon) did PR work for a Serbian Family (not Milosevic or his family). The family she worked for had ties to someone else (not Milosevic and without any evidence Ms Weldon knew about all this when she did the work). Ms Weldon tried to get one family member a Visa to visit the US - though we don’t know the relationship of the member wanting to visit with the member(s) who had ties to some ‘alleged’ war criminal. This is pure, unadulterated rumor mongering mascarading as news. AP should have its press credentials pulled for this crap. More tenous and stretched connections:

A State Department cable shows that Karen Weldon tried to help the wife of Serbian tycoon Bogoljub Karic get a visa to visit Florida, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The department - noting the request came from a congressman’s daughter - opposed the visa and cited Karic’s alleged links to “terrorist activities.”


Clearly Ms Weldon had no information on this connection. Why? Because the work was in 2004 and the news about possible problems came out in 2006:

In March 2003, Karen Weldon’s firm received a $20,000-a.m.onth contract from the Karic family foundation to burnish the Karics’ image and help them establish a “Serbia House” in Washington. The Karics were once referred to as “the Rockefellers of Serbia.”

Bogoljub Karic was charged in February with embezzling Serbian state funds and now is missing. State Department officials said they could not comment on whether Milanka Karic received the visa she sought.


The real question is who in the FBI leaked this information? My guess it is someone who helped close down the Able Danger contacts between SOCOM and the FBI. Someone is definitely trying to get some payback on Weldon. And the only thing he really shook up was the fact that DoD, and possibly DoJ lawyers (Gorelick), were involved in possible illegal destruction of information on terrorists and military secrets being leaked to China. Recall that the Able Danger data purge was in response to connections between Clinton Administration names and China’s access to our military secrets. The Able Danger purge was an incidental victim of a panicked attempt to cover up the find. So I am not surprised there is an FBI leaker to the AP. What I am surprised is the AP is obliging this revenge game so common in DC.