Atta Details Omitted From Sept. 11 Report
BINGO!! First the 9/11 Commission deny they were ever told about this,
then they say they were told but Atta's name was never mentioned, now
they admit that they knew about this but "decided" to omit the
information from the final report. Unbelievable!! WHO decided to leave
it out??? The same Jamie Gorelick who created "THE WALL" which
prevented intelligence agencies from sharing information??? Sounds like
the fox guarding the henhouse to me. And note that officials are now
combing THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES -- for any notes of those meetings.
Earth to the 9/11 Commission -- CHECK SANDY BERGER'S PANTS AND SOCKS!!!
-- because that's most likely where those documents are. We now
understand what Sandy Berger was so eager to find and to destroy (and we
do know he destroyed documents "accidentally").
And if that isn't enough to blow the top of your head off this morning
just read the part about "not overreacting to this news"!! I'm sorry --
when I discover that the commission empaneled to look into failures in
intelligence itself becomes complicit in a coverup of government
malfeasance I'm going to get just a little bit worked up. The committee
looks like it was set up deliberately to cover up any wrongdoing by the
Clinton administration -- and if this information was passed on to the
Bush administration then they also bear some responsibility. Perhaps
they are both covering up. Whatever the case -- this is big and needs
to get bigger. This matter cannot simply be dropped. No wonder I
called it the Omish-Commish at the time -- since it omitted so much
The Sept. 11 commission knew military intelligence officials
had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida who
might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the
terror attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a
spokesman acknowledged Thursday.
Al Felzenberg, spokesman for the commission's follow-up project called
the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, had said earlier this week that the
panel was unaware of intelligence specifically naming Atta. But he said
subsequent information provided Wednesday confirmed that the commission
had been aware of the intelligence.
The information did not make it into the final report because it was not
consistent with what the commission knew about Atta's whereabouts before
the attacks, Felzenberg said.
The intelligence about Atta recently was disclosed by Rep. Curt Weldon,
vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security
committees. The Pennsylvania Republican has expressed anger that the
intelligence never was forwarded by the military establishment to the
The discourse project, Pentagon and at least two congressional
committees are looking into the issue. If found accurate, the
intelligence would change the timeline for when government officials
first became aware of Atta's links to al-Qaida.
According to Weldon, a classified military intelligence unit called
''Able Danger'' identified Atta and three other hijackers in 1999 as
potential members of a terrorist cell in New York City. Weldon said
Pentagon lawyers rejected the unit's recommendation that the information
be turned over to the FBI in 2000.
According to Pentagon documents, the information was not shared because
of concerns about pursuing information on ''U.S. persons,'' a legal term
that includes U.S. citizens as well as foreigners legally admitted to
Felzenberg said an unidentified person working with Weldon came forward
Wednesday and described a meeting 10 days before the panel's report was
issued last July. During it, a military official urged commission
staffers to include a reference to the intelligence on Atta in the final
Felzenberg said checks were made and the details of the July 12, 2004,
meeting were confirmed. Previous to that, Felzenberg said it was
believed commission staffers knew about Able Danger from a meeting with
military officials in Afghanistan during which no mention was made of
Atta or the other three hijackers.
Staff members now are searching documents in the National Archives to
look for notes from the meeting in Afghanistan and any other possible
references to Atta and Able Danger, Felzenberg said.
Felzenberg sought to minimize the significance of the new information.
''Even if it were valid, it would've joined the lists of dozens of other
instances where information was not shared,'' Felzenberg said. ''There
was a major problem with intelligence sharing.''
Weldon on Wednesday wrote to Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11
commission, and Lee Hamilton, the vice chairman, asking for information
to be sought that would look at why the information was not passed on by
Pentagon lawyers to the FBI.
His letter also asks the commissioners to find out why the panel's staff
members did not pass the information about Able Danger onto commission
members and provide full documentation.
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the
Senate Intelligence Committee, and his House counterpart, Michigan Rep.
Peter Hoekstra, are looking into the issue.