Archive for 9/11

Where’s Waldo?

I know, but I won’t give it away upfront:

What was President Obama doing during the eight hours that the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was under attack? Amazingly, we still do not know 20 months later.

But there is an easy way to find out — just ask the White House diarist.

Just outside the Oval Office is a room called the Outer Oval, where the president’s secretary and personal aide sit and through which all visitors coming to see the president pass. Staff members in the Outer Oval keep track of the president’s location at all times. They carefully record the names of all individuals who walk into the Oval Office — when they entered, how long they stayed, what the topic of discussion was. They keep a record of all calls made and received by the president, including the topic, participants and duration. They even record the president’s bathroom breaks (they write “evacuating” into the log).

This and other data on the presidents’ whereabouts are collected by a career National Archives employee whose title is White House diarist. This individual preserves them as a minute-by-minute historical record of the presidency for future use by presidential scholars.

What this means is that there exists a minute-by-minute record of where the president was and what he was doing for all eight hours of the Benghazi attack.

I can’t say for sure when President Obama went to the bathroom (evacuated), if he goes to the bathroom, but I know what he was doing the night of 9/11/12.

He was preparing for 9/12/12:

1:15 pm || Departs White House
3:00 pm PT || Arrives Las Vegas, Nevada
5:25 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a campaign event; Cashman Center, Las Vegas

Before the bodies of Stevens, Woods, Smith, and Doherty were cold, he was flying off to Vegas. He remembered them, but not before giving out his signature shout-out:

The Cashman Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

6:03 P.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Can everybody please give Adriana a great round of applause for the wonderful introduction? (Applause.)

I also want to say it’s good to see your once and next Congresswoman, Dina Titus. (Applause.) And it is so good to see all of you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.) I do. I wanted to begin –

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. So I wanted to begin tonight by just saying a few words about a tough day that we had today. We lost four Americans last night, who were killed when they were attacked at a diplomatic post in Libya.

I knew he’d get around to them! After Adriana and Dina, of course.

More on that “tough day”:

No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.)

I think he means no “spontaneous protest” against an internet video will shake the resolve of the United States of America. It would be helpful if he could keep his story straight.

Back to the original point:

So how is it that the White House has failed to give a full account of the president’s whereabouts during that eight-hour period? The White House knows precisely where he was and what he was doing, yet it is refusing to share that information with Congress and the American people. This is unacceptable. Imagine if 20 months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the George W. Bush White House had still refused to account for where the president was or what he was doing that day. There would be outrage and constant demands from the press, Congress and other investigators demanding to know the answer to a simple factual question: Where was the president?

The new congressional select committee on Benghazi should subpoena the “President’s Daily Diary” and call the White House diarist to testify before the committee. There is precedent for doing so. In 1998, the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair questioned White House diarist Ellen McCathran. Moreover, the “President’s Daily Diary” is not a classified document. It eventually becomes a publicly available record. There is no reason to withhold it from Congress.

What else might the commander in chief have been doing? There has been speculation that Obama held a campaign debate prep session as the Benghazi attack was unfolding. The White House visitors log shows that three individuals — Michael Donilon, David Ginsberg, and Ron Klain — entered the White House on September 11, 2012 for “debate prep.” The record notes “3 meet with Potus NO TIME LISTED 9/11/12.” The “President’s Daily Diary” will tell us whether the president attended this meeting and what time it took place.

The White House eagerly shared details of the president’s whereabouts during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, even releasing a photo of him monitoring the assault in the Situation Room in real time. So why not share the same details about his whereabouts during Benghazi?

Because it might look too much like this:

I have to back off here. I love putting my feet on the furniture too. I don’t own the Resolution Desk, however.

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What Difference At This Point Does It Make?

A year and a half later, it makes some difference how and why they lied—even if the answers won’t bring back Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty.

Sources on the ground in Benghazi during the 2012 terror attack are pushing back hard on former CIA acting director Mike Morell’s testimony on Capitol Hill, where he defended his role in shaping the administration’s narrative and claimed politics were not involved.

The account has many close to this investigation fuming. One operator watching the hearing told Fox News: “He doesn’t have any idea what happened that night. Why is he speculating? He wouldn’t have to speculate if he talked to the people in Libya that night, or others who were watching.”

Another said Morell either still has no idea what happened that night, or he is covering for someone. “Human intelligence takes precedence over everything else and he had no better intelligence than multiple reports from credible sources coming from the ground that night,” one operator said.

Multiple sources have said they could have responded sooner, while others still feel their requests to respond were ignored, and they haven’t been given a reason why. “People aren’t going to forget, people in our community are dealing with this … on a daily basis and their lives are still at risk,” one contractor said.

But one intelligence expert with close knowledge of the attack questioned those claims. “To pretend he was deferring to analytical judgment is not true,” the source said. “He changed analytical judgment. … Heck, that’s in the Senate Intelligence Report.”

Also in the hearing, Morell deflected questions about why the CIA has yet to conduct its own investigation despite more than one internal complaint filed by CIA employees about the response to the attack that night.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had a testy back and forth on the subject, saying at one point: “There are four dead — murdered — Americans. I would think when the CIA’s own personnel file complaints, the OIG should follow up and do an investigation.”

But they haven’t. What does that tell you?

Four Americans were murdered a year and a half ago, yet all we know for certain about what happened that night (a 9/11 no less) was that the Obama regime lied—on purpose—about what happened. Why?

Me, I think it’s because Obama looked so bad prepping for his Las Vegas fundraising junket on 9/12 that they had to cover up for his greedy callowness (callow greediness). But I respect all opinions. What’s yours?

What difference, at this point, do you think it makes?

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Who Was President in 1993?

Because whoever he or she was, they got some ‘splainin’ to do:

In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.

The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show.

“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.

Mr. Curran gave the testimony in 2010 to an essentially empty courtroom, and thus it escaped notice from the media or terrorism specialists. The Times was recently alerted to the existence of the testimony while working on a broader report about al Qaeda’s origins.

Members of the Sept. 11 commission, congressional intelligence committees and terrorism analysts told The Times they are floored that the information is just now emerging publicly and that it raises questions about what else Americans might not have been told about the origins of al Qaeda and its early interest in attacking the United States.

“I think it raises a lot of questions about why that information didn’t become public and why the 9/11 Commission or the congressional intelligence committees weren’t told about it,” said former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2004 through 2007 when lawmakers dealt with the fallout from the 9/11 Commission’s official report.

“I do not recall the FBI advising us of a direct contact with Osama bin Laden,” Mr. [Lee] Hamilton told The Times in a recent interview.

Like Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Zelikow said he does not recall ever being told by the FBI about the 1993 source and that Mr. Curran’s disclosure appeared to involve “valuable intelligence gathered in 1993 and 1994.”

Okay, we get that the FBI kept mum on bin Laden’s US terrorist aspirations.

But why?

The 9/11 Commission report broadly outlines how, during the early 1990s, bin Laden was seeking to expand al Qaeda globally — an effort that included “building alliances extended into the United States,” and that “the Blind Sheikh, whom Bin Laden admired, was also in the network.”

But the report downplays the notion that bin Laden was actively plotting or seeking to finance any specific attacks inside the United States as far back as 1993 — two pieces of information that, according to Mr. Curran’s testimony and contemporaneous documents, the FBI’s Los Angeles field office corroborated at the time.

It’s one thing to keep the information to yourself at the time: you don’t want to blab to everybody that you have a confidential source placed next to Public Enemy No. 1. But the 9/11 Commission didn’t start its work until ten years later. Wouldn’t bin Laden’s interest in terrorism on US soil (or air) have been relevant to the story?

Whom were they trying to protect? If we could just get to the bottom of who was President of the United States in 1993—who it was who had the future murderer of nearly three thousand Americans in the palm of one hand, and his schlong in the palm of the other—I think we’d be on to something. Any help?

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How’s That “Million Muslim March” Going?

Not so hot:

Only a handful of people have turned out for what some have billed the ‘Million Muslim March’ on the National Mall.

FOX 5’s Paul Wagner took this picture which shows only a few people in attendance.

A motorcycle rally, called the ‘Two Million Bikers’ is being held in D.C., some say, to counter the planned Muslim rally.

Oh yes:

Brad Freitas
@NewsChopperBrad
HEADS UP #dctraffic about 3000 of these guys are headed your way via 210 Indian Head Hwy #breaking #NeverForget

They didn’t get a permit, but that’s not stopping them.

Thousands of motorcyclists from as far away as California gathered at the Harley Davidson dealership in Fort Washington, Md., Wednesday morning and prepared to set out on a memorial ride to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

WNEW’s Karen Adams reports that organizers of the 2 Million Bikers to DC event did not manage to obtain a no-stop permit for the ride, but they say they will roll anyway. First around the Capital Beltway, then in D.C. around some of the monuments.

What did the Muslims, both of them, want to march for anyway?

Organizers at the group American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) didn’t exactly do a lot to engender sympathy for an event held on one of the most emotionally charged days of the year. The group is led by M.D. Rabbi Alam, a professed 9/11 truther who has pushed controversial anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the attacks.

Organizers of the Million Americans Against Fear rally have defended the timing of their event by noting that “Muslim[s] and Non Muslim[s] alike were traumatized” on Sept. 11, 2001. AMPAC has insisted that the march will be about civil rights, indefinite detention and countering inaccurate depictions of Islam and Muslims. It also appears, however, that trutherism will still play a significant role; the DC Area 9/11 Truth Movement and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth Movement are currently listed as partners.

Any response, bikers?

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12th and 1st Anniversaries

Today is 9/11. Stay thoughtful—and look over your shoulder.

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A Republic, If We Can Keep It

When I ever do get around to retiring from running the Grand Duchy of Bloodthirstan, I’ll just hang a sign on the gate: “See Mark Steyn”.

He says it better, earlier, and funnier than I ever could. (But you already knew that.)

[T]he government doesn’t build much of anything these days — except for that vast complex five times the size of the Capitol the NSA is throwing up in Utah to house everybody’s data on everything everyone’s ever done with anyone ever.

A few weeks after 9/11, when government was hastily retooling its 1970s hijacking procedures for the new century, I wrote a column for the National Post of Canada and various other publications that, if you’re so interested, is preserved in my anthology The Face of the Tiger. It began by noting the observation of President Bush’s transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, that if “a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Florida” and “a Muslim young man” were in line to board a flight, he hoped there would be no difference in the scrutiny to which each would be subjected. The TSA was then barely a twinkle in Norm’s eye, and in that long-ago primitive era it would have seemed absurd to people that one day in America it would be entirely routine for wheelchair-bound nonagenarians to remove leg braces before boarding a plane or for kindergartners to stand patiently as three middle-aged latex-gloved officials poke around their genitals. Back then, the idea that everybody is a suspect still seemed slightly crazy. As I wrote in my column, “I’d love to see Norm get his own cop show:

“Captain Mineta, the witness says the serial rapist’s about 5?10? with a thin mustache and a scar down his right cheek.”

“Okay, Sergeant, I want you to pull everyone in.”

“Pardon me?”

“Everyone. Men, women, children. We’ll start in the Bronx and work our way through to Staten Island. What matters here is that we not appear to be looking for people who appear to look like the appearance of the people we’re looking for. There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and I want to hear all of them.”

A decade on, it would be asking too much for the new Norm to be confined to the airport terminal. There are 300 million stories in the Naked Republic, and the NSA hears all of them, 24/7. Even in the wake of a four-figure death toll, with the burial pit still smoking, the formal, visible state could not be honest about the very particular threat it faced, and so in the shadows the unseen state grew remorselessly, the blades of the harvester whirring endlessly but, don’t worry, only for “metadata.” As I wrote in National Review in November 2001, “The bigger you make the government, the more you entrust to it, the more powers you give it to nose around the citizenry’s bank accounts, and phone calls, and e-mails, and favorite Internet porn sites, the more you’ll enfeeble it with the siren song of the soft target. The Mounties will no longer get their man, they’ll get you instead. Frankly, it’s a lot easier.” As the IRS scandal reminds us, you have to have a touchingly naïve view of government to believe that the 99.9999 percent of “metadata” entirely irrelevant to terrorism will not be put to some use, sooner or later.

I discovered Steyn soon after 9/11, when my disillusion with liberalism was but a green shoot. He was Miracle-Gro for my burgeoning conservative transformation.

First of all, who even remembers Norman Mineta—or can tell him apart from Leon Panetta? Did Panetta just slip into to Mineta’s size 9 1/2 Ferragamos when no one was looking? Does it matter?

All -etas look alike!

If you’ve read even one post of mine you know my anger and despair (and most of the other stages of grief) over our flaccid response to terrorism. We can’t name the enemy—can’t even call him an enemy—though he names us and so calls us daily. That “Muslim young man” of whom Mineta (or do I mean…?) is so enamored is statistically unlikely to be any threat—but he is infinitely more threatening than the “a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Florida”. So she gets the body cavity search while he gets a pillow and a magazine. (“The latest issue of Inspire? Why, yes we do.”)

Unless and until Aggie and I take up arms (and that’s not how we roll), our “metadata” is irrelevant to national security. Same goes for Buck, Kimmi, Kerri, Norm, Leon, Ted, and Alice. Worse than irrelevant, such searches and seizures are statistical noise, drowning out whispered plots, discreet nods and winks. Worse than irrelevant and counterproductive, they are carried out without probable cause, therefore definitively unconstitutional.

We have suspended the Constitution so as not to give offense. But offense to whom? That “young Muslim man” would presumably like to take off and land safely just like everyone else. No, the people we fear offending are ourselves, at least those who are easily offended. To spin the old sports cliche, the best defense is to give offense.

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Someone With Heart!

Albeit not his own:

‘They should have been ready before anything ever happened,’ Cheney told MailOnline exclusively during a party in Georgetown celebrating the launch of a new book by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

‘I mean, it’s North Africa – Libya, where they’ve already had major problems,’ Cheney said. ‘You know that al-Qaeda is operating there, and you have some of the other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups there like Ansar al-Sharia and others.’ …

‘When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary,’ he recalled. ‘We always anticipated they were coming for us, especially in that part of the world.’

‘I cannot understand why they weren’t ready to go,’ the former two-term vice president said of the Obama administration.

‘You’ve got units in the Defense Department that are superb. They practice for this contingency. And they didn’t have anybody in the area[.]‘

Cheney is describing the criminal malfeasance that led inevitably to the deaths of Chris Steven and Sean Smith in the first assault. Given the complete misconduct by State Department security, those two were goners from the beginning.

But Doherty and Woods died scrambling to save those under attack. They assumed they would have support from the greatest fighting machine the world has ever known. But you know what happens when you assume: you die in Libya. President Obama was due in Las Vegas the next day for a fundraiser. He stopped taking calls.

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Where’s the Outrage?

As chronicled earlier, Team Obama doesn’t hold civil liberties to be self evident. Show trials for terrorists, Hellfire missiles for Americans, justifying military killings with criminal justice excuses.

Who could be surprised by this?

A defense lawyer at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said Monday that there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the U.S. government is listening to privileged communications between high-value detainees accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and their attorneys.

Cheryl Bormann, who represents Yemeni defendant Walid bin Attash, said devices designed to look like smoke detectors and placed in client meeting rooms were in fact audio monitors.

The issue of eavesdropping arose two weeks ago when the audio feed from the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay was mysteriously cut. To the apparent surprise of the military judge, Army Col. James Pohl, it was revealed that an unnamed government agency, listening for the potential release of classified information, controlled a “kill switch” to the feed provided to the public gallery and media centers.

The agency was not identified, but a prosector said it was the “original classification authority” — almost certainly the CIA in the case of matters concerning defendants in the 9/11 trial. The judge ruled that in the future only he could turn off video or audio from the proceedings.

James Connell III, an attorney for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, told the court Monday that there are two audio feeds from the courtroom: The first to the public is “gated” and filters out general noise. The second, heard by the court reporter and the “original classification authority,” is “ungated” and picks up all sounds in the courtroom.

That raises the possibility that private conversations between the lawyers and their clients could be monitored. The judge said he would allow the defense to listen to three “ungated” recordings to get a sense of what extraneous sounds might be picked up.

Hey, maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Who knows? But another report made it clear the “Executive Branch” was behind the alleged eavesdropping. This is all part of a pattern with this criminal regime: using the justice system to accomplish political goals. They’re bringing the permanent campaign to the courtroom.

Confession: KSM and the other 9/11 plotters can’t die soon enough or often enough for my liking. But don’t kill the protections of the Constitution with them. If you can’t convict these guys under the rules of military trials, replace your lawyers (and that includes Obama and Holder themselves).

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Talk About Torture!

I’m very sorry this man suffered cruelty at the hands of Al Qaeda, but is that supposed to make him some kind of expert?

Last month’s assault and massacre at the In-Amenas gas plant in Algeria by an al Qaeda battalion led by Moktar Belmoktar put into sharp focus the growing threat of Islamist jihadists in north and west Africa. It also brought back vivid memories of my own 130-day kidnap ordeal also at the hands of Belmoktar’s al Qaeda group in Niger and Mali in 2008/09. Here is an extract from my book… A Season in Hell

With some ceremony, a DVD was produced and inserted into the laptop drive and we were maneuvered around to have pride of place in front of the screen. The others pressed around, the younger ones in front. There were three or four pre-pubescent boys among them, their faces rapt with anticipation as their screen-lit faces excitedly tried to watch us and the laptop simultaneously.

Soon we heard a loud pulsing, urgent, musical beat and the screen was filled with a black flag, the lower half of which was covered with white Arabic script and in the upper portion, there was a globe surmounted by an AK-47 assault rifle; the Al Qaeda banner. Using the traditional and mandatory Islamic opening, a voice intoned in Arabic, “In the name of Allah the most merciful…” and the centre of the screen began to fill with images and vignettes of all kinds of horrors: those aircraft slamming into the twin towers. US and allied vehicles being destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices); video cameras slaved to the sights of Dragunov sniper rifles blasting the heads off GIs and then murdering those who came to their assistance; suicide bombers driving explosive-laden trucks through fences and into buildings or crowds immediately followed by massive explosions. Sometimes such scenes would carry sub-titles giving the date and location of the horror. In other instances, there would be clips of the happy, excited suicide bomber explaining his joy at the prospect of martyring himself for such a noble purpose.

There would also be clips of their “Great Emir”, Bin Laden, uttering in his quiet and reasonable sounding voice his latest threats to tear the heart out of the degenerate West. Then some stocky, heavily bearded, white robed and turbaned American, who we were told was Adam Gadahn, a Jewish Californian convert to Islam and Al Qaeda, made his first of many appearances. Gadahn was ridiculing — in English, with Arabic sub-titles — the American President and issuing dire warnings aimed at US audiences of the disasters that would befall America if the USA and her allies did not quit “Muslim lands”.

Okay, that’s pretty bad, I have to admit. Jihadist snuff films, Bin Laden, and that fat f**k Gadahn (“stocky” my a**) is more than any man should have to take.

But there was something even worse than watching thousands of people perish in fireballs or dropping singly to the ground from 100 stories up, bursting like pumpkins on the pavement below, worse even than seeing Daniel Pearl get his throat slit (most likely by Khalid Sheik Mohammed).

Are you sitting down?

[T]he scenes that elicited the strongest emotion were the all-too-familiar images of black-hooded, orange-clad figures, chained hand and foot, shuffling around those tiny cages in Guantanamo. These were indignities perpetrated by my side — the ‘good guys’. Those scenes of German Shepherds, fangs bared, straining to get at broken men cowering in corners and those piles of horrified naked bodies forced into obscene intimacy and, always, the iconic black-hooded figure, mutely perched barefoot on a box in a short black poncho with wires dangling from his outstretched fingers in the disgraceful Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, made me, in the midst of my own mental anguish, feel deep shame.

Again, with all due respect for his ordeal, he should get the [bleep] over himself. The sight of captured enemy combatants growing fat in the Caribbean sun was too much for him? Club Gitmo forfeited our our right to be the “good guys”? I’ll give him Abu Ghraib, but even the worst alleged abuse there was better than the best day in Al Qaeda’s custody. Of course, I wasn’t there—but neither was he!

And he goes on in this vein for some time, believe me. We were worse than Bin Laden, KSM, Zarqawi, Zawahiri, and Alladin combined. What utter nonsense.

His captivity ended four years ago, he has nothing to offer but the grimy details of Al Qaeda-inflicted indignities, he has no insight or perspective on the intelligence assets we held and the information we gained—and he’s Canadian. Who is he to judge America, and why should any American listen to him?

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Blame Us, We Live in Massachusetts

When I heard a Massachusetts town refused to fly the flag yesterday—9/11—I needed a legal pad to make a list of potential suspects.

Good thing I went alphabetically:

A Massachusetts resident is protesting his town’s decision not to fly American flags from utility poles on Sept. 11 this year, part of a policy to recognize the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people with the flags only every five years.

MassLive.com reports that the flags in Amherst were flown last year to mark the 10th anniversary of the attack and will be flown again in 2016.

The board had voted to fly small flags on the light posts downtown on only six holidays every year. Resident Larry Kelley thinks 9/11 should become the seventh.

Tony Maroulis, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, supports Kelley’s suggestion.

“I understand how polarizing the flag can be in this community. Some might look at the flags as a brazen symbol of might and oppression,” Maroulis said. “Others look at it as a source of pride in who we are, and what we can be. Whatever the complicated or simplistic responses to the flags, flying them on 9/11 would allow us to reflect and meditate upon them.”

Who looks at the flag as “a brazen symbol of might and oppression”? It’s a symbol of the country—is that how these loonies see their country? (Clearly.) And does the country magically become less brazen when years end in one or six? Why should anyone, much less town officials, listen to such hateful crackpottery?

I’m sure there are Americans who would love to hang a swastika from the civic flag pole on 9/11. Why not let ‘em? At least in years that end two and seven?

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9/11

I don’t have anything planned, but I plan to remember.

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Clinton Diddled While Drones Purred

Or something like that:

On December 20, 1998, an internal CIA memo was sent by a field agent about a missed opportunity to “hit” Osama bin Laden while he was reportedly visiting a mosque near Kandahar, Afghanistan. “I said hit him tonight; we may not get another chance,” CIA agent Gary Schoen wrote. “We may well come to regret the decision not to go ahead.”

The memo was sent to to Michael Scheuer, then head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden “station,” and is one of more than 100 documents declassified and published by the National Security Archive this week. Although some have been previously cited or quoted in the Report of the 9/11 Commission, the raw documents themselves illustrate the frustrations and missteps in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and alarm among some at the CIA about al Qaeda’s growing sophistication and its plans for attacking U.S. interests.

Scheuer replies to Schoen the following day. “This is the third time you and your officers have put UBL in this government’s sights and they have balked each time at doing the job. … They spent a good deal of time yesterday worrying that some stray shapnel might hit the Habash mosque and ‘offend’ Muslims.”

Another memo from Scheuer, in May 1999, complained: “For the past forty months the CIA, and especially the do (Directorate of Operations) has been in this endeavor virtually alone. … until the african bombings [of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998] the u.s. military did not believe that ubl was a problem.”

“Having a chance to get ubl three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry,” he writes.

The report also details the use of Predator drones to search for bin Laden, with the first mission on September 7, 2000. But there were concerns that the drones were vulnerable to detection and the U.S. Air Force “notified the CIA it would have to pay for lost aircraft.” Twice in the fall of 2000, a Predator “observed an individual most likely to bin Ladin; however we had no way at the time to react to this information.”

Oh, for [bleep's] sake. I realize 9/11 didn’t happen until 2001, but those in the know knew exactly how bad this mother[bleeping] [bleep]sucker was. Where was the direction from the top of the government to nail this bastard?

Oh yeah, he was nailing someone else at the time.

PS: Same as it ever was:

And in a passage with echoes today, there is a complaint about leaks compromising the Agency’s ability to implement what became known as “the Plan” to get bin Laden. “Persistent publicity and leaks of information about our methods in the United States and abroad caused the terrorists to [redacted] emphasize their compartmentation.”

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