• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

I have a serious question for those in the know.

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
I have a serious question for those in the know. I haven't posted here for some time but thought I would give it a try to see what kind of intelligent responses I might get. I've puzzled over this issue for a long time and have never been satisfied with the various explanations.
===================================

Can someone actually provide me with a link or known proven facts that Atta was not in Prague when he was alleged to be. The reason I ask this question is because Frank Rich, the well known columnist from the NYT was on the Don Imus show recently and said it was established fact that he was not. I can't contact him directly to ask him how he knows this, so I am throwing this out here for anyone who actually may know, or is certain beyond any doubt that he wasn't.

I realize that the 9/11 Commission Report has said there is no evidence he was there and that credit card receipts, phone records, etc, don't support this allegation. However, to my best recollection, there is no actual proof that I am aware of that says definitively he wasn't there. Some believe he was there; most believe he wasn't or couldn't have been there. But I've seen no final proof, one way or another.

The reason I regard this as so important is because of all of the hub-bub about the WMD controversey. Putting that aside right now, it is my contention that if Atta actually met with an Iraqi intelligence agency, the WMD matter (which has been discussed and argued ad nauseum) would be far less important or almost irrelevant because that would tie Saddam directly to Al Queda (or more specifically to 9/11) . Such a connection would, in my judgment, be sufficient to remove him from power.

Rich is an important columnist. A serious thinker. I suppose I can write him a letter as there is no provision in the NYT web site to send him an e-mail. Can anyone shed some light on this subject with facts; not opinions? I really want to know.
 

Stace

Boobie Jubilee
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
7,255
Reaction score
364
Location
Clarksville, TN
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Sorry, but all I can seem to find is speculation and hearsay. Nothing concrete. :(
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Missouri Mule said:
I have a serious question for those in the know. I haven't posted here for some time but thought I would give it a try to see what kind of intelligent responses I might get. I've puzzled over this issue for a long time and have never been satisfied with the various explanations.
===================================

Can someone actually provide me with a link or known proven facts that Atta was not in Prague when he was alleged to be. The reason I ask this question is because Frank Rich, the well known columnist from the NYT was on the Don Imus show recently and said it was established fact that he was not. I can't contact him directly to ask him how he knows this, so I am throwing this out here for anyone who actually may know, or is certain beyond any doubt that he wasn't.

I realize that the 9/11 Commission Report has said there is no evidence he was there and that credit card receipts, phone records, etc, don't support this allegation. However, to my best recollection, there is no actual proof that I am aware of that says definitively he wasn't there. Some believe he was there; most believe he wasn't or couldn't have been there. But I've seen no final proof, one way or another.

The reason I regard this as so important is because of all of the hub-bub about the WMD controversey. Putting that aside right now, it is my contention that if Atta actually met with an Iraqi intelligence agency, the WMD matter (which has been discussed and argued ad nauseum) would be far less important or almost irrelevant because that would tie Saddam directly to Al Queda (or more specifically to 9/11) . Such a connection would, in my judgment, be sufficient to remove him from power.

Rich is an important columnist. A serious thinker. I suppose I can write him a letter as there is no provision in the NYT web site to send him an e-mail. Can anyone shed some light on this subject with facts; not opinions? I really want to know.
Missouri, I am a huge Frank Rich fan. And there is a way to e-mail him. Here's the link, although you can access it only if you get the NYT delivered or you paid to be part of "select NYT." http://select.nytimes.com/membercenter/ts_frankrichform.html

From what I can recall, I believe that they found receipts during that time that showed Atta was in the United States. Remember that Cheney said on Meet the Press that it had been shown that Atta met with Iraqis in Prague. He used some wording that established that it was definititive. However, when a different reporter read back his exact words, Cheney said that he never said that (yet he had been on TV saying that). In other words, even Cheney acknowledged that it could not be definitively established that Atta met with Iraqis in Prauge. Frankly, I think that if the probability was greater a decent amount, Cheney would have harped on that fact. He did not.

Regardless, I would send Frank Rich an e-mail.
 

cnredd

Major General Big Lug
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
8,682
Reaction score
262
Location
Philadelphia,PA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
aps said:
Missouri, I am a huge Frank Rich fan. And there is a way to e-mail him. Here's the link, although you can access it only if you get the NYT delivered or you paid to be part of "select NYT." http://select.nytimes.com/membercenter/ts_frankrichform.html

From what I can recall, I believe that they found receipts during that time that showed Atta was in the United States. Remember that Cheney said on Meet the Press that it had been shown that Atta met with Iraqis in Prague. He used some wording that established that it was definititive. However, when a different reporter read back his exact words, Cheney said that he never said that (yet he had been on TV saying that). In other words, even Cheney acknowledged that it could not be definitively established that Atta met with Iraqis in Prauge. Frankly, I think that if the probability was greater a decent amount, Cheney would have harped on that fact. He did not.

Regardless, I would send Frank Rich an e-mail.
The way I heard it...The proof was that Atta's cell phone was used during the time that ATTA was "supposedly" in Czechsville...As if no other soul could've used it while he was across the pond...:roll:

That's pretty weak, IMO...But then again...I'm only going by what I've heard, which was a while ago...I don't remember any new info coming about...
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
cnredd said:
The way I heard it...The proof was that Atta's cell phone was used during the time that ATTA was "supposedly" in Czechsville...As if no other soul could've used it while he was across the pond...:roll:

That's pretty weak, IMO...But then again...I'm only going by what I've heard, which was a while ago...I don't remember any new info coming about...
Allright there, tough guy. I did a search on google of "Atta Prague" and this website showed up. I am not sure how credible it is, but it does jive with what I have heard. So there was more than just the use of his cell phone.

What evidence does the U.S. government have that Mohammed Atta was in the United States on April 8, 2001?

The US governement has no record of Mohammed Atta leaving and re-entering the US in April 2001. They also were unable to locate a plane ticket that would have been used Mr. Atta to fly between the US and the Czech Republic. Finally, the U.S. Government has tracked Mr. Atta's movements before 9/11 via phone records, cellphone bills, and credit card receipts as part of the investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

http://www.computerbytesman.com/911/praguefaq.htm

I love it when I'm right. ;)

cnredd, I see your got your name changed to red (and that other moderators got new colors for their names). Did you specifically ask for red?
 

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
22,807
Reaction score
8,096
Location
Fayettenam
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
IIRC, his whereabouts are accounted for on the days on both sides of the date in question & the Czechs retracted their previous assertion that he was there.

IIRC, the 9-11 report has a good starting point including footnotes for further reading.

FWIW, even Cheney backed off of this one.
 

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
22,807
Reaction score
8,096
Location
Fayettenam
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Here's a place to start your search:
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch7.htm
Atta's Alleged Trip to Prague
Mohamed Atta is known to have been in Prague on two occasions: in December 1994, when he stayed one night at a transit hotel, and in June 2000, when he was en route to the United States. On the latter occasion, he arrived by bus from Germany, on June 2, and departed for Newark the following day.69

The allegation that Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in April 2001 originates from the reporting of a single source of the Czech intelligence service. Shortly after 9/11, the source reported having seen Atta meet with Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani, an Iraqi diplomat, at the Iraqi Embassy in Prague on April 9, 2001, at 11:00 A.M. This information was passed to CIA headquarters.

The U.S. legal attaché ("Legat") in Prague, the representative of the FBI, met with the Czech service's source. After the meeting, the assessment of the Legat and the Czech officers present was that they were 70 percent sure that the source was sincere and believed his own story of the meeting. Subsequently, the Czech intelligence service publicly stated that there was a 70 percent probability that the meeting between Atta and Ani had taken place. The Czech Interior Minister also made several statements to the press about his belief that the meeting had occurred, and the story was widely reported.

The FBI has gathered evidence indicating that Atta was in Virginia Beach on April 4 (as evidenced by a bank surveillance camera photo), and in Coral Springs, Florida on April 11, where he and Shehhi leased an apartment. On April 6, 9, 10, and 11, Atta's cellular telephone was used numerous times to call various lodging establishments in Florida from cell sites within Florida. We cannot confirm that he placed those calls. But there are no U.S. records indicating that Atta departed the country during this period. Czech officials have reviewed their flight and border records as well for any indication that Atta was in the Czech Republic in April 2001, including records of anyone crossing the border who even looked Arab. They have also reviewed pictures from the area near the Iraqi embassy and have not discovered photos of anyone who looked like Atta. No evidence has been found that Atta was in the Czech Republic in April 2001.

According to the Czech government, Ani, the Iraqi officer alleged to have met with Atta, was about 70 miles away from Prague on April 8-9 and did not return until the afternoon of the ninth, while the source was firm that the sighting occurred at 11:00 A.M. When questioned about the reported April 2001 meeting, Ani-now in custody-has denied ever meeting or having any contact with Atta.Ani says that shortly after 9/11, he became concerned that press stories about the alleged meeting might hurt his career. Hoping to clear his name, Ani asked his superiors to approach the Czech government about refuting the allegation. He also denies knowing of any other Iraqi official having contact with Atta.

These findings cannot absolutely rule out the possibility that Atta was in Prague on April 9, 2001. He could have used an alias to travel and a passport under that alias, but this would be an exception to his practice of using his true name while traveling (as he did in January and would in July when he took his next overseas trip). The FBI and CIA have uncovered no evidence that Atta held any fraudulent passports.

KSM and Binalshibh both deny that an Atta-Ani meeting occurred. There was no reason for such a meeting, especially considering the risk it would pose to the operation. By April 2001, all four pilots had completed most of their training, and the muscle hijackers were about to begin entering the United States.

The available evidence does not support the original Czech report of an Atta-Ani meeting.70
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Notes.htm
69. Reports that Atta was in the Prague airport on May 30-31, 2000, and that he was turned back because he lacked a visa appear to be a case of mistaken identity: a Pakistani traveler with a name similar to Atta's attempted to enter the Czech Republic from Saudi Arabia via Germany but was forced to return to Germany because he lacked a valid Czech visa. CIA cable, report re traveler to Prague, Dec. 8, 2001.


70. For Czech source reporting and credibility assessment, see CIA briefing (Jan. 28, 2004); Eliska T. interview (May 20, 2004). For the information being reported to CIA, see CIA briefing (Jan. 28, 2004). For the leak and the ministers' statements, see CIA briefing (Jan. 28, 2004); Shirley interview (Apr. 29, 2004). On April 4, 2001, Atta cashed an $8,000 check at a bank in Virginia Beach; he appears on a bank surveillance tape. For FBI evidence of Atta being in Virginia Beach, see FBI report,"Hijackers Timeline," Dec. 5, 2003 (Apr. 4, 2001, entry citing 265A-NY-280350-302-615, 688, 896, 898). For FBI evidence of Atta being in Coral Springs, see ibid. (Apr. 11, 2001, entries citing 265A-NY-280350-302, serial 381; 265A-NY-280350-MM, serials 3817, 5214). For Czech government finding no evidence of Atta's presence and having evidence that Ani was not in Prague, see CIA briefing (Jan. 28, 2004). Aside from scrutinizing various official records, the Czech government also reviewed surveillance photos taken outside the Iraqi embassy. CIA briefing (Jan. 28, 2004); Shirley interview (Apr. 29, 2004). None of the people photographed that day resembled Atta, although the surveillance only operated from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. CIA cable, review of surveillance photos, Feb. 27, 2002. For Ani's denials of any meetings and request to superiors, see CIA briefing (Jan. 28, 2004); Intelligence report, interrogation of Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani, Oct. 1, 2003. For KSM's denial of the meeting, see Shirley interview (Apr. 29, 2004). Binalshibh has stated that Atta and he were so close that Atta probably would have told him of a meeting with an Iraqi official. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Oct. 2, 2002. Binalshibh also stated that Bin Ladin was upset with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for committing atrocities against Iraqi Muslims, and that Bin Ladin would never have approved such a meeting. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Oct. 4, 2002. For Atta not using an alias during his July 2001 trip, see FBI memo, Penttbom investigation, Jan. 14, 2002.
 
Last edited:

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
22,807
Reaction score
8,096
Location
Fayettenam
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
So while it can't be posilutely ruled out, there's a dearth of evidence for it.
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Simon,

Excellent. Thanks very much. Special thanks for recognizing with your emphasis added that the conclusions of the 9/11 commish remain a bit uncertain - even if only modestly.
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Simon W. Moon said:
So while it can't be posilutely ruled out, there's a dearth of evidence for it.
Thanks. I concur with all these findings. Now let's look at some more issues before we conclude he wasn't there. And I would ask one further question. We can all doubtless agree that Al Queda was meticulous in its planning. Is it not logical to believe that Atta wanted us to believe he was in the United States even though he was traveling outside and especially if Iraq and Saddam were working on consort with him? See what you think.
-----------------------------------------
This is the serious discussion I was looking for as this had been beat to death on another forum as an argument. I don't wish to argue about this. That is not my purpose and I'm not carrying Bush's water on this matter. As I stated I listened carefully to Rich's discussion about Iraq and then he made this categorical statement and I wondered how he could be so certain. I hadn't given it a whole lot of thought recently although I have a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report which says there is no evidence that he was there. However, we do have certain facts that have yet to be explained. I throw them out for your consideration.

1) Atta was known to be in Prague at certain times. This is not in question. He also studied in Hamburg and if memory serves me correctly received a master's degree there as well.

2) The Iraqi agent Al-Ani was known to be in Prague although his statement doesn't square with the facts according the Czech intelligence. Currently he is in CIA custody in Baghdad but isn't talking. Why?

3) Al-Ani's own diary states that he met with a "Hamburg Student" on April 8 (the date in question.) Who was that person?

"Czech intelligence found Al-Ani's appointment calendar in Iraq's Prague embassy, presumably after Saddam Hussein's defeat. Al-Ani's diary lists an April 8, 2001, meeting with "Hamburg student."

"According to his May 26, 2000 Czech visa application — submitted in Bonn, Germany — Atta called himself a "Hamburg student." He had studied urban planning for seven years at Hamburg-Harburg Technical University and launched an Islamic club there in 1999."

http://www.nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock200406030932.asp

http://www.computerbytesman.com/911/praguefaq.htm

Here are some photos in question. One is of Al-Ani and the other is alleged by some to be Atta. Certainly Al-Ani could tell us who this person is but again, he isn't talking. Why?

http://www.thexreport.com/alani2.jpg

http://www.thexreport.com/alani14.jpg

I want to stress again that I am not arguing one way or another. I'm just looking to understand this mystery. So far as I know, no one has ever presented any absolute proof that Atta did not meet with Al-Ani. This is highly critical because this would establish a virtual link to Saddam and 9/11.

Here is another discussion. Epstein recently wrote an analysis of this situation in the November 22, 2005 issue of the WSJ issue which has piqued my interest.

http://edwardjayepstein.com/2002question/prague.htm

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007584
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
aps said:
Missouri, I am a huge Frank Rich fan. And there is a way to e-mail him. Here's the link, although you can access it only if you get the NYT delivered or you paid to be part of "select NYT." http://select.nytimes.com/membercenter/ts_frankrichform.html

From what I can recall, I believe that they found receipts during that time that showed Atta was in the United States. Remember that Cheney said on Meet the Press that it had been shown that Atta met with Iraqis in Prague. He used some wording that established that it was definititive. However, when a different reporter read back his exact words, Cheney said that he never said that (yet he had been on TV saying that). In other words, even Cheney acknowledged that it could not be definitively established that Atta met with Iraqis in Prauge. Frankly, I think that if the probability was greater a decent amount, Cheney would have harped on that fact. He did not.

Regardless, I would send Frank Rich an e-mail.
For what it is worth, I don't put any credence into what Cheney or any "neo-cons" have to say about the subject. This is strictly to satisfy my curiosity.

I am thinking of writing Rich a personal letter as he often appears on Imus and I would like for him to state how he knows for a fact that Atta wasn't there.
 

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
22,807
Reaction score
8,096
Location
Fayettenam
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Missouri Mule said:
Now let's look at some more issues before we conclude he wasn't there.
How much of this do you suppose is unknown to the FBI and the CIA? I mean, if you sent them this, would these things be news to them? Or do you suppose that these things appearing in the public purview have already been weighed and considered?


I can't conclusively prove that Bigfoot wasn't at my house while I was gone to the store yesterday. I mean, he may be really crafty at covering his tracks. Further, if you think about it, he has very good reason for covering hios tracks.
However, there is a glaring lack of evidence that Bigfoot was at my house while I was at the store.
 

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
22,807
Reaction score
8,096
Location
Fayettenam
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Missouri Mule said:
I am thinking of writing Rich a personal letter as he often appears on Imus and I would like for him to state how he knows for a fact that Atta wasn't there.
I don't think that it can be known as a fact in the regular sense any more than one can know that ghosts don't exist, that Santa doesn't exist, or that extraterrestrials are not kidnapping earthlings. all one can do is wait for sufficient evidence to make the case that these things did/do exist/occur.
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Simon W. Moon said:
How much of this do you suppose is unknown to the FBI and the CIA? I mean, if you sent them this, would these things be news to them? Or do you suppose that these things appearing in the public purview have already been weighed and considered?

I can't conclusively prove that Bigfoot wasn't at my house while I was gone to the store yesterday. I mean, he may be really crafty at covering his tracks. Further, if you think about it, he has very good reason for covering hios tracks.

However, there is a glaring lack of evidence that Bigfoot was at my house while I was at the store.
I have absolutely no idea except speculation about what the CIA or FBI knows or is telling. For reasons that I can't fathom, why hasn't anyone asked the very relevant question of who was the "Hamburg Student" that appears in Al-Ani's diary? Was he lying to his own diary as did Bob Packwood that got him thrown out of the Senate?

Frankly, I can't understand why an enterprising reporter hasn't asked this at one of the many briefings in Washington, D.C. except that he or she might be branded some kind of kook. It seems like so much herd mentality to me, but that's just me.
 

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
22,807
Reaction score
8,096
Location
Fayettenam
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Missouri Mule said:
... why hasn't anyone asked the very relevant question of who was the "Hamburg Student" that appears in Al-Ani's diary?
What makes you think it hasn't been asked?

Missouri Mule said:
Frankly, I can't understand why an enterprising reporter hasn't asked this at one of the many briefings in Washington, D.C. ...
Of whom would you like it to be asked?
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Simon W. Moon said:
What makes you think it hasn't been asked?

Of whom would you like it to be asked?
I've never heard it asked and I should think anyone in the administration who can speak for it would be suitable.
 

Binary_Digit

DP Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
4,145
Reaction score
1,637
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
At this point the administration would like nothing more than to implicate Iraq with 9/11. If they could do that, I think Bush's approval ratings would be back to normal in about 2 weeks. The fact that Cheney didn't take the opportunity to defend this idea indicates to me that he's not sure whether it's credible.

But the leaked Feith Memo suggests that Atta made as many as four trips to Prague between Oct. 1999 and Apr. 2001 (two of which the CIA and FBI are skeptical):

"And then there is the alleged contact between lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague. The reporting on those links suggests not one meeting, but as many as four. What's more, the memo reveals potential financing of Atta's activities by Iraqi intelligence.

The Czech counterintelligence service reported that the Sept. 11 hijacker [Mohamed] Atta met with the former Iraqi intelligence chief in Prague, [Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir] al Ani, on several occasions. During one of these meetings, al Ani ordered the IIS finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office.

And the commentary:

CIA can confirm two Atta visits to Prague--in Dec. 1994 and in June 2000; data surrounding the other two--on 26 Oct 1999 and 9 April 2001--is complicated and sometimes contradictory and CIA and FBI cannot confirm Atta met with the IIS. Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross continues to stand by his information."


http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=3378&R=798D1B52B

Again I'm left wondering why Cheney didn't defend the report he himself said was "pretty much confirmed." I'm with Missouri Mule, in that this meeting (or meetings) is/are very significant.
 
Last edited:

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Binary_Digit said:
At this point the administration would like nothing more than to implicate Iraq with 9/11. If they could do that, I think Bush's approval ratings would be back to normal in about 2 weeks. The fact that Cheney didn't take the opportunity to defend this idea indicates to me that he's not sure whether it's credible.

But the leaked Feith Memo suggests that Atta made as many as four trips to Prague between Oct. 1999 and Apr. 2001 (two of which the CIA and FBI are skeptical):

"And then there is the alleged contact between lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague. The reporting on those links suggests not one meeting, but as many as four. What's more, the memo reveals potential financing of Atta's activities by Iraqi intelligence.

The Czech counterintelligence service reported that the Sept. 11 hijacker [Mohamed] Atta met with the former Iraqi intelligence chief in Prague, [Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir] al Ani, on several occasions. During one of these meetings, al Ani ordered the IIS finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office.

And the commentary:

CIA can confirm two Atta visits to Prague--in Dec. 1994 and in June 2000; data surrounding the other two--on 26 Oct 1999 and 9 April 2001--is complicated and sometimes contradictory and CIA and FBI cannot confirm Atta met with the IIS. Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross continues to stand by his information."


http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=3378&R=798D1B52B

Again I'm left wondering why Cheney didn't defend the report he himself said was "pretty much confirmed." I'm with Missouri Mule, in that this meeting (or meetings) is/are very significant.
I'm responding to this subject in other forums and I want to comment further tomorrow after I get some beauty rest. There are some interesting quotes in the 9/11 Commission Report that I want to emphasize. It isn't exactly what it seems. The media/press has been asleep at the wheel for a long time on this subject.
 

Binary_Digit

DP Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
4,145
Reaction score
1,637
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Sounds juicy, I'll be sure to check back!
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Binary_Digit said:
Sounds juicy, I'll be sure to check back!
Here you go. Now read very carefully what al-Ani has to say. Here is what was written and then I'll give my take.

I'm rather surprised this hasn't come up before. In any event I have just finished reading the 9/11 Commission Report about seven times regarding the Atta/Prague matter. I won't regurgitate at this time the Atta business but what I found profoundly interesting was the part about Al-Ani. It is found on pages 228 and 229 of the report. And I quote:

"According to the Czech government, Ani, the Iraqi officer alleged to have met with Atta was about 70 miles away from Prague on April 8-9 and did not return until the afternoon of the ninth, while the source was firm that the sighting occurred at 11:00 A.M. When questioned about the reported April 2001 meeting, Ani -- now in custody -- has denied ever meeting or having any contact with Atta. Ani says that shortly after 9/11, he became concerned that press stories about the alleged meeting might hurt his career. (Oh boo-hoo-hoo; his "career" my foot.) Hoping to clear his name, Ani asked his superiors to approach the Czech government about refuting the allegation. He also denies knowing any other Iraqi official having contact with Atta."

Here we have the chief spymaster of Saddam in Iraq knowing full well that the Czech intelligence services would be all over him like stink on dung. He gets seen with Atta or some other operative and he is worried about "his career." I was born, but not yesterday. He was worried about being fed into one of those giant paper shredders that Saddam had available to make people dissappear when they displeased him. Saddam was undoubtedly furious that Al-Ani was so careless to have been seen with Atta. With all of this cloak and dagger stuff going on and to cover the tracks Al-Ani blew his own cover and that of Atta (possibly) by being seen with him. And his statement that he never met with Atta and that he knows that no other Iraqi agent had never met with him is just self-serving. In short, he is trying to save his butt.

What surprised me about the report in the Commission Report is that this part is rather sloppily written. It doesn't begin to question assumptions and statements. It is as though they had a timeframe to meet and rather than doing a complete job they rushed this to print.

Who did he deny this to?

Did any of the 9/11 Commission ever bother to personally talk to him? It doesn't say. (If I were running the commission I would at a minimum brought him into the hearing behind closed doors and questioned him extensively about this matter.)

It stands to reason this possible connection to Saddam would be one of the most critical pieces of the investigation yet it was glossed over. That Saddam and Al Queda had "connections" is an established fact. Former CIA director James Woolsey has been so direct about this matter it can't be seriously disputed. And if anyone would be in a position to know, it would certainly be him. And the head of Czech intelligence is equally adamant about Al-Ani's whereabouts that date. And finally we have Al-Ani's own diary where he writes that he met with the "Hamburg student" that date. Was he lying to his own diary?

Al-Ani was doing a CYA and the 9/11 Official Omission Report let's him slide right on by. It doesn't pass the smell test or any other test of reasonableness.
 
Last edited:

Binary_Digit

DP Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
4,145
Reaction score
1,637
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
That's very interesting. I probably don't trust this guy much more than you do, but assume for a moment he's telling the truth and never actually met with Atta. If the Czeck government starts reporting "untrue" stories about you, and those reports implicate you and your country with the worst attacks in U.S. history, would you not also want to clear your country's name? Whether the Czeck reports were true or not, he probably was concerned about his career, or being fed into a plastic shredder. But his wanting to "set the record straight" doesn't seem like solid proof to me, because innocence also has a compelling motive to challenge the allegations. I'm not saying he never met with Atta, only that his concern over the Czeck reports would make sense whether they were true or not.

Cheney said the 9/11 Commission authors didn't talk to any origional sources concerning the Atta/Prague matter, they only talked to people who interrogated them.
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Binary_Digit said:
That's very interesting. I probably don't trust this guy much more than you do, but assume for a moment he's telling the truth and never actually met with Atta. If the Czeck government starts reporting "untrue" stories about you, and those reports implicate you and your country with the worst attacks in U.S. history, would you not also want to clear your country's name? Whether the Czeck reports were true or not, he probably was concerned about his career, or being fed into a plastic shredder. But his wanting to "set the record straight" doesn't seem like solid proof to me, because innocence also has a compelling motive to challenge the allegations. I'm not saying he never met with Atta, only that his concern over the Czeck reports would make sense whether they were true or not.

Cheney said the 9/11 Commission authors didn't talk to any origional sources concerning the Atta/Prague matter, they only talked to people who interrogated them.
But the Czech government never leaked the information. Their intelligence service was furious because this was raw intelligence at the time. It was leaked by someone in our government or CIA. That is why the Czechs have not wanted to pursue the matter further because this had become such a political hot potato and wanted nothing to do further with it. But they have NEVER backed away from the story.

It was because Al-Ani and the "Hamburg Student" had shaken the Czech tail that the Czechs felt compelled to boot Al-Ani from the country before the plot to blow up RFE was implemented. Al-Ani was kicked out of the Czech Republic on April 19, 2001 with a minimum of notice -- 48 hours; reserved for known spies.

I take seriously that Ruzek said Al-Ani was spouting "pure nonsense" about his whereabouts and also that Al-Ani talked to a "Hamburg Student" in his own diary. And then there is the very possible anthrax connection that has never been solved. That's another deal that Atta and one of the other 9/11 bombers figure in down in Florida that has strong actual and circumstantial evidence to support their connection to the yet unsolved anthrax attacks coming shortly after 9/11.
 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Missouri Mule said:
Can someone actually provide me with a link or known proven facts that Atta was not in Prague when he was alleged to be. The reason I ask this question is because Frank Rich, the well known columnist from the NYT was on the Don Imus show recently and said it was established fact that he was not. I can't contact him directly to ask him how he knows this, so I am throwing this out here for anyone who actually may know, or is certain beyond any doubt that he wasn't.
It's inconclusive. The Czech gov. still maintains it. Our intelligence says they have proof he could not have been there but their evidence is inconclusive (ATM card reciepts and cell phone calls; it is perfectly reasonable to consider he may have given his phone and ATM card to an associate while he traveled out of the country).

The reason I regard this as so important is because of all of the hub-bub about the WMD controversey. Putting that aside right now, it is my contention that if Atta actually met with an Iraqi intelligence agency, the WMD matter (which has been discussed and argued ad nauseum) would be far less important or almost irrelevant because that would tie Saddam directly to Al Queda (or more specifically to 9/11) . Such a connection would, in my judgment, be sufficient to remove him from power.
Well there is plently of other evidence of that, you don't need to rely on the Atta/Czech connection.
 

Missouri Mule

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
48
Location
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Stinger said:
It's inconclusive. The Czech gov. still maintains it. Our intelligence says they have proof he could not have been there but their evidence is inconclusive (ATM card reciepts and cell phone calls; it is perfectly reasonable to consider he may have given his phone and ATM card to an associate while he traveled out of the country).

Well there is plently of other evidence of that, you don't need to rely on the Atta/Czech connection.
It is important to try to connect Saddam to 9/11. That is why I posed the question.
 
Top Bottom