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“Where Clinton said, ‘Go slow,’ Bush policymakers said, ‘No go.’


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(Historycommons)

TELLS US DEAR MR. CHERTOFF WHY ARE YOU HELPING THIS TERROR MAN ??

Spring 1999: New Jersey HMO Is Possibly Funding Al-Qaeda

Randy Glass is a con artist turned government informant participating in a sting called Operation Diamondback. [Palm Beach Post, 9/29/2001] He discusses an illegal weapons deal with an Egyptian-American named Mohamed el Amir. In wiretapped conversations, Mohamed discusses the need to get false papers to disguise a shipment of illegal weapons. His brother, Dr. Magdy el Amir, has been a wealthy neurologist in Jersey City for the past twenty years. Two other weapons dealers later convicted in a sting operation involving Glass also lived in Jersey City, and both el Amirs admit knowing one of them, Diaa Mohsen. Mohsen has been paid at least once by Dr. el Amir. In 1998, Congressman Ben Gilman was given a foreign intelligence report suggesting that Dr. el Amir owns an HMO that is secretly funded by Osama bin Laden, and that money is being skimmed from the HMO to fund al-Qaeda activities. The state of New Jersey later buys the HMO and determines that $15 million were unaccounted for and much of that has been diverted into hard-to-trace offshore bank accounts. However, investigators working with Glass are never given the report about Dr. el Amir. Neither el Amir has been charged with any crime. Mohamed now lives in Egypt and Magdy continues to practice medicine in New Jersey. Glasss sting, which began in late 1998, will uncover many interesting leads before ending in June 2001. [MSNBC, 8/2/2002] Remarkably, Dr. Magdy el Amirs lawyer is none other than Michael Chertoff, a prominent criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey, who will later join the Bush administrations Justice Department as assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division and then become homeland defense secretary. [New York Times, 12/18/1998; Bergen Record, 6/19/2000] After 9/11, Chertoff will play a leading role in investigating and prosecuting terrorist crimes, including terrorism financing through money laundering. [New Yorker, 11/5/2001] It seems that the only subsequent media reference to Chertoffs involvement in the el Amir case will appear in an opinion column by Sidney Blumenthal, a strong critic of the Bush administration. [salon, 12/22/2005]

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Who was asleep for this ?? Only the Shadow Knows ..ugh.. I mean ONLY THE SECRET TEAM KNOWS.....

September 1999: US Report Predicts Spectacular Attack on Washington; Al-Qaeda Could Crash-Land Aircraft into Buildings

A report prepared for US intelligence titled the Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why is completed. It states: Al-Qaedas expected retaliation for the US cruise missile attack… could take several forms of terrorist attack in the nations capital. Al-Qaeda could detonate a Chechen-type building-buster bomb at a federal building. Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaedas Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and Semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House. Whatever form an attack may take, bin Laden will most likely retaliate in a spectacular way. [Associated Press, 4/18/2002] The report discusses the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and includes a picture of the WTC towers. [Hudson, 1999, pp. 4 ; Los Angeles Times, 5/17/2002] It was prepared by the Federal Research Division, an arm of the Library of Congress, for the National Intelligence Council, which advises the president and US intelligence on emerging threats. Its author is Rex A. Hudson. [Associated Press, 4/18/2002; Hudson, 2005] The Bush administration will later claim to have never heard of this report until May 2002, despite the fact that it had been publicly posted on the Internet since 1999, and widely shared within the government, according to the New York Times. [CNN, 5/18/2002; New York Times, 5/18/2002]

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Late January 2001: US Intelligence Told to Back Off from Bin Laden and Saudis

The BBC later reports, After the elections, [uS intelligence] agencies [are] told to back off investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that anger agents. This follows previous orders to abandon an investigation of bin Laden relatives in 1996 (see February-September 11, 1996), and difficulties in investigating Saudi royalty. [bBC, 11/6/2001] An unnamed top-level CIA operative says there is a major policy shift at the National Security Agency at this time. Bin Laden could still be investigated, but agents could not look too closely at how he got his money. One specific CIA investigation hampered by this new policy is an investigation in Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan and his Khan Laboratories. Khan is considered the father of Pakistans nuclear weapons capability. But since the funding for this nuclear program gets traced back to Saudi Arabia, restrictions are placed on the inquiry. [Palast, 2002, pp. 99-100] Also in early 2001, FBI agent Robert Wright, attempting to pursue an investigation into Saudi multimillionaire Yassin al-Qadi, is told by FBI superiors, its just better to let sleeping dogs lie(see January-March 2001). Reporter Greg Palast notes that President Clinton was already hindering investigations by protecting Saudi interests. However, as he puts it, Where Clinton said, Go slow, Bush policymakers said, No go. The difference is between closing one eye and closing them both. [Palast, 2002, pp. 102]

########################### Its one whole theme of look the other way ####################################

February 2001: Bush Administration Abandons Global Crackdown on Terrorist Funding

According to Time magazine, The US was all set to join a global crackdown on criminal and terrorist money havens [in early 2001]. Thirty industrial nations were ready to tighten the screws on offshore financial centers like Liechtenstein and Antigua, whose banks have the potential to hide and often help launder billions of dollars for drug cartels, global crime syndicatesand groups like Osama bin Ladens al-Qaeda organization. Then the Bush administration took office. [Time, 10/15/2001] After pressure from the powerful banking lobby, the Treasury Department under Paul ONeill halts US cooperation with these international efforts begun in 2000 by the Clinton administration. Clinton had created a Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center in his last budget, but under ONeill no funding for the center is provided and the tracking of terrorist financing slows down. Spurred by the 9/11, attacks, the center will finally get started three days after 9/11 (see October 2000-September 14, 2001). [Foreign Affairs, 7/2001; Time, 10/15/2001] Counterterrorism tsar Richard Clarke will later claim that efforts to track al-Qaedas finances began to make significant headway in 2000, after Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin stepped down and was replaced by Larry Summers. But, Clarke will claim, When the Bush administration came into office, I wanted to raise the profile of our efforts to combat terrorist financing, but found little interest. The new Presidents economic advisor, Larry Lindsey, had long argued for weakening US anti-money laundering laws in a way that would undercut international standards. The new Secretary of the Treasury, Paul ONeill, was lukewarm at best toward the multilateral effort to name and shame foreign money laundering havens, and allowed the process to shut down before the status of Saudi Arabian cooperation was ever assessed. [Clarke, 2004, pp. 195-196]

May-July 2001: No Cabinet Level Meetings on Terrorism Despite New Warnings

Around this time, intercepts from Afghanistan warn that al-Qaeda could attack an American target in late June or on the July 4 holiday. However, the White Houses Cabinet-level principals group does not meet to discuss this prospect. This group also fails to meet after intelligence analysts overhear conversations from an al-Qaeda cell in Milan suggesting that bin Ladens agents might be plotting to kill Bush at the European summit in Genoa, Italy, in late July (see July 20-22, 2001). In fact, the group will only hold one meeting on terrorism before 9/11 (see September 4, 2001). [New York Times, 12/30/2001] According to 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer, before 9/11 the principals group met 32 times on other issues, such as Iraq, Russia, China, the Middle East, and missile defense. [Editor & Publisher, 10/1/2006] By comparison, the principals group met to discuss terrorism around once a week between 1998 and 2000 under Clinton (see Late August 1998-November 2000). [New York Times, 12/30/2001]

Edited by Steven Gaal
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