Saturday, July 24, 2004
Zemblan patriot T.C. looked at the James Ridgeway article below --
The Justice Department and the FBI continued to cover up their parts in the mess, most notably by refusing to permit public testimony by whistle-blower translator Sibel Edmonds, along with a second person who translated an interview with a top FBI "asset"—-a former high-level Iranian intelligence officer under the Shah—-who gave U.S. agents news from Afghanistan, where the officer's own operatives remained in place. This knowledgeable man told the FBI in April 2001 that Osama bin Laden was planning to use planes to attack one or another of five American cities—including New York. What happened to that report?-- and wondered whether there might be a connection to the phone intercepts allegedly leaked in June 2002 by Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who is currently the target of a criminal investigation as well as a complaint before the Senate Ethics Committee:
As for Edmonds, we are still in the dark—because the government won't let her talk. What did she mean when she was quoted as saying, "My translations of the 9-11 intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and date-specific information. . . . If they were to do real investigations, we would see several significant high-level criminal prosecutions in this country [the U.S.] . . . and believe me, they will do everything to cover this up."
The investigation centers on the leak of highly classified intelligence related to al-Qaida communications in June 2002, primarily to CNN.Shelby, who vigorously denies the charges, earlier criticized the administration for censoring 27 pages, reportedly dealing with Saudi support for al-Qaeda, from the Congressional Joint Inquiry report on 9/11:
CNN reported on June 20 that in one communication intercepted by the National Security Agency on Sept. 10, 2001, an individual was overheard saying, "The match begins tomorrow" while in another that same day, a second person said, "Tomorrow is zero hour." In both, the speakers were in Afghanistan and were speaking to individuals in Saudi Arabia. The intercept was not found until Sept. 12, 2001.
The intercept was from a communications channel the United States had identified as a key communications link for al-Qaida operatives.
“Leaking the exact language would presumably tell the two ends of the conversation not to use that channel again since it had been compromised,” one senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News.
The White House and CIA were incensed by the leak and demanded an investigation. Vice President Dick Cheney was so angered by the leak that he personally called the chairs of both the House and Senate Intelligence committees, believing the leak came from inside the committees.
The committees were viewed immediately as the source of the leak because the information appeared in the media within 24 hours of a CIA briefing on the subject to the committees.
"Ninety-five percent of that information could be declassified," he said at the time. "I think [the pages] are classified for the wrong reason."
The pages were being withheld, he said, because the information "might be embarrassing to some international relations."