Friday, August 12, 2005
Our esteemed colleague Joe Cannon at Cannonfire offers up the wildest speculation we've read in the last, oh, twelve hours or so, linking Rep. Curt Weldon, Able Danger, freshly-indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and 9/11 terrorist Mohammed Atta:
On September 26, 2001, Associated Press writer Vickie Chachere reported that FBI agents probing Atta's connections had turned their attention to SunCruz casinos -- then owned by Abramoff:SunCruz Casinos has turned over photographs and other documents to FBI investigators after employees said they recognized some of the men suspected in the terrorist attacks as customers... Names on the passenger list from a Sept. 5 cruise matched those of some of the hijackers...Since Abramoff used SunCruz to provide services to Republicans (we may safely presume that the Super Bowl junket wasn't the only occasion), I'd very much like to see that September 5, 2001 passenger manifest. Who was on the boat with the terrorists?
Several sources have noted that al Qaida operatives had a strange penchant for haunting casinos -- and few investigators believe that their purpose was gambling. For example, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on November 4, 2001 that Atta and two other 9/11 terrorists took mysterious side trips to Las Vegas, in June and August; FBI investigators suspected that they may have been involved in the passing of counterfeit bills.
The Toronto Star of September 20, 2002 reported that members of al Qaida were arrested in Buffalo, New York, for participation in a money laundering scheme centered at the Casino Niagara.
We have excellent reason to suspect that a similar scheme prompted Mohammed Atta to hop aboard Jack Abramoff's SunCruz ship.
If -- and based on the current state of evidence, we must stresss the word "if" -- if further evidence links Mohammed Atta to G.O.P.-friendly shady operators, then many lingering questions may find an answer. Among those questions: Why was the ABLE DANGER team told to steer clear of Atta?