WTC/Iraq and what Clarke Ignored

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
One of the people that Clarke slammed in his book is coming back fighting. This author outlines some messy facts about the first time the World Trade Center was bombed that Clarke glosses over. She accuses him of tunnel vision for the rogue band of extremists acting on their own model of terrorism.



Very Awkward Facts

Richard Clarke's denials of Iraq's terror ties don't ring true.

BY LAURIE MYLROIE

Saturday, April 3, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST



The ringleader of the first WTC, "Ramzi Yousef", bombing is a bit of a mystery man. The connections between him his men and Iraq can't be ignored.



Quote:

[skipping] ... But let's review the facts:



? Fact No. 1: "Ramzi Yousef" entered the U.S. in September 1992 on an Iraqi passport, with stamps showing a journey beginning in Baghdad. This fact is attested by the inspector who admitted Yousef into the U.S. Yet Mr. Clarke contends that Yousef entered the U.S. without a passport.



? Fact No. 2: The sole remaining fugitive from the 1993 bombing, Abdul Rahman Yasin, is an Iraqi. After the attack, Yasin fled to Iraq. The Iraqi regime rewarded Yasin with a house and monthly stipend. Yet Mr. Clarke claims, incredibly, that the Iraqis jailed Yasin.



? Fact No. 3: Seven men were indicted in the 1993 attack. Two of the seven, Yousef and Yasin, have Iraqi connections. Yet Mr. Clarke inflates the number of participants to 12, so as to create the impression that the presence of one or two men with Iraqi connections was no big deal.



? Fact No. 4: The truth is, we don't really know much about the prisoner bearing the name "Ramzi Yousef." Judge Kevin Duffy, who presided over Yousef's two trials, observed at sentencing: "We don't even know what your real name is." Yet Mr. Clarke claims to know what the judge did not: Yousef, he writes, "was born Abdul Basit in Pakistan and grew up in Kuwait where his father worked." ...



There was a lot of identify theft in Kuwait after Saddam's people got in there.



Quote:

...

The debate over Yousef's identity has enormous implications for the 9/11 strikes. U.S. authorities now understand that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed masterminded those attacks. But Mohammed's identity, too, is based on Kuwaiti documents that predate Kuwait's liberation from Iraq. According to these documents, Mohammed is Ramzi Yousef's "uncle," and two other al Qaeda masterminds are Yousef's "brothers."



...[skipping]...



When Mr. Clarke reported, six days after the 9/11 strikes, that no evidence existed linking them to Iraq, or Iraq to al Qaeda, he was reiterating the position he and others had taken throughout the Clinton years. They systematically turned a blind eye to such evidence and failed to pursue leads that might result in a conclusion of Iraqi culpability. These officials were charged with defending us "against all enemies." Their own prejudices blinded them to at least one of our enemies and left the nation vulnerable.



I guess if all we want to do is slam Bush and pretend 9-11 was his fault we shouldn't look at this type of information.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott



    LAURIE MYLROIE




    Why do the words "tin," "foil" and "hat" spring to mind?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Points 1 and 2 are interesting leads if not conclusive of any Iraqi government involvement. I'm not sure point 3 makes much difference with regard to the number of participants. Clarke either belittled the idea that 2 participants in the '93 bombing were Iraqis or he didn't. I don't think it matter much if he said 7 people or 12 people were behind it. Point 4 is like points 1 and 2 where it's an interesting lead, but circumstantial. No particular action or involvement of the Iraqi regime can be concluded. That's not to dismiss them outright though.



    I've always wondered whether there's a third option to the debate over whether Iraq was involved in these terrorist activities or not. A third option would be to say that Iraq may not have actively participated or supported these things, but they may have turned a blind eye to them, letting terrorists run around Iraq and simply neglect them so long as they didn't fiddle with their government's power. Didn't Iraq use to send "pension" money to the families of suicide bombers, or was that only Iran? Weren't the accusations that terrorists were working in Iraq backed up by showing activities in remote northern parts of the country? I imagine Iraq to have been similar to Pakistan. The central government probably had limited control of remote areas, only when there was a threat to the central government was there a clamp-down, and there was probably a lot of inside sympathy to these terrorists from people in the government but not much explicit support from it. Not that negligence is an excuse, mind you. I wouldn't be surprised if Iraq's then-government knew about terrorists going through the country but so long as they went after Israel, the US and so forth, they didn't get in the way. This is only my little "theory" anyway, another possibility.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    The connections between him his men and Iraq can't be ignored.



    Actually, yes, they can be ignored quite safely.

    Quote:

    I guess if all we want to do is slam Bush and pretend 9-11 was his fault we shouldn't look at this type of information.



    Not too many people here are saying that 9/11 was Bush's fault. But I know you aren't one to let subtleties get in the way of puffing up your indignation.



    It's more like having someone warn you time and time again that you should get some snow tires before the winter. When you ignore that advice, and then you skid out after the first snow storm and slam into a tree, it's hard to prove that the snow tires absolutely would have prevented the crash. Regardless, however, it still becomes clear that you ignored good advice.



    But perhaps it brings back fond memories of your youth to stick to the simple things like "It's his fault! Is not! Is too! Is not! Is too! Is not! Is too!..."

    Quote:

    LAURIE MYLROIE



    If Bush were using her "evidence" all that proves is that he was drinking the kool-aid along with the rest of the neocons. One should avoid operating heavy machinery, or large governments for that matter, while under the influence of someone else's hallucinations.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    I guess if all we want to do is slam Bush and pretend 9-11 was his fault we shouldn't look at this type of information.



    Except that as far as I can tell no one is blaming Bush for the attacks. People are blaming the terrorists for the attacks and blaming Bush for focusing his attention on the long dead cold war. People are blaming Bush for a fixation with Iraq when the real bad guys were in Afghanistan. People are blaming Bush for saying he had no way of predicting this horrible event but more people are stepping forward saying the intel was there. People are blaming Bush for setting up an anti-terrorism task force that Cheney was supposed to chair yet this group never met--not once--before 911. People are blaming Bush for the stonewalling of the 911 commission--his commission set up to find the root cause of the tragedy.



    Bitch, moan, whine, and complain about the way killer-B is being treated but realize the extreme secrecy of this administration is fanning these flames because people think he has something to hide. Realize the stories put forward by the administration since 911 have been found to be inconsistent or wrong i.e. "we had no way of knowing." Realize people are asking why Bush was so fixated on abandoning ABM and developing a missile defense when the real treat was not state sponsored.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Didn't Iraq use to send "pension" money to the families of suicide bombers, or was that only Iran?



    Yes, this is true. Realize Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE... were all doing it. Most of the arabs in that region see the suicide bombers as fighting a noble cause. Most of the arabs in that region feel Palastine should be its own country. Holding Saddam culpable for this is ignoring the overall trend of state sponsored terrorism by all the countries in the region for the sole purpose of building a case for war.



    Quote:

    Weren't the accusations that terrorists were working in Iraq backed up by showing activities in remote northern parts of the country?



    N.Iraq was all but autonomous. The Kurds had control of that area protected by US, and British airplanes. Also, as far as I can recall (if you have a link please post it so I can better myself) that alligation was made by the Bushies but as of yet unsubstantiated.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    Very Awkward Facts

    Richard Clarke's denials of Iraq's terror ties don't ring true.

    BY LAURIE MYLROIE

    Saturday, April 3, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST




    I figured it out... this story missed its original Thursday deadline.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    Laurie Mylroi...... hmmmmmm...Another crazy neocon conspiracy theorist on crack..oh dear. She is not a reliable source, to say the least:



    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...12.bergen.html



    Scott...do you honestly put any credence in a person who buys bogus "intelligence" from Coalition favorite Ahmad Chalabi, (an Iraqi convicted for banking fraud in Jordan)?
  • Reply 8 of 11
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Laurie Mylroie is a nut.



    Her 'proof' was demonstrated to be false years ago through thorough investigations. Give it up. According to her al-qaeda is a front for Iraqi intel. Literally.



    Scott, I used to think that even though you were misguided, you were capable of critical thought. Today and yesterday you have cited the two worst sources you possibly could, the other being the compulsive liar Miniter.



    Read the Washington Monthly article on how Mylroie is a total nutcase.



    And here's one of the reviews from amazon that points out her flaws:

    Quote:

    Study of rationalization, November 25, 2001

    Reviewer: mepiston (see more about me) from Mercer Island, WA USA

    Laurie Mylroie must desperately want the U.S. to attack Iraq, for nothing else will explain the extraordinary lengths she goes on the very slimmest of evidence to blame the first World Trade Center attack on that country. Then, imagining her case on WTC I proven, she goes on to apply its thesis to virtually every terrorist attack on the U.S. in the Middle East since, on little more evidence than that such attacks served Iraqi interests (the same logic many Muslims use in blaming Israel for WTC II). Briefly, the only piece of real evidence that Iraq was responsible for WTC I is that one of the participants lived in Iraq and returned there afterwards and is said by neighbors to be an Iraqi government employee. Well, maybe, except the Iraqi was considered so cooperative by U.S. investigators, and to have played such a minor role, that he was not even arrested after the attacks. Why Iraq might not have Palestinian sympathizers in its country willing to volunteer to attack U.S. interests as every other country of the Middle East does is never discussed. Maybe the fellow was there as a volunteer, maybe as an observer, Given his tertiary role this one incident can hardly establish that WTC I was an Iraqi plot. Recognizing this, Mylroie spends most of the book in a futile effort to prove that Ramzi Yousef, the undisputed leader of the conspiracy, was an Iraqi agent. In this she fails altogether. Central to her thesis is the claim that Yousef was not the Pakistani citizen he claimed to be, but an Iraqi agent who used the passport which was stolen from its owner during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. This argument in turn rests on the slender reed that Yousef couldn't possible have grown 4 inches from the 5'8" inch height given him in the Pakistan passport at age 20 to Yousef's 6'0" height at the age of 24. Anyone familar with the unreliability of Pakistani documents (as I, as a person who frequently works with them certainly am) will be left entirely unmoved by any discrepancy in them. Quality control is a not an driving concept in that part of the world. From this tiny sparrow, Mylroie creates a remarkable spring, speculating that Yousef must be an Iraqi agent because after leaving the U.S. he fled from Pakistan to Iranian Balochistan, which has long been an area of Iraqi subversion against the Iranians. However, there are certainly more way of becoming familar with Iran than as an Iraqi intelligence agent. The fact is , as Ms. Mylroie laudably admits, British intelligence concluded that he was in fact the Pakistani citizen whose passport he held. Apparently he looks enough like him that prior acquaintances could not dispute his identity based upon video tapes or photographs of him. It is strange that Ms. Mylroie, didn't make any effort to bring these acquaintance from the U.K. to the U.S. to make or dispute a positive I.D. of Yousef. You would think it would be cheaper than publishing an entire book with its central issue still in doubt. In any event, if Yousef is an Iraqi agent, why would the Iraqis go to such extraordiary lengths to disguise his identity, and then send their other man directly from Iraq to the U.S. and back again under his own name and passport? In any event, Yousef's subsequent relocation to the Phillippines provides yet further evidence for the thesis that he is either formally or informally associated with Al Qaeeda, which has an extensive network in the Phillippines, something never associated with Iraq. What is more astonishing however than even Mylroie's willingness to declare Yousef an Iraqi agent with hardly a shard of evidence is her willingness to take this revelation and apply it to numerous terrorist attacks thereafter . Thus the attack on U.S. military installations in Saudi Arabia must be the fault of Iraqi agents because a) some unnamed Saudi intelligence agency says it is and b) Iraq would benefit from U.S. troops leaving the Gulf. More feeble still is her blaming the Kenyan and Tanzainian Embassy bombings on Iraq simply because they came shortly after a vague Iraqi threat to retaliate against the U.S. Quite aside from the fact that this crime has been firmly laid on Al Qaeeda's doorstep by a number of perpetrators' conviction in federal court and even Bin Laden's own indictment, it clashes directly with the fact that the WTC I attack occurred during the midst of an Iraqi "charm offensive" in which it was attempting to persuade the world through its good behavior to lift economic sanctions. Heads Mylroie wins, tails Iraq loses. Ever since the second World Trade Center attacks, neocons have been demanding that any War on Terrorism must be extended to Iraq, regardless of the fact that this would completely alienate whatever shards of Arab support the U.S. may have left, and the fact that Saddam would most likely be followed by a radical fundamentalist regime. With even the Israelis disputing Iraq's involvement in WTC II, Neocons have come to cite Mylroie's book frequently in their demands for a "final solution" to the problem of Saddam. However, if Mylroie's book is the best evidence available that Iraq is behind terrorist attacks against the U.S., it is no evidence at all. Unfortunately, only those willing to wade through this book are going to find that out. For the rest of the public, uncritical neocon references to her work is going to be as close as they get to reviewing the facts. Accordingly, Mylroie's book will doubtlessly serve its agitprop purpose, no matter how sparse its evidence or flawed its reasoning may



  • Reply 9 of 11
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Quote:

    Ideas do not appear out of nowhere, so how is it that key members of the Bush administration believed that Iraq had been so deeply involved in terrorism directed at U.S. targets for many years? For that we must turn to Mylroie's Study of Revenge, which posits that Iraq was behind the first Trade Center attack, a theory that is risible as hundreds of national security and law enforcement professionals combed through the evidence of the '93 bombing, certainly looking, amongst other things, for such a connection, and found no evidence. But Mylroie claims to have discovered something that everyone else missed: the mastermind of the plot, a man generally known by one of his many aliases, "Ramzi Yousef," was an Iraqi intelligence agent who some time after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 assumed the identity of a Pakistani named Abdul Basit whose family lived there. This was a deduction which she reached following an examination of Basit's passport records and her discovery that Yousef and Basit were four inches different in height. On this wafer-thin foundation she builds her case that Yousef must have therefore been an Iraqi agent given access to Basit's passport following the Iraq occupation. However, U.S. investigators say that "Yousef" and Basit are in fact one and the same person, and that the man Mylroie describes as an Iraqi agent is in fact a Pakistani with ties to al Qaeda.



    Mylroie appears never to have absorbed the implications of Occam's Razor, the basic philosophical and scientific principle generally understood to be: "Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred." In this case the simpler--and more accurate--explanation of Yousef/Basit's identity is that he was part of the al Qaeda network, not working for Baghdad. Indeed, an avalanche of evidence demonstrates that Yousef was part of the loosely knit al Qaeda organization, evidence that Mylroie does not consider as it would undermine all her suppositions.



    When Yousef flew to New York from Pakistan in 1992 before the bombing of the Trade Center, he was accompanied by Ahmad Ajaj, who was arrested at Kennedy Airport on immigration charges, and was later found to have an al Qaeda bomb-making manual in his luggage. Al Qaeda member Jamal al-Fadl told a New York jury in 2000 that he saw Yousef at the group's Sadda training camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border some time between 1989 and 1991. When Yousef lived in the Philippines in the early 1990s, his partner in terrorism was Wali Khan Amin Shah, who had trained in Afghanistan under bin Laden. A number of Yousef's co-conspirators had ties to a Brooklyn organization known as the Afghan Refugee Center. This was the American arm of an organization bin Laden founded in Pakistan during the mid-1980s that would later evolve into al Qaeda. Yousef's uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, sent him money for the Trade Center attack, and would later go on to become al Qaeda's military commander and the chief planner of 9/11. I could go on. The point is that the 1993 attack was plotted not by Iraqi intelligence, but by men who were linked to al Qaeda.



    In addition to ignoring Yousef's many connections to al Qaeda, Mylroie is clearly aware that in 1995, he gave what would be his only interview to the Arabic newspaper al Hayat since she alludes to it in her book Study of Revenge. "I have no connection with Iraq," said Yousef to his interviewer, adding for good measure that "the Iraqi people must not pay for the mistakes made by Saddam." "Yousef," who traveled under a variety of false identities, confirmed that his real name was indeed Abdul Basit and that he was a Pakistani born in Kuwait, and also admitted that he knew and admired Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, one of al Qaeda's spiritual gurus, whom the U.S. government would later convict of plotting terror attacks in New York. Yousef went on to say that he wanted to "aid members" of Egypt's Jihad group, a terrorist organization then led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is now bin Laden's deputy. Yousef's interview has the ring of truth as he freely volunteered that he knew Sheikh Rahman, the cleric whom the U.S. government had by then already identified as the inspiration for several terrorist conspiracies in New York during the early '90s and also explained that he was part of an Islamic movement which planned to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia to avenge the arrests of Sheikh Salman al-Audah and Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, radical clerics who have profoundly influenced both bin Laden and al Qaeda. Yousef knew that he was likely facing a lifetime in prison at the time of this interview, and so had little reason to dissemble. In Study of Revenge, Mylroie is careful not to mention the substance of what Yousef said here as it demolishes her theory that he was an Iraqi agent.



    Moreover, Mylroie's broader contention that the first Trade Center attack was an Iraqi plot is, to put it mildly, not shared by the intelligence and law-enforcement officials familiar with the subsequent investigation. Vince Cannistraro, who headed the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorist Center in the early 1990s, told me, "My view is that Laurie has an obsession with Iraq and trying to link Saddam to global terrorism. Years of strenuous effort to prove the case have been unavailing." Ken Pollack, a former C.I.A. analyst, scarcely to be described as "soft" on Saddam--his book The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq made the most authoritative argument for toppling the dictator--dismissed Mylroie's theories to me: "The NSC [National Security Council] had the intelligence community look very hard at the allegations that the Iraqis were behind the 1993 Trade Center attack. Finding those links would have been very beneficial to the U.S. government at the time, but the intelligence community said that there were no such links."



    Mary Jo White, the no-nonsense U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted both the Trade Center case and the al Qaeda bombers behind the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa, told me that there was no evidence to support Mylroie's claims: "We investigated the Trade Center attack thoroughly, and other than the evidence that Ramzi Yousef traveled on a phony Iraqi passport, that was the only connection to Iraq." Neil Herman, the F.B.I. official who headed the Trade Center probe, explained that following the attacks, one of the lower-level conspirators, Abdul Rahman Yasin, did flee New York to live with a family member in Baghdad: "The one glaring connection that can't be overlooked is Yasin. We pursued that on every level, traced him to a relative and a location, and we made overtures to get him back." However, Herman says that Yasin's presence in Baghdad does not mean Iraq sponsored the attack: "We looked at that rather extensively. There were no ties to the Iraqi government." In sum, by the mid-'90s, the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, the F.B.I., the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York, the C.I.A., the N.S.C., and the State Department had all found no evidence implicating the Iraqi government in the first Trade Center attack.



    From the washington monthly
  • Reply 10 of 11




    Touche!



  • Reply 11 of 11
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Hardly. Gaint's posted article skips many of the points posted above. You got a link giant? I'd like to read the whole thing.
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