Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Big Sleaze

Raymond Chandler's detective novels presented the reader with a series of questions that had no obvious answers. Philip Marlowe's problem was figuring out how to connect the dots. The Washington Post does a Chandler in its latest story on the Oil for Food crisis. (Hat tip: Tim Blair)

The U.N. Security Council had detailed knowledge of how Saddam Hussein was violating U.N. sanctions, but was so divided that many violations went largely unchecked, according to documents released Tuesday by a congressional panel.

Divided as in everybody voted differently each time there was a meeting? Or divided as in everybody was having their own meeting? The answer was provided a little further down the story.

Saddam "cleverly exploited" sanctions in a variety of ways, granting "oil and humanitarian supply contracts to those willing to bend the rules in Iraq's favor." Iraq's supporters on the Security Council included Russia, China and France until mid-2001 when it backed a U.S.-British sanctions proposal. Other supporters included Iraq's neighbors -- Jordan, Syria and Turkey -- who received smuggled Iraqi oil.

It turned out that Security Council was remarkably consistent in a divided way. Supporters stayed supporters and opponents remained opponents throughout the 90s, except they didn't do anything but object and do nothing. Strange that the Washington Post should describe the Security Council as divided when it was as united as the US Congress on the Fourth of July: one half denouncing the other half for identically patriotic reasons while scratching each other's backs. Except something changed in 2001: the pro-Saddam faction of the Security Council caved to the antis. Here's the Post's account.

Washington and London eventually succeeded in getting the sanctions committee to set the price of Iraqi oil at the end of every month -- rather than the beginning -- to prevent Iraq from taking advantage of fluctuations in the oil market to impose the surcharges. The two countries said the policy cut illegal payoffs to Saddam's government. But U.N. officials and council members, including Russia and France, demanded an end to the retroactive pricing policy because it led to a sharp drop in oil exports, which meant less money for the oil-for-food program.

Marlowe pushed his chair back then walked over to the filing cabinet which contained nothing but a bottle of whiskey and some air. He took a pull and sat down. What changed in 2001 to stir up the pot? He logged on to an Internet news site and ran the headlines backward from May, 2001. The hint of a smile crept over his face. Florida. That was it. Florida. He got up, put on his hat and headed out the door.

51 Comments:

Blogger wretchard said...

The alternative title to this post was "Goodbye, my ugly".

6/23/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

The real division came when the UN bureaucrats were divided on how do divide the slush money.

6/23/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

US looking to reform the UN in 9 key areas:

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The September High Level Event will provide the opportunity to evaluate progress on the development goals of the Millennium Declaration and to renew emphasis on their achievement. The Monterrey Consensus provides the critical context for this discussion, with its emphasis on national responsibility, good governance, openness to trade and a vibrant private sector.

MANAGEMENT

Failings in the Oil for Food Program and the UN’s inability to prevent peacekeepers from sexually exploiting those they were sent to protect point to management failures.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The protection of human rights is one of the United Nations' most solemn duties, a Charter responsibility that should be a source of hope to millions of oppressed people throughout the world.

PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION

The Peacebuilding Commission proposal has generated significant support among member states. The Commission is needed quickly to ensure greater coordination between the UN's political and military activities and we will advance detailed recommendations shortly, and combine efforts of the GA, ECOSOC, and the Security Council.

TERRORISM

It is time for all UN member states to unequivocally outlaw acts of international terrorism, which is an unacceptable scourge for all countries.

DEMOCRACY FUND

Human rights and democracy are at the center of our collective vision for the United Nations. The UN Democracy Fund is an innovative, yet practical, tool for promoting democratic values, including the rule of law, independent courts, a free press, political parties and trade unions, and free and fair elections.

RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

It is a given that national authorities must protect their own populations. In cases involving genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and other large-scale atrocities in which national authorities are unable or unwilling to protect their citizens, the international community should be prepared to use diplomatic, humanitarian and other methods to protect civilian populations.

PREVENTING WMD PROLIFERATION

We believe that Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferation is one of the most serious threats that the international community faces today, and that all states have a responsibility to take actions to address proliferation challenges.

SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM

There should be no lingering doubts: the United States is open to Security Council reform and expansion, including the addition of new permanent members.

http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20050624-07.html

6/23/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes, it all began to fall apart...
At the Kremlin, in Paris and Istanbul the phone lines burned.
Cut outs and back channels, the jig was up.
Little brother had come thru, with a little help from his dad's friends.
A new face on the street, but from an old family, respected and feared. The father had gone to the mattresses in his day.
What was old was new again.

6/23/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "a battle over language
sometimes more than over anything else."
-- Diana Buttu, legal advisor to the PLO

6/23/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Now, with the controversy officially at an end, Mr. Durbin returns to the warm, collegial bosom of the Senate, where he retains his influential position as the second-ranked Democrat -- the Minority Whip -- and is unlikely to suffer any long-term political harm from having helped America's enemies by lying about our troops in a time of war."
---
And greeting him first and most warmly, 'Rat's Senator 'Kane.
. Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation .
---
"Even that could be considered progress of a sort.
Thirty-four years ago, John Kerry launched the political career that brought him within 100,000 Ohio votes of the White House by comparing the U.S. military to "the armies of Genghis Khan." Senator Durbin may not receive a comparable benefit from his own slanderous remarks.

Last year's presidential campaign provided many people with an opportunity to take a long look back at the Vietnam era: to recall just how badly America's returning troops were treated in those days, and why."

6/23/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Part of Tony's Orwell cite from previous thread:

"'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?
In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.
"

6/23/2005 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

U.N. Ambassador Saddam Hussein?

Despite the promise of resigned acquiescence in the spirit of compromise, repugs in congress still insist on backing Bush's idiotic nominees. Now the Shrub is threatening to force a recess appointment down everyone's gullet unless Congress hands a highly unqualified thug an ambassadorship to the United Nations.

A UN ambassador should be kind, gentle, and opinionated only in a curmudgeonly grandfather sort of way. He or she should have an unintimidating mustache and refrain from speaking bluntly, brusquely, or in any fashion that might make Sen. Voinovich blubber like Michael Landon during sweeps week. In other words, a U.N. ambassador must be everything that John Bolton is not.

However, there is one man who meets all of the qualifications for the position and then some. I'm talking, of course, about deposed Iraqi leader, Saddam "Cuddles" Hussein. While Bully Bolton is a bullying bully who bullies his subordinates, Saddam jokes with and gives fatherly advice to his captors. Bolton holds grudges against those who don't march lockstep to the beat of his drum, but Saddam has no hard feelings for the chimp who bombed his palaces in the incorrect order and then chased him down a spider hole. Bolton belittles the very organization he seeks to work for, yet Saddam has a long record of cooperation with the UN, and would sooner eat a bowl of Fruit Loops than defy France.

Call me a radical if you must. Tell me I'm ahead of my time. But if a UN appointment can in some small way repay Papa Saddam for Bush's destruction of his country, murder of his gentle sons, and theft of his oil, then dammit we owe him that much!

.
.
http://blamebush.typepad.com

6/23/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

:-)

6/23/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Undertoad said...

Florida in early 2001? You mean the Presidential election?

6/23/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hurricane?

6/23/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's you playing the 'toad, right, Tony?

6/23/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

allligators?

6/23/2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Allligations of Freud.
...I mean Fraud.

6/23/2005 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug said...
Allligations of Freud.
...I mean Fraud.



And the beat goes on:

According to Globe and Mail reporter Carolyn Wheeler, the meeting took place in Mr. Sharon's flag-draped residence in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City," on "disputed home turf."

In fact, the meeting was held at the prime minister's residence in the Rehavia neighborhood of the capital, where there is no dispute over sovereignty.

Wheeler then waxed for two paragraphs about the alleged site of the meeting: "Mr. Sharon's purchase of the stately Old City stone home in 1987, and the subsequent removal of its Arab tenants, created great controversy at the time. The building is now rarely used, but it is still under heavy guard and remains a stinging symbol for Palestinians struggling to hold onto Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem."

"We asked her for some background about where the story location was. Unfortunately, she was not actually at the scene of it. She wrote it off of television and wires."

Dov Smith, executive director of HonestReporting Canada, which tracks Canadian media for anti-Israel bias, questioned how the reporter was able to describe participants in the meeting as "grim-faced" – a phrase that appeared in the article – if she wasn't actually there.
.
.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1119493346694

6/24/2005 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lllitigators employed to deny the vote of the troops.

6/24/2005 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

For Mikah only:
. LINK .
Matt Yglesias and Andrew Sullivan are pretty convinced that gays are the new Jews. They don't offer much by way of evidence or argumentation, just assertion with a quote or two dangled.
Hat Tip
. Glenn Reynolds
Hat Tip
. It's a Pundit .
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE DURBIN DISTRACTION. Why is Dick Durbin's opinion on Guantanamo all over the news? Because if it's not, Republican failures might be. Michael Tomasky explains why the GOP and FOX News are flogging Durbin's comments so heavily.
From the ghosts of innocent, dead Mississippians to the freed U.S. citizen-captives of Guantanamo to the growing majority of Americans that believes this administration and Congress are failing badly, the protests against this un-American regime are also getting louder and louder. And this is the chorus that ought to be listened to.

6/24/2005 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug,

I much prefer the new Jews to be the old Nazis. And I say this with all seriousness.

6/24/2005 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

That's you playing the 'toad, right, Tony?

No. The Undertoad was a scary idea in the tremendously sad "The World According to Garp."

And I don't know the answer to W's mystery.

6/24/2005 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Be interesting to know the backstory of the "Bill Clinton for UN Ambassador" trial balloon that floated up at the front end of Revelations UN: 90s. Put Marlowe on that one, Wretchard! :-)

6/24/2005 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Timbeaux said...

"Florida" is a reference to the first anthrax attack, right? A hell of a lot easier to produce than nukes, and to deliver as well. curious that the anthrax stuff has faded so quickly, and not a single attack since the Iraq invasion either. Do you think there was an "international consensus" that Saddam was behind it? That would make the Hatfill investigation quite a scandal.

6/24/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If it all changed in Florida in 2001, does that mean that UK/France/Canada are right when they demand a vote in our Presidential elections, because the results affect them just as much as they affect America?

Does anyone else think that Orwell is this year's Ayn Rand when it comes to quoting him about EVERYthing to make a point? As well as to show off personal erudition?

6/24/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Nahncee,

I was quoting Orwell only to comment on the bugbears who come to this blog. Don't you think "Thought Police" is a cute rejoinder? Better than something like "ashole" - right?

6/24/2005 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Does anyone else think that Orwell is this year's Ayn Rand when it comes to quoting him about EVERYthing to make a point? As well as to show off personal erudition?

Me, I'd rather quote Wayne's World.

6/24/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Furthermore, I think we can all agree that man cannot live on Orwell alone. I believe that Marx may also be in order... of the Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo, and Zeppo sort.

6/24/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Me, I'd rather quote Wayne's World.

I go for "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

Besides, I don't think it counts as erudite if you only quote Orwell in "1984" or "Animal Farm." After all, we read those in high school. You have to quote cooler Orwell stuff than that, like Christopher Hitchens does, if you want to appear erudite.

6/24/2005 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Zakeri, who U.S. and German intelligence agencies say has a mixed record for reliability, provided the court and the German federal police with an account of a January 2001 meeting Zakeri said was attended by bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and the Al Qaeda leader's eldest son, Saad bin Laden. Zakeri also told of a second meeting in May 2001 attended by Saad bin Laden and Iranian officials.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0506/S00321.htm

6/24/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Iraq's supporters on the Security Council included Russia, China and France until mid-2001 when it backed a U.S.-British sanctions proposal.
//////////////////
Russia, China and France knew about attacks coming to the usa.

6/24/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nahncee usually tries to get the asshole point across by other means.
---
For me I use the personal erudition 'cause I can't afford the full version.

6/24/2005 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Doug,

That's funny! Thanks.

Ps. I said "ashole" not, you know, the other word.

6/25/2005 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

"According to Germany's Der Spiegel, Atta received Florida driver's license No. A 300540-68-321-0 on May 2, 2001."


http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show.htm?doc_id=228666

6/25/2005 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Kenneth Timmerman, a senior writer for Washington-based Insight magazine, said that he interviewed Hamid Zakeri several times by telephone last summer and that the man "told a very credible story."

According to an article Timmerman published in July, Zakeri said he worked for the Iranians' "supreme leader," Ayatollah Ali Khameini, and he was present at two meetings between senior Iranian and al-Qaida officials in the months before Sept. 11, 2001.

Timmerman said Zakeri had provided him a document purportedly signed by the Iranian intelligence chief, Hojjatoleslam Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, in May 2001, ordering a strike at this country's "economic structure, their reputation and their internal peace and security."

http://www.independent-media.tv/item.cfm?fmedia_id=5220&fcategory_desc=Iran

6/25/2005 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May 2001 - Secretary of State Colin Powell gives $43 million in aid to the Taliban regime, purportedly to assist hungry farmers who are starving since the destruction of their opium crop in January on orders of the Taliban regime. [Source: The Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2001].
http://www.anti-sheep.com/articles/911-factlist.php

6/25/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

10. May, 2001 - Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a career covert operative and former Navy Seal, travels to India on a publicized tour while CIA Director George Tenet makes a quiet visit to Pakistan to meet with Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf. Armitage has long and deep Pakistani intelligence connections and he is the recipient of the highest civil decoration awarded by Pakistan. It would be reasonable to assume that while in Islamabad, Tenet, in what was described as "an unusually long meeting," also met with his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad, head of the ISI. [Source The Indian SAPRA news agency, May 22, 2001.]

11. June 2001 - German intelligence, the BND, warns the CIA and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists are "planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture." [Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 14, 2001.]

http://www.viewzone.com/911.html

6/25/2005 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

18. Summer 2001 - Russian intelligence notifies the CIA that 25
terrorist pilots have been specifically training for suicide missions.
This is reported in the Russian press and news stories are translated
for FTW by a retired CIA officer.

19. July 4-14, 2001 - Osama bin Laden receives treatments for kidney
disease at the American hospital in Dubai and meets with a CIA official
who returns to CIA headquarters on July 15th. [Source: Le Figaro,
October 31st, 2001.]

20. August 2001 - Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian
intelligence to warn the U.S. government "in the strongest possible
terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings.
[Source: MS-NBC interview with Putin, September 15.]
http://www.apfn.org/apfn/77_french.htm

6/25/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

In this geo-strategic grand design, the Taliban were the proverbial fly in the ointment. An Afghan war and plans to destroy the Taliban had been the subject of international diplomatic and not-so-diplomatic discussions for months before September 11. There was a crucial meeting in Geneva in May 2001 between US State Department, Iranian, German and Italian officials, where the main topic was a strategy to topple the Taliban and replace the theocracy with a “broad-based government.” The topic was raised again in full force at the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Genoa, Italy, in July 2001.

http://www.sentienttimes.com/02/Apr_May/pipelineistanT.html

6/25/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

12. Summer 2001 - According to a Sept. 26 story in Britain?s The Guardian, correspondent David Leigh reported that, "U.S. department of defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January. The Guardian?s Felicity Lawrence established that US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana."

13. Summer 2001 (est.) ? Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad (see above) orders an aide to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, who was according to the FBI, the lead terrorist in the suicide hijackings. Ahmad recently resigned after the transfer was disclosed in India and confirmed by the FBI. [Source: The Times of India, October 11, 2001.]

14. Summer 2001 ? An Iranian man phones U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9th. German police confirm the calls but state that the U.S. Secret Service would not reveal any further information. [Source: German news agency "online.de", September 14, 2001, translation retrieved from online.ie in Ireland.]
http://www.paperadvantage.org/911/BinLadenWalkedAway.html

6/25/2005 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

A determination was made by the SEC in May 2001 that significant corporate operations in U.S.-sanctioned countries, including Iran and Libya, can represent a material risk to investors and should be properly disclosed. Pursuant to this development, we launched our global security risk monitor online service in May of last year. The monitor is the world's only online research and risk assessment tool that identifies and profiles every publicly-traded company worldwide that does business in Iran, Libya and other terrorist-sponsoring states. Put simply, it allows investors and government analysts to know who is doing business where; and, more importantly, what specific operations are underway in these higher risk countries. It's recognized, for example, that there's a substantial difference between a firm selling soft drinks and one that is constructing a potential dual-use fiber optic network.


http://www.iranwatch.org/government/US/Congress/Hearings/hirc-062503/us-hirc-ilsaenforc2-062503.htm

6/25/2005 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May 2001: Bush, Who Has Yet to Take Any Action Against al-Qaeda, Is Tired of Swatting at Flies


It is claimed that after a routine briefing by CIA Director Tenet to President Bush regarding the hunt for al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida, Bush complains to National Security Adviser Rice that he is tired of “swatting at flies” and wants a comprehensive plan for attacking terrorism. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke already has such a plan, but it has been mired in bureaucratic deadlock since January. After this, progress remains slow. [Time, 8/4/02; 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)]

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May 2001: Hijackers Take Advantage of New, Anonymous Visa Express Procedure


A portion of Salem Alhazmi's New Jersey identification card.
The US introduces the “Visa Express” program in Saudi Arabia, which allows any Saudi Arabian to obtain a visa through his or her travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. An official later states, “The issuing officer has no idea whether the person applying for the visa is actually the person in the documents and application.” [US News and World Report, 12/12/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] At the time, warnings of an attack against the US led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden are higher than they had ever been before— “off the charts” as one senator later puts it. [Los Angeles Times, 5/18/02; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02] A terrorism conference had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities in al-Qaeda. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5/19/02] Five hijackers—Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad—use Visa Express over the next month to enter the US. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] Even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will successfully get a US Visa through this program in July (using a false name but real photograph), despite a posted $2 million reward for his capture. [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/04] Only three percent of Saudi visa applicants are turned down by US consular officers in fiscal 2000 and 2001. In contrast, about 25 percent of US visa seekers worldwide are rejected. Acceptance is even more difficult for applicants from countries considered to have ties to terrorism such as Iraq or Iran. [Washington Post, 10/31/01] The widely criticized program is finally canceled in July 2002.

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Project: Complete 911 Timeline
Open-Content project managed by Paul Thompson








Showing 451-550 of 1609 events (use filters to narrow search): previous 100 next 100


May 2001: Bush, Who Has Yet to Take Any Action Against al-Qaeda, Is Tired of Swatting at Flies


It is claimed that after a routine briefing by CIA Director Tenet to President Bush regarding the hunt for al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida, Bush complains to National Security Adviser Rice that he is tired of “swatting at flies” and wants a comprehensive plan for attacking terrorism. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke already has such a plan, but it has been mired in bureaucratic deadlock since January. After this, progress remains slow. [Time, 8/4/02; 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)]





May 2001: Hijackers Take Advantage of New, Anonymous Visa Express Procedure


A portion of Salem Alhazmi's New Jersey identification card.
The US introduces the “Visa Express” program in Saudi Arabia, which allows any Saudi Arabian to obtain a visa through his or her travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. An official later states, “The issuing officer has no idea whether the person applying for the visa is actually the person in the documents and application.” [US News and World Report, 12/12/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] At the time, warnings of an attack against the US led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden are higher than they had ever been before— “off the charts” as one senator later puts it. [Los Angeles Times, 5/18/02; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02] A terrorism conference had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities in al-Qaeda. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5/19/02] Five hijackers—Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad—use Visa Express over the next month to enter the US. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] Even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will successfully get a US Visa through this program in July (using a false name but real photograph), despite a posted $2 million reward for his capture. [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/04] Only three percent of Saudi visa applicants are turned down by US consular officers in fiscal 2000 and 2001. In contrast, about 25 percent of US visa seekers worldwide are rejected. Acceptance is even more difficult for applicants from countries considered to have ties to terrorism such as Iraq or Iran. [Washington Post, 10/31/01] The widely criticized program is finally canceled in July 2002.





May 2001: Cheney's Energy Plan Foresees Government Helping US Companies Expand Into New Markets


Vice President Cheney's national energy plan is released to the public. It calls for expanded oil and gas drilling on public land and easing regulatory barriers to building nuclear power plants. [Associated Press, 12/9/02] There are several interesting points, little noticed at the time. It suggests that the US cannot depend exclusively on traditional sources of supply to provide the growing amount of oil that it needs. It will also have to obtain substantial supplies from new sources, such as the Caspian states, Russia, and Africa. It also notes that the US cannot rely on market forces alone to gain access to these added supplies, but will also require a significant effort on the part of government officials to overcome foreign resistance to the outward reach of American energy companies. [Japan Today, 4/30/02] The plan was largely decided through Cheney's secretive Energy Task Force. Both before and after this, Cheney and other Task Force officials meet with Enron executives (including one meeting a month and a half before Enron declares bankruptcy in December 2001). Two separate lawsuits are later filed to reveal details of how the government's energy policy was formed and whether Enron or other players may have influenced it, but as of mid-2004 the Bush administration has successfully resisted all efforts to release these documents. [Associated Press, 12/9/02]

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May 2001: Bin Laden Associates Head West, Prepare for Martyrdom


The Defense Department gains and shares information indicating that seven people associated with bin Laden have departed from various locations for Canada, Britain, and the US. The next month, the CIA learns that key operatives in al-Qaeda are disappearing while others are preparing for martyrdom. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02; Washington Post, 9/19/02 (B)]





May 2001: Warnings About Impending Terrorist Attack Fail to Alert White House


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 House's Counterterrorism and Security 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 Laden's agents might be plotting to kill Bush at the European summit in Genoa, Italy, in late July. In fact, the group hardly meets at all. By comparison, the Counterterrorism and Security Group met two or three times a week between 1998 and 2000 under Clinton. [New York Times, 12/30/01]


http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May-August 2001: Hijackers Take Practice Flights and Enjoy Las Vegas Diversions


A number of the hijackers make at least six trips to Las Vegas. It is probable they met here after doing practice runs on cross-country flights. At least Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah, Khalid Almihdhar and Hani Hanjour were involved. All of these “fundamentalist” Muslims drink alcohol, gamble, and frequent strip clubs. They even have strippers perform lap dances for them. [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4/01; Newsweek, 10/15/01]





May 2001: US Military Drafts Scenario for Afghan Operation


General William Kernan, commander in chief of the Joint Forces Command, later mentions: “The details of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan which fought the Taliban and al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks, were largely taken from a scenario examined by Central Command in May 2001.” [Agence France-Presse, 7/23/02] This seems to contradict other accounts suggesting the military made no Afghanistan invasion plans or preparations after Bush took office (see December 2000).





May 6-September 6, 2001: Some Hijackers Work Out at Gyms, Some Merely Hang Out


Ziad Jarrah's computer record at the US1 Fitness gym.
The hijackers work out at various gyms, presumably getting in shape for the hijacking. Ziad Jarrah appears to train intensively from May to August, and Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi also take exercising very seriously. [New York Times, 9/23/01; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01] However, these three are presumably pilots who would need the training the least. For instance, Jarrah's trainer says, “If he wasn't one of the pilots, he would have done quite well in thwarting the passengers from attacking.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01] For instance, Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi work out for only four days in early September. [Associated Press, 9/21/01] Three others—Waleed Alshehri, Wail Alshehri and Satam al-Suqami— “simply clustered around a small circuit of machines, never asking for help and, according to a trainer, never pushing any weights. ‘You know, I don't actually remember them ever doing anything... They would just stand around and watch people.’ ” [New York Times, 9/23/01] Those three also had a one month membership in Florida—whether they ever actually worked out there is unknown. [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01]





May 8, 2001: Cheney Heads Task Force Responding to Domestic Attacks, but No Action Is Taken Before 9/11


Vice President Dick Cheney on television, May 8, 2001.
Bush entrusts Vice President Cheney to head the new Office of National Preparedness, a part of FEMA. This office is supposed to oversee a “national effort” to coordinate all federal programs for responding to domestic attacks. Cheney informs the press: “One of our biggest threats as a nation” may include “a terrorist organization overseas. We need to look at this whole area, oftentimes referred to as homeland defense.” The focus is on state-funded terrorists using weapons of mass destruction, and neither bin Laden nor al-Qaeda is mentioned. [New York Times, 7/8/02] Cheney's task force is supposed to report to Congress by October 1, 2001, after a review by the National Security Council. Bush states that he “will periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts.” [Washington Post, 1/20/02] In July, two senators send draft counterterrorism legislation to Cheney's office, but a day before 9/11, they are told it might be another six months before he gets to it. The task force is just beginning to hire staff a few days before 9/11. Former Senator Gary Hart (D) later implies that this task force is created to prevent Congress from enacting counterterrorism legislation proposed by a bipartisan commission he had co-chaired in January. [Salon, 4/2/04; Salon, 4/6/04]



http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May 29, 2001: US Citizens Overseas Cautioned


The State Department issues an overseas caution connected to the conviction of defendants in the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. That warning says, “Americans citizens abroad may be the target of a terrorist threat from extremist groups” with links to bin Laden. The warning will be reissued on June 22. [CNN, 6/23/01]





May 30, 2001: Convicted Terrorist Warns of Major al-Qaeda Operation in the US Involving Hijackings, Explosives, and/or New York City


Ahmed Ressam.
Ahmed Ressam is convicted in the spring of 2001 for attempting to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport (see December 14, 1999). Facing the likelihood of life in prison, he starts cooperating with authorities in an attempt to reduce his sentence. On this day, he details his experiences in al-Qaeda training camps and his many dealings with top al-Qaeda deputy Abu Zubaida. According to FBI notes from Ressam's interrogation, Zubaida asked Ressam to send him original Canadian passports to help Zubaida “get people to America.” Zubaida “wanted an operation in the US” and talked about the need to get explosives into the US for this operation, but Ressam makes it clear this was a separate plot from the one he was involved with. Notes from this day further explain that Ressam doesn't know if any explosives made it into the US because once an operation was initiated, operators were not supposed to talk about it to anyone. There's no concrete evidence that Ressam knows any detail of the 9/11 attacks. [Newsweek, 4/28/05] However, Fox News reports that roughly around this time Ressam testifies “that attack plans, including hijackings and attacks on New York City targets, [are] ongoing.” [Fox News, 5/17/02] Ressam will repeat some of this in a public trial a month later. Questioned shortly after 9/11, Ressam will point out that given what he's already told his US interrogators, the 9/11 attacks should not be surprising. He notes that he'd described how Zubaida talked “generally of big operations in [the] US with big impact, needing great preparation, great perseverance, and willingness to die.” Ressam had told of “plans to get people hired at airports, of blowing up airports, and airplanes.” Apparently, the FBI waits until July to share the information from this debriefing with other intelligence agencies, the INS, Customs Service, and the State Department. Ressam's warnings are first mentioned to Bush in his now famous August 6, 2001 briefing, but as Newsweek notes, “the information from Ressam that was contained in [Bush's] PDB [is] watered down and seem[s] far more bland than what the Algerian terrorist was actually telling the FBI.” Zubaida's second plot is boiled down to one sentence: “Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaida was planning his own US attack.” [Newsweek, 4/28/05]





May 30, 2001: Yemenis Are Caught Taking Suspicious New York Photos


Two Yemeni men are detained after guards see them taking photos at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City. They are questioned by INS agents and let go. A few days later, their confiscated film is developed, showing photos of security checkpoints, police posts, and surveillance cameras of federal buildings, including the FBI's counterterrorism office. The two men are later interviewed by the FBI and determined not to be terrorists. However, they had taken the pictures on behalf of a third person living in Indiana. By the time the FBI looks for him, he has fled the country and his documentation is found to be based on a false alias. In 2004, it is reportedly still unknown whether the third man is a terrorist. The famous briefing given to President George W. Bush on August 6, 2000, will mention the incident, warning that the FBI is investigating “suspicious activity in this country consistent with the preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.” When Bush's August 6 briefing is released in 2004, a White House fact sheet fails to mention the still missing third man. [New York Post, 7/1/01; New York Post, 9/16/01; Washington Post, 5/16/04]





May 31, 2001: Tightly Organized System of al-Qaeda Cells Found in US


The Wall Street Journal summarizes tens of thousands of pages of evidence disclosed in a recently concluded trial of al-Qaeda terrorists. They are called “a riveting view onto the shadowy world of al-Qaeda.” The documents reveal numerous connections between al-Qaeda and specific front companies and charities. They even detail a “tightly organized system of cells in an array of American cities, including Brooklyn, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas, Tex.; Santa Clara, Calif.; Columbia, Mo., and Herndon, Va.” The 9/11 hijackers had ties to many of these same cities and charities. [Wall Street Journal, 5/31/01]

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May 10, 2001: Ashcroft Omits Counterterrorism from List of Goals


Attorney General Ashcroft sends a letter to department heads telling them the Justice Department's new agenda. He cites seven goals, but counterterrorism is not one of them. Yet just one day earlier, he testified before Congress and said of counterterrorism, “The Department of Justice has no higher priority.” [New York Times, 2/28/02] Dale Watson, head of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, recalls nearly falling out of his chair when he sees counterterrorism not mentioned as a goal. [9/11 Commission Report, 4/13/04] In August, a strategic plan is distributed, listing the same seven goals and 36 objectives. Thirteen objectives are highlighted, but the single objective relating to counterterrorism is not highlighted. [New York Times, 2/28/02]





May 15, 2001: CIA Hides al-Qaeda Meeting Information from FBI


A supervisor at the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center sends a request to CIA headquarters for the surveillance photos of the January 2000 al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia. Three days later, the supervisor explains the reason for his interest in an e-mail to a CIA analyst: “I'm interested because Khalid Almihdhar's two companions also were couriers of a sort, who traveled between [the Far East] and Los Angeles at the same time ([H]azmi and [S]alah).” Hazmi refers to hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salah Said is the alias al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash traveled under during the meeting. Apparently, the supervisor receives the photos. Toward the end of May, a CIA analyst contacts a specialist working at FBI headquarters about the photographs. The CIA wants the FBI analyst to review the photographs and determine if a person who had carried money to Southeast Asia for bin Attash in January 2000 could be identified. The CIA fails to tell the FBI analyst anything about Almihdhar or Alhazmi. Around the same time, the CIA analyst receives an e-mail mentioning Alhazmi's travel to the US. These two analysts travel to New York the next month and again the CIA analyst fails to divulge what he knows. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]





May 16, 2001: US Strengthens Military Relations with Central Asian Republics


US General Tommy Franks, later to head the US occupation of Afghanistan, visits the capital of Tajikistan. He says the Bush administration considers Tajikistan “a strategically significant country” and offers military aid. This follows a visit by a Department of Defense official earlier in the year. The Guardian later asserts that by this time, “US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana.” [Guardian, 9/26/01]
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=450#a0501talibanaid

6/25/2005 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Tony said...
Ps. I said "ashole" not, you know, the other word.
"
Ok, Ok!
Don't rub it in:
I did NOT work for Ray K.
But I never claimed I could recognize characters as well as you.

6/25/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Is Charles delineating a complete history of "those were the days, my friend"?

6/25/2005 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

May 23, 2001: Historic, long-prophecied gathering of all the tribes of humanity on the slopes of Mt Carmel, fulfilling prophecies by Isaiah, Ezekiel, Habbakuk, Micah, Jesus and John.

Formal recognition by those assembled representatives of humankind, that the prophetic cycle is ended; the Day of Fulfillment is here; no Prophets after Muhammad, only God Made Manifest in the human form, revealing ALL that humankind needs NOW for peace...

But do our clergy listen? No, they choose the 'damnable heresy' 'scoffing and denying our lord who redeems us' has returned!

Hence Iraq, Iran and Islamofascism, the shadows which grow blacker and darker as His light grows brighter!

6/25/2005 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

NahnCee said...
Is Charles delineating a complete history of "those were the days, my friend"?

7:37 PM

///////////////
nope. the question left by wretched's post was what happened in "May 2001" that caused the Russia, China, and France to swing around to the UK USA position on oil for food. The answer is that they learned of of the impending attack on the the USA and they didn't want to be caught out on oil for food when the sh-t hit the fan.

6/26/2005 04:25:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

it also seems that Iran had something to do with instigating the attack.

6/26/2005 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Doug,

What is your book? I must have missed a post or two.

6/27/2005 07:18:00 AM  

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