Aug 29 2005

Iraq Connected to 9-11

Published by at 9:21 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

I think Americans can rightfully feel like they have been lied to or duped by politicians in Washington trying to cover for the Clinton Administration. One thing the Able Danger issue did cause was a re-examination of events that could be gleaned by bloggers from public records and news items. Then the non-MSM journalists jumped in with their resources and access to sources and the story now coming out is of massive amounts of overlooked or surpressed information. Able Danger was one area, and now I am beginning to think its efforts were surpressed, on the surface, because of legal reasons. But this was a cover for the real issue at the time – connections to Iraq.

Why? How did I get to that leap in logic? Well part of this comes from the great work Ed Morrissey did in finding out that Germany arrested two Iraqi operatives trying to recruit people to attack the US, people specifically associated with radical muslim fanatic groups. Groups like Al Qaeda. This is nothing to ignore and is a fact. And my guess is this is the tip of the ice berg compared to what is known in the intelligence community.

Now Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard has an article out with further connections the 9-11 Commission ommitted from its report.

AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.

When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his “pocket litter,” in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them–Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir–went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq–Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

Clinton did not want any confrontations with Iraq in his last year in office. He was too concerned with getting Al Gore elected and his reputation salvaged. He took a gamble and lost. When Able Danger broke I immediately connected Sandy Bergler’s actions with the purloined documents to the Able Danger cover up. Intuition tells me this is probably true – logic says there is nothing in the Able Danger material, as we understand it today, to really harm the Clintonistas and be worth taking this kind of risk. So what if Atta was in the US and not taken seriously. That is the story line now anyway. It just added another example of the same problem we knew about.

But if the notes on the documents clearly showed some indications that Iraq was successfully reaching out and participating with Al Qaeda to attack us – then democrats would know that their chances of winning a presidential election and majorities in congress would be lost for decades.

Is avoiding that kind of fate worth the risk of jail time? Is that the bad decision Bergler felt so anxious over, probably with pressure from Clinton and the rest of his team, that he stole classified material from the national archives and destroyed it?

Yes, that is something that could push some politicians to break the law and risk all. Being relegated to political limbo for years would scare enough people to act irrationally.

Stephen Hayes sees the possible link, as do many of us now.

And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?

The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn’t fit the commission’s narrative.

Now the question is, what lengths would some people go to supress that link?

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Iraq Connected to 9-11”

  1. Zoomie says:

    You guys are just absolutely desparate to try and blame 9/11 on Clinton aren’t you? Is it because the entire nation has soured on Bush and HIS war in Iraq?

    By the way, since several of the Able Danger folk are claiming lots of their info came from mid-east sources, from the Israelis, whatever, you do realize that none of this is “data mining”, which is what AD was supposedly all about.

    And you do realize the Israelis routinely hold back LOTS of mideast intell from us (I used to work for NSA, indirectly, via the USAF).

    And you do know that using simple data mining like AD supposedly was doing, a reporter over at Slate discovered that there was a “Mohammad Atta” affiliated with the Brooklyn Muslim clerics, who was arrested by the FBI in 1986 and shipped off to Israel for a bombing attack a few years earlier. Since data mining very often produces literally tons of seemingly (but often not) related data, the true value is in sifting through it. Just dumping it out, this other Atta with the Brooklyn connection fits with the AD claims (especially the timing, since the original claim was that the ID was made several months before the 9/11 Atta was actually calling himself Muhammad Atta)…

  2. AJStrata says:


    I worked for JS on some large SWprograms (you should recognize WMMCCS and GCS if you are what you say you are) and your first problem is, well, you are making things up in your head. Everyone knows much of the information came from outside the country – I reported that many times. At we all know about false positives. It is my contention, in fact, they tripped over Mohamed el-Amir because of the common name with other players you mentioned. Nice to see you have caught up with us on that point.

    But to assume they did ‘simple searches’ and just ‘dumped the data’ is naive. We all know they analyzed the data and worked it. For example, since only one Mohamed el-Amir Atta is associated with an al-Shehhi and the other two 9-11 terrorists Able danger ‘claims’ were all linked – then it is impossible to confuse other Mohamed el-Amir’s with the one living with al-Shehhi.

    Check mate. Thanks for playing – come again.

  3. Jim says:

    AJ, think about the question you pose at the end of your analysis, to wit, to what lengths would some people go to suppress a link between Iraq and 9-11? Does not the question apply equally to the Republican panelists on the 9-11 Commission? Why would they enter into this conspiracy of silence, this corrupt bargain? If the AD team briefed Zelikow at Bagram, if Weldon presented Hadley with either version of the chart to show “the Man”, no matter how sketchy the information, why didn’t Rove run with it during the campaign? If this information, had it come out during the 2004 election, would have been so damaging as to eclipse Democratic hopes for generations to come, why didn’t the Republicans seize such an unparalleled opportunity? Why did the GOP not spin Sandy Berger’s larcenous violation of national security into pure political gold? For that matter, why to this day is the Administration not standing on every street corner proclaiming “We were right! Saddam’s fingerprints were all over September 11th!” Republican diffidence in the face of such obvious and overwhelming political advantage is a betrayal of the species. What is it do you suppose that binds Bush Sr. and Clinton together, their love for each other?

  4. AJStrata says:


    Thay are good questions – and I do not have the answers. What we have is related events and information the commission missed. If you want speculation that is not tin hat, here it goes. Your Rove question is the easiest. Bush and Rove do not want to, and will not, run against Bill Clinton. It is wasted effort and causes them to focus on irrelevant issues. Clinton is out of office. How we got to 9-11 in general was a malaise in the country towards the threat. Clinton had no political support to take out the Taliban or Al Qaeda during most of his time in office. That changed by 2000 with the embassy bombings, the millenium threats and the USS Cole. But Clinton was distracted with the impeachment.

    The impeachment is a black eye on the reps. Many of us felt do not impeach unless you have something serious enough to actually out Clinton. They did not and the spectacle ended up giving both sides a black eye. Clinton was never vindicated, he just was able to show the Reps to be on his same level. Classic Clinton with a pyhrric victory.

    So going after Clinton opens up a time period Bush has no desire to go into and there is little benefit to what he needs to do going forward. This was an election year when the commission reported, you recall.

    The 9-11 commission could have missed the import of Able Danger because of a myriad of reasons. The reps could have been inept. They could feel the same way Bush felt – that is was important to get a reasonable, non controversial, story out which did minimal disruption to the intelligence community.

    It is highly possible the Clintonistas did cover up some damning evidence. You don’t understand DC very well. It is very plausible the democrats panicked and the reps let them go off and take the risks because they felt winning the war on terror would be a better solution. Remember, the democrats are the ones out on a limb saying Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. Reps don’t need to get into this. They saw Saddam the way I did. Not necessarily involved with 9-11, but the most likely key player in future 9-11s. While Bush is taking on Iraq and everything else, he doesn’t need to play games with these issues. He wins through accomplishments.

    But that does not leave the democrats off the hook. So others take up the challenge to make sure everything is on the up and up here. It may be nothing, but right now evidence points the other way. Sandy Bergler admitted to actions worthy of the impeachment of Clinton: he stole national security documents containing critical historical information on what led to 9-11, and he destroyed them.

    That is not in doubt, he admitted to this.

  5. Jim says:

    AJ, I like it when others admit to not knowing. Let me be as forthright as you and state that I don’t know either, but that said, I don’t believe your speculations explain the full range of events then or now. You are correct of course, I don’t know how Washington works, but your analysis raises more questions than it answers. The problem for me is that no one in the Republican kennel was barking before or during the ’04 election when the findings of Able Danger must have been known at the highest levels of the Administration, and that the more circumspect among the Clinton critics who have lately sought partisan advantage from these troubling revelations are now muzzling themselves.

    Yes, the Republicans struck out at Elvis and stubbed their toe, but if nothing else, the Clinton impeachment trial for trivial/non-trivial lying revealed an enormous appetite for destruction and settling scores. The House managers did not undertake this effort lightly. They knew what the stakes were, nothing less than rubbishing the Democrats as an effective opposition party for years to come. Having demonstrated their eagerness for political warfare over Whitewater and Lewinski, scandals which pale to insignificance next to the wholesale failure of the nation’s defenses on 9-11, and genuine ferocity in their prosecution of it until the charges went up to the Senate, that the GOP should renounce the neutron bomb of Able Danger in favor of some blinkered strategy of politicking or from some unilateral sentiment of comity is just one more proverbial dog that doesn’t hunt.

    I agree, Bush in fact did not run against Clinton in 2004, nor was it even necessary to position himself against the Clinton legacy per se, but to the singular extent that his reelection campaign was a referendum on his administration’s handling of September 11th, the signal event of our time, and the subsequent War On Terror, like it or not Clinton’s record on national security was in play. Or rather, it was conspicuously not in play, and this unspoken gentleman’s agreement to keep it off the field is extraordinarily puzzling. The question is was this decision taken apart from the Commission’s work, or in concert with it, and why.

    Bush’s failure to brandish the Able Danger club during the election, far from signifying nothing almost certainly has cost the Republicans, in the Age Of Terror, a lifetime mandate in the Congress and the Executive. Disaster in Iraq would have resulted in general disaffection with the policy, yes, but would never have, even by default, redounded to the Democrats’ benefit to such a surprising degree. Because the GOP did nothing in ’04 to disabuse them of the notion that eventually they will inherit the earth, the Democrats thus far have done little to marginalize themselves nor have they offered anything in the way of principled opposition to Bush’s national security policy. That they live at all to fight another day, and are increasingly seen as an alternative to Republican stewardship on Terror and Iraq, in retrospect will not be viewed as anything but a world-historical GOP blunder by therealists and brokers of both parties.

    All of which, naturally, begs the question, was Able Danger a Right-handed club, and a Right-handed club only? Preliminary indications are that it is a two-handed racket. The Commissioners’ hinky reaction to the story when it broke bespeaks fluently the universally understood language of scienter. Hadley’s refusal to confirm or deny that Weldon gave him a copy of the chart is almost tantamount to an admission that the Administration was in possession of Able Danger intel in time for the campaign, and did nothing with it. Specter’s decision to dun Director Mueller and Shaffer’s FBI contact instead of the decision makers in the Able Danger chain-of-command, SOCOM, and the DOD is patent misdirection and does not bode well for any future fact-gathering exercise in the Senate. If Weldon’s latest allegation is correct, it is sinister that Deputy Secretary Of Defense Cambone has four boxes of Able Danger materials in his office when Pentagon spokesmen claim there is not a scrap of evidence to be found, boohoo. Based upon the subject matter of his latest book, it would be a fair guess to say that Weldon’s agenda is to administer the coup-de-grace to a greivously wounded CIA, and to move on Iran, but there may be depths to his passion for Able Danger to which we are not yet privy. Congressman Weldon may keep surprising us. One thing is certain, official Washington is in a panic and is closing ranks around Able Danger.

    Like most, I have a milky eye and a gimlet eye. Sometimes I see clearly and sometimes not at all. The mysteries of 9-11 are bipartisan mysteries which must be kept from the people. So sayeth Washington. How long must we abide the darkness?

  6. AJStrata says:

    Your timeline is a bit out of whack. Bush did not know of Able Danger in 2000 – it was a small pilot program in the bowels of the DoD using data mining techniques honed in the sigint world on publically available (not free) information. Able Danger was completely shutdown Jan-Feb 2001 which is during the handover period from Clinton to Bush. The program of 11 people was dead and there was no reason to inform anyone in the Bush administration about this aborted effort.

    It is clear Able Danger was only known to a few, and in their eyes (with the exception of Weldon) it was a failure because it was a political and legal risk. To go beyond that does not make sense on what we know today. A small program accidentally hit gold, but no one knew at the time because, contrary to the 9-11 commission testimony, terrorists in the US was not a priority over legal and political concerns.

  7. Jim says:

    So, by your phrasing I am to understand that you believe Bush did know of Able Danger subsequently. AJ, with all due respect, read it again. Bush’s knowledge in 2000 doesn’t enter into the analysis, it’s his knowledge of Able Danger findings by the 2004 campaign and his choice not to use such damaging revelations about Clinton era intelligence/national security failures to permanently marginalize the Democratic party. What is the age old truism about the Democrats? That they are weak on defense and security related issues, and never was this charge leveled with greater force than during the Clinton administration, though to Republican tastes it never received the attention it deserved while Willy was in office. Lo and behold, by the 2004 campaign, Republicans are presented with THE smoking gun of Clinton/Democratic party national security failure. Atta and friends had been connected to an active Al Queda cell within the U.S. more than a year before the attacks, during Clinton’s watch, and nothing was done about it. (Able Danger team member specific recollections confirmed by DOD today). What did the Bush people do with this explosive information during the ’04 campaign? They punted, they whiffed, they sat on it! Why??? God knows the Republicans were aggrieved by Commission efforts to pass around the blame for 9-11. Why didn’t they make the Dems wear the Able Danger findings to their everlasting shame? The only logical answer is that Able Danger unearthed data which was damaging to all of official Washington, Republicans included. AJ I know this line of inquiry is shockingly uncongenial to the myth of Beltway probity, and I do not claim to have any particular knowledge or expertise on these issues, but these are fair inferences which have yet to be rebutted and must be addressed. What was the totality of Able Danger’s work product as it related to September 11th?

  8. AJStrata says:


    No. Bush probably learned of Able Danger when we all did.

  9. dw says:

    Ok Zoomie, explain away this little gem. I am waiting for someone, anyone, to read that editorial from an Iraqi state-run newspaper, under the Saddam regime, printed in July 2001, which managed to name all three attack targets for 9/11 – all four targets. Coincidence? Um…no. The probability is negligible. AJ is just wondering why all the evidence pointing to Iraq is so eagerly discounted, ignored and/or buried.

  10. Jim says:

    AJ, try these:

    Did Bush know about Able Danger’s findings before Weldon went public with the information?

    1) Weldon>Hadley>(Rice?)>Bush “The Man” Approximately two weeks after September 11th. The “chart”. A contentious subject, but easily refuted. Which Hadley won’t refute (WA PO Aug. 19th). For the sake of argument, why did Hadley take the chart if it wasn’t significant? Hadley was Rice’s Deputy at the time.

    2) Shaffer>Zelikow>Rice>Bush Oct.21, 2003 Zelikow, Executive Director of 9-11 Commission, accompanied by two senior members of the Commission, and a representative of the Executive Branch, met with three members of intel community and was briefed on Able Danger info. (Summary of Kean Hamilton Statement On Able Danger) The specificity of the briefer’s advisory is in dispute. I know who I believe. Zelikow and Rice are co-authors and enjoy a long-standing working relationship.

    3) “Minder” > (?>?>) Bush AKA “representative of the Executive Branch”. Sat in on ALL witness testimony given to 9-11 Commission. Who did he report to and did that person have the President’s ear?

    AJ, let me restate that I don’t know any of these to be true, I am simply positing connections. Given the close working relationships, subtract half a degree of separation. More than a fifty percent chance that Bush knew about Able Danger, and, if true, a one hundred percent chance that he knew before the ’04 election. Why doesn’t some enterprising reporter ask Rice if she either saw the chart or was otherwise informed about Able Danger before the ’04 election? In 2001, Hadley was her second-in-command, and her longtime confidante, Zelikow, was briefed on AD in 2003. If Bush knew, she was the probable nexus.

  11. The Council has spoken!

    The Watcher’s Council has announced their selections for the posts of the last week most deserving of recognition. The Council posts were very tightly-clustered this week. The winning Council post was Dr. Sanity’s “A Nation that St…

  12. StanMan says:

    Hi guys and gals,

    First time poster.

    You know, or should know, why the government forms committees.
    Sadly, it’s to spread the blame for any failures evenly across the spectrum of potential villains so nobody loses their cushy jobs.

    In other words, it’s one big CYA job!!!

    As most of you have done, it seems the best place to look is on the blogs for finding the truth. The 911 Commission report is useless!

  13. […] Going backward in time, here are the September 2, 2005, results. Dr. Sanity won the council category with the post A Nation that Stands for Nothing Deserves a Media that Believes in Nothing, while The Strata-Sphere came in second with Iraq Connected to 9-11. In the non-council category, Michael Yon’s post Battle for Mosul: Progress Report was the victor, and Chez Nadezhda’s post In defense of John Bolton came in second. […]

  14. […] to save the reputation of his boss and to help prevent the downward spiral of the Democratic party. AJ Strata has the same line of thought: Clinton did not want any confrontations with Iraq in his last year in […]