This blog features information about the political campaign nationally and in the state of Pennsylvania. it will discuss congressional races western PA, but it won't restrict comments to those jurisdictions. On many occasions, it will feature humor, but its main purpose is to "cut the legs off" political jihad. This is a site for political grown-ups of all ages.

Location: Ambridge, Pennsylvania, United States

I have a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester (English and American Literature). I taught for 10 years at various educational institutions (Univ. of Rochester, my alma mater, College of William and Mary, and University of Georgia, where I was also Asst. Ed. of the Georgia Review. Later, I worked as a speechwriter and "thinker" at various large companies, including Phillips Petroleum, Gulf Oil, Aetna, Merck (consultant), and Eli Lilly (consultant), among many others. I'm a full-time writer and political commentator/analyst. Favorite company: AudioTech Business Books. Favorite female: my wife, Patricia Ann Maloney. Favorite politcal candidate: Diana Lynn Irey (PA's 12th congressional district)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Iraq Connection: Oklahoma Bombing and 9/11

After Gerald Ford became President, he gathered his family in a room at the White House where they read from Proverbs: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." We will miss you President Ford.

A column no one can afford to miss is the one by Jack Kelly in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade. In this past Sunday's editions, Kelly talked about a House Intelligence Committee's criticism of the FBI investigation of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. ("Bumbling Against Terror," Post-Gazette, Dec. 31, 2006, "Forum," H-3)

I have some personal contact with FBI investigations, and I found their methods shallow and selective. For a variety of reasons, the FBI tends to narrow its focus over time, seeking to convict someone -- or anyone -- rather than ferret out everyone who's guilty. (I'll talk more about my own experience at a later date.)

Kelly criticizes the FBI for failing to explore whether Oklahoma bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols "had help."

He adds, "The FBI shouldn't have abandoned its search for John Doe No. 2 . . . Jayna Davis, then a reporter for a television station in Oklahoma City, said she found at least 20 witnesses who later identified Hussain al-Hussaini, a former Iraqi soldier, as the man they saw [having coffee with] Timoth McVeigh."

Kelly adds, "And the FBI should have investigated more thoroughly contacts between Mr. McVeigh and Andreas Strassner, a German national who was a paramilitary instructor at Elohim City, a neo-Nazi compound near the Arkansas border . . . ."

Some of the information about Hussain al-Hussaini -- current location unknown -- suggested that he was a disgrunted former Iraqi soldier and an opponnent of Saddam Hussein. However, a more careful look at al-Hussaini offers a more ominous picture.

For example, Colonel Patrick Lang, a Middle East expert who formerly served as the chief of human intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency, believes Hussain Al-Hussaini would have been counted among Saddam's elite fighting forces.

Lang says, "Our conclusion would be that this guy [al-Hussaini] had been a member of either the Special Troops Division of the Iraqi Military Intelligence or the Adnan Division of the Republican Guard." The ex-military intelligence chief postulated that al-Hussaini's purported history as a political dissenter was "complete nonsense," but the story, in his opinion, served as a clever means to facilitate infiltration into the United States as a false defector and Iraqi intelligence agent. "This guy is clearly not a refugee. . . ."

There's some evidence al-Hussaini had/has links both to Al Qaeda and perhaps to Iran. Of course, we hear regularly that Al Qaeda (Sunni) and Teheran (Shiite) can't abide one another, but they seem able to work together when it's convenient. Reportedly, Iran has one of bin Laden's sons "under house arrest," something that of course protects him from being killed or captured by American soldiers.

What binds the Sunnis of Al Qaeda to the Shiites in Iran is their mutual hatred of the U.S. and the West. Both groups are practitioners of -- and supporters of -- terrorism. For example, Iran's Shiite rulers had no problem shipping weapons through Syria, a majority Sunni nation, which then sent them on to Hezbollah, a Shiite force.

If you'd like to know more about Hussein al-Hussaini and his apparent role in the Oklahoma City bombing, go to Davis has dedicated her life to establishing the role of Iraq in the Oklahoma City bombing, and the evidence she presents is impressive.

In addition, the FBI (and the CIA) need to do a better job of investigating the activities of 9/11 hijacker and mission leader Mohammed Atta. On April 8, 2001, did Atta meet with a senior official of Iraqi intelligence (Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani) in Prague -- or did he not?

The FBI and CIA say, along with some members of Czech Intelligence, that the meeting could have taken place, especially given the fact that Atta was no stranger to Prague. At one point, Czech president Vaclev Havel said there was only "a 70% chance" that the two had met.

ONLY a 70% chance?! One factor used by those who want to discredit the notion that there was a get-together is the fact that the main informant came forward after 9/11, when Atta's picture was much in the news.

So what? If the informant, apparently someone from the Iraqi embassy, saw the pictures of Atta doesn't mean he didn't see him in April, 2001 in Prague.

As for Iraqi intelligence officer al-Ani, he's been whiling away his time in American custody. He claims he has no memory of meeting with Atta. Of course, he has some strong reasons -- such as preserving his own life -- for taking that position.

There's one other factor. According to the Washington Post (and others), Russian intelligence warned President Bush -- pre 9/11 -- that Iraq planned terrorist attacks against American interests, including attacks on U.S. soil.

What, pray tell, ever happened to this story? Is it true? If so, why has there been no follow-up on it?

There's a lot of material in this column, and there will be more in the future.

I believe it's probable that McVeigh had assistance from Hussaini and Iraq, and I believe it's probable that Atta met with al-Ani -- and perhaps with other Iraqi officials. Stay tuned.


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