Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Fritz Wuehler, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. By Cliff Kincaid

    June 18, 2009

    A journalist who has uncovered evidence of al-Qaeda involvement in the 1995
    Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 has been
    threatened with a lawsuit by powerful U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

    Government officials blamed the crash of TWA Flight 800, which killed 230
    people, on a mysterious mechanical malfunction, while the Oklahoma City
    bombing, which killed 168, was quickly labeled the work of domestic “right-
    wing” terrorists.

    Accuracy in Media has long maintained that Clinton Administration officials
    concealed the truth about both incidents.

    But at a news conference at the National Press Club, investigative reporter
    Peter Lance said that “the greatest mass murder in U.S. history,” the attack
    on 9/11 which occurred during the administration of President George W. Bush
    that killed nearly 3,000 Americans, has still not been thoroughly

    A five-time Emmy Award winner formerly with ABC News, Lance is one of the few
    journalists with mainstream press credentials still raising the hard
    questions about how al-Qaeda agents were able to prepare terrorist attacks on
    U.S. soil, even while some of them were under surveillance here and abroad by
    various U.S. government agencies.

    Rather than fire anybody over this massive intelligence failure, President
    Bush gave George Tenet, CIA director at the time of 9/11, a presidential
    Medal of Freedom, we noted in a 2006 column that praised the work of Lance
    and others for continuing to raise questions about the attack.

    The 9/11 attack was foreseeable and preventable, Lance said at the Tuesday
    press conference, and there has been a spectacular “failure of
    accountability” for those who could and should have stopped them. Lance said
    the 9/11 commission, officially known as the National Commission on Terrorist
    Attacks Upon the United States, was a whitewash and that commission members
    had political agendas designed to protect people and agencies from scrutiny.

    The Lance book, Triple Cross, originally published in 2006 and now issued in
    paperback, includes a timeline, also on his website, tracing the history of
    some of the perpetrators of these terrorist acts going back to 1981. His book
    goes into substantial detail about the TWA 800 and Oklahoma City bombing
    cases and how government officials covered up the nature of these crimes.

    Offering support to Lance at the press club event was Lt. Colonel Anthony
    Shaffer, a member of the Able Danger military intelligence unit that
    identified al-Qaeda terrorist cells in America before the 9/11 attack. This
    project used a process known as “data mining” to develop information on
    potential terrorists and establish a data base for government use. Shaffer
    blew the whistle on the fact that the information wasn’t shared with other
    agencies or used effectively.

    Also appearing in support of Lance was Jan Schlichtmann, the attorney whose
    lawsuit over polluted and poisoned water was the subject of the film “A Civil
    Action,” starring John Travolta. He said Lance had a “right to write” and
    that Fitzgerald’s attempt to control “what we say and write about his conduct
    in office” should not stand.

    Lance argues that one of the biggest intelligence failures involved the
    handling of al-Qaeda agent and former Egyptian Army commando Ali Mohamed,
    whose face appears on the cover of the book and who worked for the CIA, the
    Army Green Berets, and the FBI, even while he was helping al Qaeda prepare
    terrorist acts against Americans. He was eventually arrested on terrorism
    charges, convicted and sentenced to prison.

    Lance’s previous books include 1000 Years for Revenge and Cover Up.

    However, it wasn’t until Fitzgerald threatened Lance over Triple Cross and
    demanded that the paperback edition be killed that the specter of government
    censorship had emerged. Before he became U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Fitzgerald
    ran anti-terrorism efforts as an Assistant U.S. Attorney out of the Southern
    District of New York.

    Lance argues in his book that Fitzgerald and other senior Department of
    Justice and FBI officials failed to properly follow up on hard evidence about
    al-Qaeda activities on U.S. soil and that information was discounted and
    suppressed about the planning and nature of some of the terrorist attacks.

    Another former prosecutor, Andrew McCarthy, has taken issue with Lance’s
    version of some of the facts. But Fitzgerald, who cites McCarthy’s book,
    Willful Blindness, in disputing some of Lance’s contentions, is threatening
    Lance and publisher HarperCollins with legal action and even mocking the
    journalist as a “heroic” figure because he had broken with the rest of the
    press on the TWA 800 matter. Fitzgerald calls the idea of a government cover-
    up of a terrorist attack on TWA 800 “fantastically paranoid.”

    But Lance reminds people that Fitzgerald’s record, which now includes
    indicting former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges, has
    not been without controversy.

    Fitzgerald functioned as Special Prosecutor in the case involving whether
    Valerie Plame’s CIA affiliation being revealed in a Robert Novak column
    somehow violated the law. In an attempt to find the source of the disclosure,
    Fitzgerald grilled many reporters over their sources and put one of them,
    Judith Miller of the New York Times, in jail, even though the original source
    of the leak, State Department official Richard Armitage, was known and never
    charged. Fitzgerald ended up prosecuting and convicting Lewis “Scooter”
    Libby, the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for a side
    issue—allegedly lying about what he told a reporter about the case. Libby’s
    prison sentence was commuted by President Bush.

    Lance finds the CIA leak case to be another example of how Fitzgerald escapes
    accountability for his questionable prosecutorial conduct.

    The Fitzgerald threats consist of 32 pages of letters. While some of the
    letters were sent from Patrick J. Fitzgerald as a private citizen, with a
    Post Office Box for an address, one was faxed from the office of the “U.S.
    Attorney Chicago.”

    In response, Lance has filed a complaint with the Office of Professional
    Responsibility in the Department of Justice, saying, “I ask that the Office
    of Professional Responsibility investigate to determine whether…Mr.
    Fitzgerald crossed the line from public official charged with protecting the
    Constitution to thin-skinned prosecutor who used the authority of his office
    to undermine it.”

    In a curious revelation, one of the letters from Fitzgerald refers to
    HarperCollins, a subsidiary of News Corporation, having once offered
    Fitzgerald a “seven figure” sum for the rights to his biography. Fitzgerald
    calls this an “estimate of the market value of my personal reputation.”

    While such a statement may be a reference to a monetary figure that
    Fitzgerald thinks he can sue to recover because of a book that he thinks
    damages his reputation, a blogger at the Able Danger site commented, “So,
    he’s suing Harper Collins after being offered ‘seven figures’ by Harper
    Collins which he obviously never got, or did I miss the story about a
    Fitzgerald book deal?”

    Lance said the American people should demand a “truth commission” to examine
    the history of government intelligence failures in the war on terrorism.

    While the threats from Fitzgerald have attracted some media interest and
    attention, Lance had harsh words for the mainstream media and their lack of
    curiosity regarding the ultimate truth about 9/11 and other terrorist acts on
    American soil. He said the New York Times won’t touch the controversy over
    his book. <snip>

    story continued on
    Fritz Wuehler, Jun 18, 2009
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