Last revised 9/14/2011 15:03
This telling will take a bit of time, so please be patient. In conversation with a fair number of persons, I’ve learned that not many have even an inkling of the implications of what’s related below. Often, they are astonished when hearing it for the first time. So, it may be worth your while to “listen up” as Gunny R. Lee Ermey is inclined to suggest. . .
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The tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the U.S. has come and gone. America, in one form or another, is still here, though in what shape seems a bit less certain from one day to the next. There were remembrance events throughout the country and, as reported by the Washington Times, these included appearances by former and current Presidents as well as “other dignitaries”:
Obama, Bush and Clinton lead U.S. in 9/11 tributes
“They wanted to draw us in to endless wars, sapping our strength and confidence as a nation,” Mr. Obama said. “But even as we put relentless pressure on al Qaeda, we’re ending the war in Iraq and beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Because after a hard decade of war, it is time for nation building here at home.”
Other dignitaries at ground zero included New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At Shanksville, Pa., the president and first lady laid a wreath at a new memorial dedicated to the passengers of United Flight 93 who fought back against hijackers and drove the plane into the ground. Mr. and Mrs. Obama visited a boulder that marks the crash site and stood quietly in the field of wildflowers for several minutes, gazing into the distance.
As the Obamas departed, the crowd chanted, “USA.”
On Saturday, former President Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush spoke at the memorial dedication in honor of Flight 93’s heroes at Shanksville.
Mr. Obama and his wife then returned to Washington to lay a wreath at the Pentagon, where terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77, killing 59 people on board and 125 people in the building.
The president concluded the day’s events by speaking at a “Concert for Hope” at the Kennedy Center.
Yep, that’s just what we need, more hoping events.
Fortunately for all gathered dignitaries, there was no “dirty bomb” detonation at any of the events as had been suggested as a possibility by the captured al Qaeda operative, al-Mauritani, and reported by Allahpundit at HotAir:
Terror threat update: Feds fear plot involves dirty bomb?
Before we get to the dirty bomb stuff, I get to say “I told you so” about where this threat came from. Last night I speculated that it was Younis al-Mauritani, the AQ capo charged by Bin Laden with organizing international plots. He was captured recently in Pakistan — no one’s quite sure precisely when — thanks to a joint CIA/ISI operation. According to an intel official who spoke to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross today, al-Mauritani is indeed the source of the intelligence on the new plot. Former Bush counterterror advisor Fran Townsend also suspected it was al-Mauritani, but she adds a wrinkle:
“Source says Pak-US CT relationship still rock bottom. No trust. Al Mauratania arrest was targt of oppty. US gettg no direct access 2 him.”
If the U.S./Pakistani relationship is still at rock bottom and we’re not getting these details straight from the horse’s mouth, who knows how much of what Pakistan is telling us — or not telling us — is true. Sending us off on a wild goose chase would be partial payback for humiliating them with the Bin Laden raid. But then, so would holding back key details that might help us break this thing up before it goes off.
I’m glad we’re being update-twittered by a former Bush counterrorism advisor, but who is this Fran Townsend? Turns out she’s been bouncing around D.C. for quite some time as Bill Gertz of the Washington Times informed us back in March:
Inside the Ring
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
FBI director search
Obama administration officials say the leading candidate to replace FBI Director Robert Mueller is Fran Fragos Townsend, a lawyer whose career spanned Clinton administration Attorney General Janet Reno’s Justice Department and George W. Bush’s White House.
Mr. Mueller’s term as director ends in September. The White House and FBI have been searching for a replacement for the past several months, according to two officials close to the search.
Ms. Townsend most recently served as Mr. Bush’s homeland security adviser, a senior counterterrorism post, until 2009.
Her earlier career in the Clinton Justice Department made her the focus of criticism. In early 2000, she came under fire from conservative officials in the Bush administration, notably Attorney General John Ashcroft, who moved her out of the strategically important Office of Intelligence Policy Review.
It was at OIPR that Ms. Townsend was a key figure in the notorious bureaucratic “wall” imposed under Ms. Reno that limited intelligence officials from talking to law enforcement officials. The wall was widely blamed for contributing to the intelligence failures related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The policy wall was erected by Ms. Reno, Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick and Justice Department intelligence official Richard Scruggs.
Ms. Townsend “was the main enforcer of the Reno-Gorelick-Scruggs wall,” said a former official who described her as “divisive.”
Other executive branch officials involved in security matters said that while at OIPR, Ms. Townsend blocked a key FBI request for a wiretap on Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Wen Ho Lee, the chief suspect in a spy case involving the loss of nuclear secrets to China. He was not convicted of spying but pleaded guilty to lesser charges of mishandling classified nuclear information. Officials said the delay in getting the wiretap undermined the FBI’s nuclear espionage case that remains unsolved.
Sounds like a shoe-in to me.
But what’s this about Wen Ho Lee? Thought he’d been exonerated? Well, at least that’s the impression I was given by Mr. Dunn over at American Thinker when he wrote about a new book by David Wise, Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War with China:
Misunderstanding of the Chinese intelligence mindset has led to serious failings in U.S. counterintelligence efforts. Wise recounts disaster after disaster in the recent decades.
• The Wen Ho Lee case, probably the only name most readers will readily recognize, in which Lee’s life was disrupted and his career virtually destroyed before it was discovered that the classified material in question — concerning the W-88 Trident warhead — didn’t come from his workplace at Los Alamos at all but very likely from within the Pentagon.
I really don’t think we need to put on sack cloth and ashes and wailingly lament about how “Lee’s life was disrupted and his career virtually destroyed.” Not if you read about the efforts of Clinton Administration officials which seem intentionally constructed to ensure that Lee’s case would never see the light of open court:
The Wen Ho Lee Flake-Out
Friday, September 29, 2000
Yes, there was a Keystone Kops quality, as Senator Richard Bryan put it, to the government’s handling of the Wen Ho Lee investigation. But the chattering classes are on the verge of a major intellectual flake-out, enshrining Mr. Lee as a victim of racism. No doubt he will soon be collecting a hundred grand a year on the lecture circuit and selling his life story to DreamWorks.
Any serious person, though, ought to read the accompanying narrative from the statement of Janet Reno and Louis Freeh. This is of course the prosecution’s case, and we’re not sure it would be enough to convict on the counts alleging intent to harm the U.S. But it is abundantly clear that Mr. Lee was up to no good, that there was plenty of reason for investigators to look at him with a jaundiced eye and that under serious investigation he acted like a guilty man. Having pleaded guilty to one felony, he promises to cooperate with investigators in revealing the fate of still-missing tapes. We won’t hold our breath.
The prosecution’s mistake was overkill. It framed the most serious possible charges, and then asked for onerous detention conditions prior to trial. Much of this was the work of John J. Kelly, a college classmate and longtime crony of President Clinton, who was U.S Attorney in Albuquerque and has resigned to run for Congress there. The Senate committee investigating the incident ought to get him in and hear his story.
Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
Believe it or not, this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to appreciating the anti-American machinations of Bill and Hill Clinton, their utter disdain for the military, as well as their well-documented subversions of U.S. national security interests. For more on those subjects, you can read a little something I put together in February of 2008 in anticipation of a Clintonian third-term candidacy. In deference to Quentin Tarantino I call it “Hazel O’Leary and the Missing 88’s.”
What really struck me about the Wen Ho Lee case was that he first came to the attention of the FBI in 1982. That’s right, 1982, the early years of the Reagan Administration. So why did it take until the late ’90s to bring the hammer down? Well, while investigating this and related nuclear proliferation questions, I came across the following:
Saturday Morning Deseret News – Oct 11, 1988
Has U.S. set out welcome mat for spies at nuclear arms labs?
Lax security permits inappropriate access, GAO report says.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lax security at Energy Department nuclear weapons laboratories has allowed agents from Iran, the Soviet bloc and other countries to gain access to sensitive research facilities, congressional investigators reported Tuesday.
The mils took place at the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico and at the Livermore laboratory in California, where scientist conduct advanced research on nuclear weapons and the Strategic Defense Initiative, known as “Star Wars,” according to the report by the General Accounting Office.
The foreign visitors included specialists from the Soviet bloc, China and nations believed either to have nuclear weapons or are seeking to develop them, including India Pakistan, Israel, Brazil and Argentina.
Also allowed into the plants were visitors from both Iran and Iraq, the report said.
Officials at the FBI and CIA declined to discuss possible espionage investigations stemming from the incidents, and it was not clear whether any secrets had been lost, according to the report by the agency, the investigative arm of Congress.
Formally delivering the report to the Senate Governmental Operations Committee, the GAO’s senior associate director, Keith Fultz, said that his inspectors “could not determine If sensitive or classified Information has been lost” but added that “because of weaknesses in DOE’s foreign visitor controls. We have little confidence that adequate protection of weapons related information and technology is achieved.”
One member of the committee, Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, said that “there may be a strong possibility that we will today only be looking at the tip of a monstrous iceberg.”
The Energy Department “generally does not follow its own requirements and obtain background information on foreign visitors and assignees from communist and other sensitive countries,” the GAO report said.
It found the department “allows foreign nationals from communist and proliferation risk countries into the laboratories to discuss subjects that could assist nuclear weapons programs.”
“I can tell you from my point of view. I personally know of no prolonged visit from any foreign national.” said Nigel Hey, spokesman for Sandia.
Hey said foreign visitors must make formal application through the Department of Energy, “so actually you can see that the actual procedure that’s followed to clear access to Sandia is in the hands of the Department of Energy.”
He said further comment would be impossible without first seeing the GAO report.
Congressional investigators found that of the 6,700 foreigners were allowed to visit the weapons laboratories between January 1986 and September 1987, 222 were from communist countries and 675 were from other countries deemed to be espionage or proliferation risks, including 25 from Iran and two from Iraq.
So, U.S. sponsored nuclear weapons proliferation gamesmanship seems to have started long before Clinton became President. I have no notion as to how familiar Reagan himself may or may not have been with this issue, but it’s difficult for me to overlook the likelihood that then Vice-president, soon to be President, George Herbert Walker Bush, Sire of Dubya, knew and approved of what was going on in the weapons labs. After all, he was a former director of the CIA and would appoint Robert Gates, later Secretary of Defense under Bush II and Obama, CIA Director.
Frankly, my dear reader, it’s beginning to seem to me as though not very many of those at the helm have ever really given much of a damn about national security.
But there are those who do care. Listen to the emotion in the voice of former Counterintelligence Director Michelle Van Cleave when in early 2010 she relates her shock and dismay upon learning just how bad our spy catching efforts had been. . .
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I don’t know about you, but this stuff just doesn’t set very well with me. And it really makes me wonder about all those Presidents parading their sympathies, condolences, and remembrances before the cameras. I find myself thinking that we really have become little more than a touchy-feely Oprah-Winfrey/American-Idol nation.
So, for 9/11 I decided to go to a bar and watch the Lions’ game with a buddy. Lions did okay in their defeat of Tampa Bay. But they still couldn’t manage a full sixty minutes of quality football. The fourth quarter was almost disastrously poor.
I’d wait to say my remembrance rosary and try giving a damn by putting this information together.
Update: You’re gonna love this, but keep that saved air-sickness bag handy when you watch the promo for “A Decade of Difference” concert.