“We knew that there had been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went. We’ve got 3,000 people who went to work that day, and didn’t come home, to show for that.” — Attorney General Michael Mukasey, speaking last week “in Nancy Pelosi’s hometown.”
AG Michael Mukasey revealed new, stunning information: he now knows precisely to whom that call was made. As 13 of the 15 muscle hijackers came late and knew little, that call undoubtedly was to one of only seven men: Zacarias Moussaoui; the two members of al-Qaeda muscle hijackers who the CIA knew, in March 2000, had entered the United States two months prior, Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi; or one of the four hijacker pilots, Hani Hanjour, Marwan al Shehhi, Ziad Jarrah, and Mohamed Atta. All seven trained to fly after they arrived here. As they entered America alone or in pairs and initially moved and operated independently, each separately made updates to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed via a common communications network. In addition, with Moussaoui excluded, literally hundreds of communications took place between the remaining six.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal quoted Mukasey citing ‘One Missed Call‘ — had only we been listening. Yet the 9/11 Commission found that “communications sufficient to enable planning and direction of the operatives and those who would be helping them” was a critical element in the successful attack. What follows are obvious examples of the terrorists’ communications, to illustrate the many ‘dots’ uncollected before 3,000 died. [Note that the first two citations are to demonstrate that our intelligence agencies knew Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi to be al-Qaeda and had arrived in the United States on January 15, 2000]:
Retired New York firefighter John Gilleeny alerted me to today’s editorial in the New York Daily News. There, they berated New York’s Democrats in the House for their failure to support the Senate’s version of legislation to allow our intelligence services to electronically eavesdrop on the enemy. The Daily News named names:
Some say these limitations are minor — merely a bit of added paperwork. We disagree. Nothing that crimps national security when lives are potentially at stake — New York lives, at that — can be shrugged off.
What’s worse is that there’s no remotely valid reason for it.
By a big bipartisan majority, the Senate okayed a measure to extend foreign electronic eavesdropping under reasonable court supervision. But House Democrats balked, largely because the bill granted immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that responded to government requests for information in the post-9/11 crisis.
Allowing these firms to be sued for complying with government directives aimed at preventing a second attack would be a travesty. And denying the U.S. full protection over the issue is all the more outrageous.
Some of New York’s Democratic delegation refused to extend the eavesdropping legislation because they insist the telecom companies should be subject to suit. Others say they oppose the bill on the ground that it permits warrantless wiretapping. The latter have truly gone off the deep end.
The roll of dishonor is as follows: Charles Rangel, Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler of Manhattan; Nydia Velazquez, Edolphus Towns and Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn; Joseph Crowley, Gary Ackerman, Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner of Queens, and Eliot Engel, Jose Serrano and Nita Lowey of the Bronx.
All voted against legislation in August or said they oppose it now. They are doing constituents, the city and the nation a terrible disservice.