Monday, February 06, 2006

Incompetence and Egotism

are the causes of 9-11, not that our government didn’t have too little ability for secret surveillance and too much accountability.

The Below found here on the web

One investigator admitted to FRONTLINE that al-Quso's connections to the 9/11 conspirators was a staggering revelation, and he still had nightmares about it. When asked what might have been discovered if they'd learned of al-Quso's connections earlier, he responded, "the possibilities are mind-boggling."

So there was the trail -- the pieces of information linking the Malaysia meetings in January 2000, to the USS Cole attack of October 2000, to the 9/11 plot. At those meetings in Malaysia, it's believed both the 9/11 and Cole plots were planned, their operatives met with each other, and investigators suspect one or more Al Qaeda operatives at the meetings worked both the Cole and 9/11 plots.

The stunning and logical question that hangs in the air about John O'Neill's compromised USS Cole investigation in Yemen is, "What if?"

What if FBI headquarters had backed O'Neill and pushed the State Department to allow him to return to Yemen in January 2001 (over the objections of U.S. Ambassador Barbara Bodine) to continue his investigation?

If O'Neill had been allowed to go back, what could he have done that wasn't already being done? Given his aggressiveness in investigations, it would have meant more wiretaps, more surveillance of suspects, and pushing the government for more arrests. And as his colleagues like Barry Mawn, Clint Guenther and Mary Jo White knew so well, it all would have been done in the John O'Neill style:

-- wining and dining the head of Yemen's PSO, Yemen's equivalent to the FBI...
-- working with the CIA agents in Yemen and building on those past relationships from his Station Alex days...

-- holding the Yemeni officials' feet to the fire to get more access to those detained, and using the interrogations to slowly unravel the Al Qaeda network in Yemen -- especially, Fahad al-Quso, who O'Neill knew had been holding back ...

This is the scenario that might have played out in Yemen and the one that still bothers O'Neill's former allies and supporters. For them, it is conceivable that, in the end, John O'Neill would have been able to learn about that critical January 2000 meeting in Malaysia, and to start connecting the dots that ultimately led to Sept. 11, 2001.

Read this April 2004 update on Fahad al-Quso and Tawfiq bin-Atash.


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