Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Osama: I've got nukes

The LA Times reports that al-Qaeda "is more dangerous than at any time since the Sept. 11 attacks."

A counter-terrorism official told the LA Times that al-Qaeda's "planning-to-execution cycle might suggest summer is the window of choice."

A new article by national security investigative journalist John Stanton argues that "Crippling two American cities with nukes just might be in Bin Laden’s playbook," adding "And that’s very worrisome, particularly when each August 6th and 9th come around."

Osama bin Laden has said that al-Qaeda has nukes. Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has said that the US Government knows this to be true.

Dick Cheney wants to go to war with Iran and has indicated that any attack, by anyone, will be construed as an act of war by Iran.

We must demand that Henry Waxman must hold hearings into what Sibel Edmonds knows before we invade the wrong country again.


In November 2001, in an interview with Hamid Mir (The New York Times calls him "a widely respected Pakistani journalist,") Osama bin Laden said:
"We have chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent and if America used them against us we reserve the right to use them."

At the time, CNN reported that "Bush administration officials said they do not believe the al Qaeda leader has weapons of mass destruction or the means to deliver them."

The Bush egadministration, famous for fear-mongering, has often said that we need to take Osama at his word, but I must admit that until last week I had no idea that Osama had ever claimed that he had nukes.

Bush has repeatedly said that Osama wants a caliphate that extends half-way across the planet, and that we need to take Osama at his word. And Bush has repeatedly said that Osama wants the US occupation of Iraq to continue indefinitely says that Iraq is the central front in the War on Terror (TM), and therefore that the US occupation of Iraq must continue indefinitely.

And we've been told repeatedly that we can't allow Iran to have any nukes because Iran wants to "wipe Israel off the map" - but when Osama says that he has nukes and that "The enmity between us and the Jews goes far back in time and is deep rooted. There is no question that war between the two of us is inevitable," we were told that we shouldn't take him at his word, that he doesn't have nukes, and that he hates "us" for our freedom.

The Bush egadministration repeatedly says that "it's only a matter of time" before al-Qaeda does acquire WMD, and "If al Qaeda were to acquire nuclear capability..." - but they never actually refer to Osama's claims that he actually does have these weapons. I find that weird. It appears as though they are trying to thread the needle, suggesting that Osama undoubtedly wants nukes, and that it would be really scary if Osama did actually have nukes, but for some reason the few occasions where I did find the administration apparently responding to Osama's claims were in the few days immediately following the publication of Osama's interview in November 2001, and even then the headlines didn't correlate with the reported story. For example, a CNN story was headlined "White House dismisses bin Laden nuclear threat" but the story, as reported, gave no indication that this was the case. (I want to be clear that I haven't extensively reviewed the reporting. At a minimum, we haven't heard much of Osama's claim since then.) For other contemporaneous accounts which support my position, see Time, Guardian, NYT.

This brings me to Sibel Edmonds, again. In her blockbuster Highjacking of a Nation, she excoriates Porter Goss for playing the "It may be only a matter of time..." card, indicating that Goss and the rest of the US Government "has known for the longest time" that al-Qaeda has nukes.

Sibel was in a position to know. She was involved in the counter-intelligence group at the FBI that was tracking the American Turkish Council (ATC). Valerie Plame's front company, Brewster Jennings, was also tracking the ATC. Both the CIA (Plame) and the FBI (Sibel) were hot on the heels of what is known as A.Q. Khan's nuclear proliferation network - which runs from Russia, the 'Stans, and Turkey, through the US Government (particularly the State Department and the Pentagon) to Pakistan and al Qaeda.

John Stanton has tracked Sibel's case and the ATC very closely. He has a new book coming out called "Talking Politics with God and the Devil in Washington, DC." He argues that:
"Bin Laden’s network/affiliates may have already engineered the deployment of nuclear weapons to US soil. US military and intelligence operatives surely know this. The matter has been discussed by the US security establishment since 1998 and actively monitored through intelligence operations. Nothing has happened yet but now the timing seems about right for an attack. There are far too many instabilities, like those mentioned above, playing havoc with the world’s governments and economies. A devastating blow to a couple of US cities would further weaken the US economy. Following a nuke attack, where would the US strike back? Millions of Americans would believe such an event was the handiwork of the US government like 911. Millions would call for an invasion of some country, any country—even if innocent.

Crippling two American cities with nukes just might be in Bin Laden’s playbook. That means going for two cities on the Gulf of Mexico that play a key role in US energy production and interstate commerce. Houston and New Orleans are two such cities. Both are in close proximity to US oil refineries. Houston has the 10th largest port in the world and houses companies who lead the energy industry in the development and production of oilfield equipment. New Orleans is home to a port that is the 5th busiest in the USA handling a sizeable share of US exports and imports. Lockheed Martin and Newport News Shipbuilding operate in close proximity to New Orleans. The stability of the US economy depends, in part, on the free flow of goods that traverse the Mississippi River to and from New Orleans.
It’s time for some serious conversation with those the US brands as terrorists and rogue nations. Absent that, both sides will continue a fight that may spiral out of control and lead to a global conflagration: just what zealots on both sides want."

We've all been fearful of an attack on US soil, and, separately, we worry about a war with Iran. I really, really hope that New Orleans or Houston, or any other US city, doesn't get blown to smithereens, and I really, really hope that the US doesn't attack Iran. The worst situation of all would be that Cheney would use a nuclear attack on a US city by al Qaeda to launch an unrelated nuclear war of aggression on Iran.

For some reason the Democrats are more interested in holding hearings into Pat Tillman than Sibel Edmonds. Henry Waxman promised that he'd hold hearings into Sibel's case - but he has been silent since the Dems achieved majority status. We need to know what Sibel knows - for a bunch of reasons - not least that it might prevent an unprovoked invasion of Iran.

Call Waxman. Demand public open hearings:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
fax: (202) 225-4099
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

xposted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

1 comment:

Yankee Doodle said...

It has been known for some time that bin Laden has nukes. Instead of running him into the dirt in late '01 and early '02, they began diverting forces for the upcoming (still over a year away) invasion of Iraq. They got us into a quagmire in Iraq, one that was not associated with Al Qaeda, and meanwhile, Jihadi Terrorist No. 1 got away with his nuclear weapons.

It will be interesting to hear "them" explain this one, too, when everything breaks.

Keep up the good work Luke!