Monday, September 6

Could all the shit they have to hide fit in the hold of an oil tanker?

That wacky administration of ours, secretive beyond Nixons wildest wet-dreamscape, hands in every cookie jar in washington, astride the narrow world like a colossus, corporate connections sliding their tentacles into every honeypot around the globe.

You want chutzpah, they got it in spades. From Cheney's secret energy task force, where by all accounts energy company lobbyists authored the policy, to the recinding of every Clinton executive order they could find, looking the other way while Kenny boy Lay looted the bank accounts of Californians, and the treasury of Califonia. Making every possible attempt to conflate Saddam and "A Terror kingpin who will no longer be named" in order to prosecute a massive oil grab, under the guise of bringing peace, stability and democracy to the Middle East, thats some mighty Chutzpah.

I am sure that some of you may have a vague memory of a report on 9/11, the result of a congressional investigation of the run up to that fateful day. You may remember how the White House demanded the redaction of some 27 pages of that document, and that those pages were rumored to primarily concern Saudi complicity. The extent of their involvement remains a mistery to this day, and despite the the protestations of the Saudi ambassador to the contrary, not many were convinced.

It seems that a new book written by Senator Bob Graham is set to unleash the fury of the Bush disinformation machine in a way that may lend newfound authority to the old saw "Methinks thou dost protest too much" and blow the doors off the closet of Bush Administration secrets.

Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Sen. Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.

The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers ''would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration,'' the Florida Democrat wrote.

And in Graham's book, Intelligence Matters, obtained by The Herald Saturday, he makes clear that some details of that financial support from Saudi Arabia were in the 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's final report that were blocked from release by the administration, despite the pleas of leaders of both parties on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Graham also revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, just four months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many important resources -- including the Predator drone aircraft crucial to the search for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda leaders -- were being shifted to prepare for a war against Iraq.

Graham recalled this conversation at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa with Franks, then head of Central Command, who was ``looking troubled'':

``Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan.''

''Excuse me?'' I asked.

''Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq,'' he continued.

Graham concluded: 'Gen. Franks' mission -- which, as a good soldier, he was loyally carrying out -- was being downgraded from a war to a manhunt.''

None of this should come as a suprise to anyone who has been paying attention, and would go along way to explaining Bush's curious insistance during a march 13th 2002 interview about bin Laden "I truly am not that concerned about him". Natch, by this time had, how did Cheney put it? Oh yeah, "other priorities".

Just under 14 months before he was going to make it possible for this blog's title, he was busy working on a plan to finish what daddy didn't. One might step back at this jucture and wonder what kind of planning was going on in the 13 months prior to the start of invasion of Iraq. Now I am no expert, but it would seem that they had plenty of time to plan to win the peace, and avoid the massive clusterfucking trainwreck, that we may as well call Quagmiristan. If I had the desire I might research the amount of time involved in the planning of D-Day.

Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from June 2001 through the buildup to the Iraq war, voted against the war resolution in October 2002 because he saw Iraq as a diversion that would hinder the fight against al Qaeda terrorism.

He oversaw the Sept. 11 investigation on Capitol Hill with Rep. Porter Goss, nominated last month to be the next CIA director. According to Graham, the FBI and the White House blocked efforts to investigate the extent of official Saudi connections to two hijackers.

Graham wrote that the staff of the congressional inquiry concluded that two Saudis in the San Diego area, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassan, who gave significant financial support to two hijackers, were working for the Saudi government.

Al-Bayoumi received a monthly allowance from a contractor for Saudi Civil Aviation that jumped from $465 to $3,700 in March 2000, after he helped Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhdar -- two of the Sept. 11 hijackers -- find apartments and make contacts in San Diego, just before they began pilot training.

When the staff tried to conduct interviews in that investigation, and with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who also helped the eventual hijackers, they were blocked by the FBI and the administration, Graham wrote.

This confirms that this administration was far to interested in trying to figure out how to benefit friends and cronies, porn and bong salesmen, than actually involved in dealing with terrorism. I half to admit that this last bit has pretty much knocked the Snark right outta me, and certainly jives with a number of things I have read over that last couple of years.

This is the type of thing that elevates the outrage to a level that one starts to wonder if they are in fact crazy. That these criminals are still running loose in Washington, and not buying cartons of "please not my ass, and I don't toss salads" brand cigarettes is an affront to humanity. Let us just hope that the mighty fourth estate awakes from her long slumber, and finds the courage to do their job again. Another shoe, in the form of a Kitty Kelly tell-all, is about to drop soon. I would wager that odds favor the delivery of cartons of adult undergarments to back doors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.