Thursday, August 07, 2003

Mysterious September 11 Breakfast Meeting on Capitol Hill

by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Outlook

The chairmen of the Joint Inquiry on 9/11 Sen Bob Graham and Rep Porter Goss are in "conflict of interest". Or are we dealing with something far more serious?

The chairmen of the Joint Inquiry have dubious links to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) which is known to have actively supported Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Moreover, according to intelligence sources, including the FBI, Pakistan's ISI played a role in financing the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The two Joint Inquiry chairmen Sen Bob Graham and Rep Porter Goss were fully cognizant of the "Pakistani ISI connection" and the role played by its former head, General Mahmoud Ahmad.

Why then did they choose to exclude an examination of the role of the ISI from the Joint Inquiry's 858 page Report?

While hinting to "Saudi support and involvement" in 9/11, the Report fails to mention that the Pakistani government, its military and intelligence apparatus (ISI), have actively supported and financed a number of terrorist organizations, with the support of Washington.

Was it "an intelligence failure" to seek the cooperation of the Pakistani government in the "war on terrorism" in an agreement brokered by the head of spy agency, which is known to support the Islamic brigades?

This support by Pakistan's ISI to various "Islamic terrorist" organizations was pursued prior as well as in the wake of 9/11, despite the commitment of the Pakistani government to "cooperate" with Washington

In late August 2001, barely a couple of weeks before September 11, Senator Bob Graham, Representative Porter Goss and Senator Jon Kyl were on a top level mission in Islamabad, which was barely mentioned by the US media.

Meetings were held with President Pervez Musharraf and with Pakistan's military and intelligence brass including the head of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) General Mahmoud Ahmad. Amply documented, the ISI is known to support a number of Islamic terrorist organizations. (See Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) at http://www.cfrterrorism.org/coalition/pakistan2.html )

According to the FBI, Indian Intelligence and several press reports, the ISI Head was instrumental in providing financial support to the 9/11 terrorists. General Mahmoud Ahmad had allegedly ordered the transfer of $100.000 to the presumed 9/11 ring-leader Mohamed Atta.

On the morning of September 11, the three lawmakers Bob Graham, Porter Goss and Jon Kyl (who were part of the Congressional delegation to Pakistan) were having breakfast on Capitol Hill with General Ahmad, the alleged "money-man" (to use the FBI expression) behind the 9/11 hijackers. Also present at this meeting were Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. Maleeha Lodhi and several members of the Senate and House Intelligence committees. This meeting was described by one press report as a "follow-up meeting" to that held in Pakistan in late August.

When the twin towers were attacked, General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of Pakistan’s intelligence service, was, in Senator Graham's own words, "very empathetic, sympathetic to the people of the United States," (Stuart News Company Press Journal (Vero Beach, FL), September 12, 2001).

Bob Graham's description of the General Ahmad, contrasts with that of the Washington Post:

"On the morning of Sept. 11, Goss and Graham were having breakfast with a Pakistani general named Mahmud Ahmed — the soon-to-be-sacked head of Pakistan’s intelligence service. Ahmed ran a spy agency notoriously close to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban." (Washington Post, 18 May 2002) >>Full story...

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