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Saturday, February 28, 2004

Required Reading
Cyndy found a two-part article from the Long Island press about the 9/11 commission, and about what some other people have been finding out about 9/11. The first part of the article is good, highlighting many of the flaws in the commission and the stonewalling it has gotten from the Bushies. But the second part is dynamite! Here's a sample:

Last March, on the first day of the 9/11 Commission hearings, commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste opened his remarks with sharp criticism of the current White House and the delays in processing the commissioners' security clearances. Ben-Veniste, who first came to prominence as a Watergate special prosecutor from 1973 to 1975, was counsel for the Democratic minority on the Senate Whitewater committee. Today he is a major attorney with a top firm in D.C.

But what makes Ben-Veniste such an intriguing player on the 9/11 Commission (The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States) is his experience with rogue drug-running CIA operatives. Ben-Veniste defended Barry Seal, the notorious smuggler who flew C-123 military cargo planes filled with cocaine into Mena, Arkansas on behalf of the contras.

Al Qaeda's lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohamed Atta, was allegedly partying with CIA-connected pilots while he got his flight training in fall/winter 2000 at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., where two of the other 9/11 hijacker pilots trained. Atta wasn't acting much like a holy martyr: He wore jeans and sneakers, played video games, bought himself a red Pontiac and was said to be a hedonist. The Press posed the question to Ben-Veniste: If Atta belonged to the fundamentalist Muslim group, why was he snorting cocaine and frequenting strip bars?

"You know," said Ben-Veniste, as he smiled a little. "That's a heck of a question."

Kevin Phillips' book American Dynasty focuses a lot on the long-time connection between the Bush family and the CIA (and also between Skull and Bones and the CIA). The Long Island Press article hints at the possibility that Mohammed Atta and some of the other alleged 9/11 hijacker/pilots were involved with running heroin from Afghanistan to the U.S., possibly under CIA auspices. No frigging wonder the Bushies have tried to block the investigation, or that Tenet still has a job!