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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Monday, December 05, 2005

And I've Got a Bridge To Sell Ya

And I've Got a Bridge To Sell Ya

[Update: I should know better than to blog past my bedtime. The Newsweek article is from last summer. But it wasn't new material then either and I still find its recent resurgence curious.]



My, but the rhetoric over Iran is heating up this week! Almost simultaneously, two new "Iran is bad, mmmmkay?" stories have come to the fore. Except that there's not much new about them; you could substitute "Iraq" for "Iran" and be transported right back to 2003. This is especially true of the first article. Substitute proper names as needed:

More Evidence of an Iran-Al Qaeda Connection

Just eight months before the September 11 terror attacks, top conspirator Ramzi bin al-Shibh received a four-week visa to Iran and then flew to Tehran—an apparent stop-off point on his way to meet with Al Qaeda chiefs in Afghanistan, according to law-enforcement documents obtained by NEWSWEEK.

German government documents showing the previously undisclosed trip by bin al-Shibh, a captured Al Qaeda operative who played a crucial coordinating role in the 9/11 plot, is the latest evidence that the World Trade Center conspirators frequently used Iran as a safe transit point in their travels to and from Afghanistan.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/13/225559/54
Ah yes, the latest evidence, possibly obtained via torture? Evidence that just happens to implicate our next "axis of evil" villain? Color me skeptical.

... the 9/11 panel will reveal this week that as many as 10 of the so-called “muscle hijackers” traveled through Iran between the fall of 2000 and February 2001. U.S. intelligence officials emphasize they have no evidence that the Iranian government had advance knowledge of the 9/11 plot and, in recent days, an Iranian government spokesman has called "ridiculous" reports that there was any Iranian involvement with Al Qaeda. Still, the trip by bin al-Shibh adds to the picture and, according to some U.S. investigators, raises new questions about whether some Iranian security officials may have been actively assisting Al Qaeda operatives while they were traveling through their country.

The bin al-Shibh evidence is contained in the thousands of pages of documents compiled by Germany's BKA, or Federal Criminal Office, in the course of its investigation into the so-called “Hamburg cell,” one of whose members, Muhammad Atta, became the ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers. Bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni national, was Atta’s roommate in Hamburg and, when he was unable to obtain a visa to enter the United States, became a key coordinator of the plot, relaying instructions between 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Atta, according to the 9/11 commission.

...The German documents show that, just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, German investigators first sought information from the Iranian Embassy in Berlin about bin al-Shibh's travels to their country. The Iranians appear to have cooperated, turning over a copy of a two-page visa application form filled out in bin al-Shibh’s handwriting and an attachment showing his passport photograph. The document shows that on Dec. 20, 2000—during a crucial stage of the 9/11 plot—bin al-Shibh applied for a four-week tourist visa to Iran


Oh! The evidence from Germany...the same place we found "Curveball." Still skeptical.

A German law-enforcement report on the matter concludes that bin al-Shibh’s visa request was approved and that on Jan. 31, 2001, he flew to Iran, landing at Tehran International Report. The report states he likely flew from Amsterdam since banking documents show he withdrew money from there just a few days earlier. The report concludes however that the Germans were unable to learn any more from the Iranians about bin al-Shibh’s activities in Iran and whether he engaged in an “illegal border crossing to Afghanistan—although such a trip was highly likely.

That bin al-Shibh used the trip to cross the border and visit with Al Qaeda chiefs in Afghanistan is highly likely given his indispensable role in the unfolding 9/11 plot, U.S. investigators say.


Oh well, then! As long as it was "likely"...nope, still skeptical.

The final report of the 9-11 Commission reveals troubling new evidence that Tehran was closer to Al Qaeda than Iraq was


"9/11!! Terrorists!!! Islamofascist mushroom clouds!"

Commission sources acknowledge they have been unable to resolve key questions about what precisely the 9/11 plotters did while they transited through Iran and, in particular, whether they were receiving active assistance from Iranian security officials, who appear to have maintained relations with Al Qaeda. But investigators say there is mounting evidence about Al Qaeda-Iranian relationships that appear to have been overlooked by a Bush administration that was far more focused on finding connections between bin Laden’s organization and the government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.


How ironic it would be if that were true! If it weren't such a deadly serious topic, it'd be as laughable as the next piece of propaganda. This one claims that El Baradei pronounced Iran just months away from possessing nuclear weapons.

IAEA Chairman Muhammad ElBaradei on Monday confirmed Israel's assessment that Iran is only a few months away from creating an atomic bomb.

"If Teheran indeed resumes its uranium enrichment in other plants, as threatened, it will take it only several months to produce a bomb," ElBaradei told The Independent, according to Army Radio.


I guess reading comprehension is an early casualty of the military's relaxed standards for recruits. Even out of its original context, Baradei's statement does not confirm anything; "if" is pesky like that. But the disinformation is even more amusing with the background from the Independent for reference:

Although IAEA officials have said it would take at least two years for Natanz [enrichment plant] to become fully operational, Mr ElBaradei believes that once the facility is up and running, the Iranians could be "a few months" away from a nuclear weapon.

...Did he believe the Iranians were building a nuclear weapon? "The jury's out," he said. "It's difficult to read their intention. We're still going through the programme to make sure it's all for peaceful purposes.

"I know they are trying to acquire the full fuel cycle. I know that acquiring the full fuel cycle means that a country is months away from nuclear weapons, and that applies to Iran and everybody else."


Yeah...skeptical

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Such people are using words like `it's not possible'. They say how could we have a world without America and Zionism? But you know well that this slogan and goal can be achieved and can definitely be realized." (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East Media Reporting Institute, Special Dispatch Series - No. 1013 October 2005)

"We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization.... we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites, and we know how we are going to attack them." (Hassan Abbassi, Revolutionary Guards intelligence advisor to the President, reported by Steven Stalinsky. Taking Iran at its Word, The Jerusalem Post. August 30, 2004)

"The world of Islam has been mobilized against America for the past 25 years. The peoples call, "death to America." Who used to say "death to America?" Who, besides the Islamic Republic and the Iranian people, used to say this? Today, everyone says this." (Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Middle East Media
Reporting Institute, Clip No. 136 - Transcript: 6/24/2004)

"The Americans are convinced that they will easily win the war in Iraq. But they will not see that day. As the Imam [Khomeini] said, 'One day the U.S. too will be history." (Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, reported by Aftab-e Yazd, Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran). As translated by the Middle East Media Reporting Institute, May 20, 2004.)

"Our dear Imam ordered that the occupying regime in Al-Qods [Jerusalem] be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement." (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East Media Reporting Institute, Special Dispatch Series - No. 1013 October 28, 2005)

"If one day, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession -- on that day this method of global arrogance would come to an end. This is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." (Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Former Iranian President, reported in Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Weekly Update: December 14, 2001)

"Iran's stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon [i.e., Israel]. We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region." - (Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reported by CNN.com, Iran leader urges destruction of 'cancerous' Israel, December 15, 2000)

"We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years." (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East Media Reporting Institute, Special Dispatch Series - No. 1013 October 28, 2005)

"Anyone who would recognize this state [Israel] has put his signature under the defeat of the Islamic world." (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East Media Reporting Institute, Special Dispatch Series - No. 1013 October 28, 2005)

"[Iran's] missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader [Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations." (Hassan Abbassi, Revolutionary Guards intelligence advisor to the President, reported by Steven Stalinsky. Taking Iran at its Word, The Jerusalem Post. August 30, 2004)

"Every Muslim and every honorable man who is not a Muslim must stand against the Americans, English, and Israelis, and endanger their interests wherever they may be....They must not have security." (Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Secretary General, Guardian Council, reported by Steven Stalinsky. Taking Iran at its Word, The Jerusalem Post. August 30, 2004)

"Some 10,000 people have registered their names to carry out martyrdom operations on our defined targets... Our targets are mainly the occupying American and British forces in the holy Iraqi cities, all the Zionists in Palestine, and Salman Rushdie." (Mohammad Ali Samadi, Spokesperson, Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign, reported by Paul M. Rodriguez, 'Job application' online for suicide bombers, Insight Magazine. June 10, 2004)

"The torment of the Iraqis, of the Palestinians, and even of the Americans are the direct outcome of liberal Western democracy, and this must serve as an important lesson to the rest of the world, [which must] open its eyes and understand that those who call themselves advocates of human rights and democracy are in fact the main supporters of crimes against humanity." (Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Middle East Media Reporting Institute, Special Dispatch
Series - No. 727, June 4, 2004)

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

9:22 PM  

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