Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sad to see the president this desperate 

In his State of the Union address, President Bush highlighted the case of 9/11 hijackers Khalid Al-Midhar and Salem Al-Hazmi to make the case for his so-called "terrorist surveillance program," which is actually a domestic wiretapping program which may have been used against ordinary Americans. Bush claimed Al-Midhar and Al-Hazmi made phone calls within the US that could have been intercepted if his wiretapping program were in place.

... In fact, Al-Midhar bought his plane ticket for Flight 77 with his real name. At the time, he was wanted by the FBI and CIA for attending a terrorist meeting in Malaysia. He was also on a State Department watch list called TIPOFF. Al-Hazmi also bought a ticket for Flight 77 using his real name. And he shared an address as 9/11 hijacker Nawaq Alhazmi. Al-Midhar, for his part, was living with Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the plot.

Al Gore brought these facts forward in his 2003 speech, "Freedom and Security," and to date, no one has challenged him.

Link. I googled, no right-winger has challenged him. It has to be true.

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You might find this interesting.

I should elaborate that the article I listed (for those who don't go read it) does confirm that the two hijackers mentioned did indeed use their real name when getting their airline ticket. The point that President makes is that the Patriot Act could have possibly prevented these men from even getting to the ticket booth in the first place.

Another point the article I listed mentions is that pre-9/11 airline security focused on a post Pan Am 103 mentality of looking at things (i.e. bombs) rather than people.
Pre 9/11 the white house was warned that Alquida was the threat to worry about and instead they ignored it. The whitehouse could have pushed for stricter security measures in airports and pushed FBI and CIA to get it together and focus on these people togeher - they didn't. They ignored the threat and people died in the thousands for there gross incompetence. They could have gotten warrents to tap any of the people involved in the 9/11 attacks from FISA approved - they never asked. They could have begun surveilance and requested the warrents 3 days after it started - they never did. If they are doing things legaly they have no need to skirt around FISA courts.

Another point that the article fails to mention was that it was the republicans that quashed Clinton's anti-terror measures that would have prevented the 9/11 attacks. I personaly don't think that Clintons plan was very constitutional but the points on airport security should have been given a chance - that alone would have stopped the 9/11 attacks. The other point to consider is that Clinton's proposal was less draconian than the current patriot act.


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