March 15, 2006, - 1:13 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Someone ought to sue the FBI for malpractice. And for violating truth in advertising laws.
FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation. But to listen to testimony at the death penalty phase of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, “investigation” hardly enters the equation.
The Moussaoui trial is important for so many reasons. But not just because it involves the only person ever tried in connection with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The Moussaoui case is about why profiling is important, but even more so how FBI management is so moronic. The morons running the FBI used absurdly absolutist objections to profiling as an excuse for failing to try to stop the mass-murder of American civilians. Things were so bad that desperate FBI agents had to turn to the French to do the job FBI honchos refused to allow them to do.
Last Thursday’s testimony by FBI Special Agent Harry Samit is elucidating. It paints a very clear picture of dedicated FBI agents at the rank-and-file level who tried very hard, Jack Bauer-style, to save Americans, versus a cold, bureaucratic set of managers and superiors who couldn’t care less about the lives of U.S. citizens.
But unlike the counter-terrorism agent on the fictional “24,” real-life FBI counter-terrorism agents lost out to the suits at the top, and 3,000 people were murdered. I and many others have written about how FBI brass refused to allow a complete investigation of Moussaoui–in the name of not profiling Arab Muslims. But it is even more disturbing as it is conveyed by Agent Samit.
You can feel the pre-9/11 desperation of counter-terrorism agents in Samit’s testimony.
According to USA Today’s Kevin Johnson, Agent Samit testified that “hours into an interrogation, investigators suspected Moussaoui was involved in ‘a plot involving airliners.'” Investigation of Moussaoui became “an obsession” of FBI terrorism investigators.
But it wasn’t an obsession–or even a slight concern–for Robert Mueller and company. The FBI Director and his sachems fought these agents every step of the way.
According to Samit, the effort to investigate Moussaoui intensified
when top bureau officials at FBI headquarters in Washington refused to support requests for warrants to search Moussaoui’s belongings and residences in Minnesota and Oklahoma.
Investigators were desperate for a break and sensed a terrorist action might be moving forward based on Moussaoui’s unusual behavior, Samit said.
So what did the FBI higher-ups do in response? They reluctantly agreed to send a milquetoast bulletin of “a possible hijacking plot” to other federal agencies, almost a month later, on September 5th–just six days before the attack.
Based on Samit’s testimony, it probably read like this . . .
FBI Bulletin–Be on the Lookout For:
1) Suit from dry cleaners missing tags.
2) Clean, working gun.
3) Free Muffin with Venti Chai Latte at Starbucks (beats donuts real cops get).
4) New J-Lo/Puffy gun moll poster [it was 2001; they were still together].
5) Non-existent hijackers reported by prejudiced, paranoid FBI agents obsessed with harassing very charming North African/French gentleman interested in aviation.
6) Nominations for ACLU medal of valor for not profiling Arab Muslims.
7) Auditions for technical consultant on upcoming indie film, “Brokeback J. Edgar Hoover Building.”
But wait, there’s more. USA Today’s Johnson’s report gets even more disturbing. Because OUR FBI and federal government authorities were so intransigent on investigating this VERY suspicious man’s belongings, smart-AND-desperate FBI terrorism agents had to cook up a plot to let the FRENCH do it. The French? The French!
Still lacking authority for a fuller search of Moussaoui’s belongings, federal authorities cut an unusual deal with French officials Sept. 10, Samit said. Under terms of that agreement, Moussaoui would be deported to his native France, and French authorities would conduct a search of his luggage and computer.
Suicide hijackers launched their attacks the next day, and the transfer never occurred.
Ah, now I get it. It’s the FRENCH Bureau of Investigation.
It’s not like FBI terrorism investigators were paranoid or conspiracy theorists. Minnesota flight school instructor Clarence Prevost, a former Northwest Airlines pilot, was concerned. He’s the one who first reported Moussaoui to the FBI. He testified that he repeatedly urged his supervisors to contact the FBI because of Moussaoui’s lack of flight experience and evasiveness about his background.
Prevost said he told his superiors:
We will care when there is a hijacking and they wonder where he learned the (cockpit) switches and lawsuits start rolling in.
Unfortunately, as we all know, there was a hijacking, but the resulting lawsuits were against companies and Saudi princes who gave to United Al-Qaeda Way at the office. One group conspicuously missing from the defendant pool of litigation: Robert Mueller and the countless, nameless FBI managers and top officials in Washington, who forced agents to dream up schemes with the French in their desperation to save Americans.
Not a single one of these FBI superiors–who were so grossly negligent in repeatedly denying searches of Moussaoui’s property–has been dismissed. Not a single one demoted. Robert Mueller remains at the top and clueless about terrorism as ever.
Almost five years later, these same FBI bureaucrats continue to stonewall important terrorism investigations, denying FBI terrorism agents, like Bob Wright and others on the Joint Terrorism Task Force the necessary warrants and leeway to investigate.
After Special Agent Harry Samit’s testimony, Zacarias Moussaoui called out, “God bless Osama bin Laden.”
But given what we know, he’d be more accurate blessing his friends atop the FBI. Robert Mueller Hu Akbar.
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