UQ Wire: Tenet Lied Under Oath To 9/11 Commission
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TENET LIED UNDER OATH TO 9/11 COMMISSION ABOUT 8/24/01 MEETING WITH PRESIDENT - AGENCY COMPOUNDS MISREPRESENTATION
* CIA Statement Omits Key Date From List of Bush-DCI Meetings in Weeks Before 9/11
* What Did Bush, Tenet, Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers Talk About in Crawford, TX Three Weeks Before the Attacks - One Day After the Flt. 77 Hijackers Were Watchlisted by the CIA?
From Mark G. Levy
Washington, DC, June 7, 2004 - Former CIA Director George Tenet committed perjury in his April 14 testimony before the 9/11 Commission when he claimed he had not met with President Bush in the month before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. That misrepresentation in Tenet's testimony was noted within hours by Agence France-Presse. [Story reproduced below, & available at: HERE]
The following day, AP reported the CIA issued what was described as a correction after the Director "misspoke." The Agency asserted that its records showed Tenet meeting with Bush on August 17 and 31, and then on at least six occasions in September prior to Tuesday, the 11th. [Reproduced below, & available HERE]
However, that CIA announcement omits mention of the visit that then DCI Tenet apparently made to the President's Crawford, Texas ranch on August 24. The White House website on August 25 quotes a remark made by George W. Bush that he met with Tenet the previous day.
In a verbatim transcript, the President is quoted during an impromptu walking tour of Bush's Crawford, TX ranch that he had met the day before with CIA Director and newly appointed members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and National Security Advisor Rice were also present at a Presidential press conference in Crawford on the 24th, according to the White House press notice issued that day. In the August 25 transcript, the President Bush states to reporters and visitors:
THE PRESIDENT: " . . . Yesterday, we spent -- well, they arrived at 10:00 a.m. It took a while to get the press conference. We got back here at about 11:30 a.m. and met until 5:15 p.m. I think they left. That's the longest meeting I've had in a long time, on a very important subject . . .
Q When you have those business meetings, like the Joint Chiefs briefing, do you like to keep it separate from the living quarters on the ranch?
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, you know, what we call the governor's house, the place where you all came out during the -- that's where we went. Condi and Karen Hughes stayed there. And right across the street from that is a -- it's a nice looking government doublewide. (Laughter.) And that's where the mil aide, the nurse, the WHCA head, the doc, they stay.
The CIA briefings, I have on our porch, the end of our porch looking out over the lake. When Tenet came up, that's where we visited, out there.
You know, everybody wants to see the ranch, which I'm proud to show it off. So George Tenet and I -- yesterday, we piled in the new nominees for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Vice Chairman and their wives and went right up the canyon. "[Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/08/20010825-2.html]
The "very important subject" discussed for almost six hours by Bush with his core national security team would likely have been the CIA's action the day before placing four wanted Al-Qaeda terrorists on the "watchlist" of persons to be detained if located in the US. On August 23 the Agency sent "cables to the State Department, the FBI, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, requesting that 'four bin Laden related individuals' including Almidhar and Alhazmi, be placed on the watchlist." (Washington Post, A8, September 21, 2002) Two of those - Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi - subsequently led the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon.
The pair had been the subject of CIA-directed surveillance since at least late 1999, when they were followed by the CIA to an Al-Qaeda planning session in Kuala Lumpur, at which they were observed meeting with a ranking terrorist operations director and Mohamed Atta's roommate, Ramzi Binalshibh, who subsequently wired money to them from Germany. Binalshibh also sent funds to Zacarias Moussaoui, who in October 2000 stayed at the same Al-Qaeda safehouse in Malaysia while on his way to the United States. On August 15, Moussaoui was arrested by the FBI at a Minnesota flight school.
If Tenet did not take the opportunity to discuss these events with the President, he committed one of the worst acts of derelection of duty in CIA history. Former DCI George Tenet is generally held to be a thorough and responsible intelligence executive. It is simply implausible that Tenet and Bush did not discuss the 9/11 hijackers when they met in Crawford on August 24.
A special prosecutor needs to be appointed to investigate CIA Director Tenet's apparent perjury on April 14 and the Agency's material misrepresentation of fact in its statement the next day. The former CIA Director and the President need to reveal publicly, and under oath, what was discussed at their numerous meetings in the weeks before 9/11, and why this has been concealed.
For further information e-mail Mark G. Levey: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 980-4231.
1. Agence France-Presse report reprint (April 15, 2004)
WASHINGTON, April 15 (AFP) The CIA today said that its director, George Tenet, personally briefed President George W. Bush in August 2001, countering a statement Tenet made to the commission investigating the September 11 attacks. "We looked at his schedule," a CIA spokeswoman told AFP. "Mr. Tenet did fly down to Texas and briefed the president on August 17." He also briefed Bush on August 31 in Washington, she added. Tenet briefed Bush at least six times in the first eight days of September 2001, as well, the spokeswoman said. And "the whole time that President Bush was in Texas," vacationing on his ranch, he had a senior CIA analyst with him and received a daily report from the CIA, she said. Tenet yesterday told the commission he did not meet with Bush in August 2001. "I didn't see the president. I was not in briefings with him during this time. He was on vacation; I was here" in Washington, he said. "In this time period, I'm not talking to him," Tenet added, noting that they had not even spoken by phone at the time. The month before the attacks has come under particular scrutiny after the inquiry discovered that Bush received a briefing on August 6, 2001 about al-Qaeda activities in the United States.
2. AP Wire Reprint (April 15, 2004)
KHOU.com Houston, TX
WASHINGTON, D.C. - CIA Director George Tenet misspoke Wednesday when he told a federal panel reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks that he did not meet with President Bush in August 2001. Under questioning by commissioner Tim Roemer, Tenet said he never spoke with Bush during the month before the attacks, a period marked by concern over possible terrorist strike. "He was on vacation and I was here," Tenet said, although he added that he could have picked up the phone and called the president at any time if he had felt the need to communicate with him. In fact, Tenet flew to Texas to brief Bush on Aug. 17, 2001, and briefed the president again on Aug. 31 when Bush returned to Washington, a spokesman for Tenet said later in the day. During the first eight days of September, Tenet briefed Bush at least six times, the spokesman said.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
For more information, go to: http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0310/S00257 [...] [Part 4 of a four-part series, "The Crimes of 9/11" - see, GOOGLE]
For a more general introduction: http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/02/09/26_failed.html [Two-part series, "How US Counterterrorism Failed on 9/11, and Why the Bush Administration Cannot Fix It" - see, GOOGLE]
Acknowledgments and Notes on Sources:
1. The existence of the 8/25/01 White House press notice was first publicly noted by Michael Wright, whose cooperation is appeciated. His writings on 9/11-related topics are available at: http://www.jerrypippin.com/Wright_OP.htm
2. The AFP and AP wire stories appear in secondary outlets. The news accounts reprinted above are believed to be accurate, but others may wish to verify the veracity of the information by communication with the originating news agencies and their sources. Reproduction herein of those materials is covered by the Fair Use Doctrine, Title 17, Chap. 1, Sec. 107; this press release may be reproduced in whole or part.
3. No endorsement is made here of any conclusions, positions, or statements that other parties might have previously expressed about the facts referenced in this story. The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author.
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