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April 02, 2004

FDR knew about Pearl Harbor!

I'm not sure what to make of this report from the misnamed Independent of Britain (links courtesy of Drudge). Aren't these the same people who were telling us the war in Iraq was a "quagmire" exactly one year ago?

According to a former FBI translator, the US government did know in the spring and summer of 2001 that Al-Qaeda was planning on crashing jet planes into buildings in "major cities" in the "coming months". No specific dates, names, or cities were mentioned, but I suppose that doesn't matter.

Now I don't know much about the credibility of the accuser, but two things jumped right out at me:

Mrs Edmonds, 33, says she gave her evidence to the commission in a specially constructed "secure" room at its offices in Washington on 11 February. She was hired as a translator for the FBI's Washington field office on 13 September 2001, just two days after the al-Qa'ida attacks. Her job was to translate documents and recordings from FBI wire-taps. (emphasis added)

So, a low-level translator gets hired two days after the fact, and then later claims the FBI "knew" there was going to be an attack? Frankly, if Dick Clarke had said such a thing, it would have been more believeable, since he was in a much better position to know. But then even Dick Clarke hasn't made such a claim. Perhaps he did know, and he's just covering his butt (given what we have found out about Mr. Clarke, that's entirely plausible).

The other interesting detail is:

Edmonds was among many language experts who had responded to appeals for translators in the days following September 11. She was tasked with translating documents and recordings from FBI wire taps.

From the documents she saw, she told The Independent, it was clear that there was sufficient information in spring and summer of 2001 to indicate that an attack was being planned. (emphasis added)

So, the FBI has a backlog of untranslated wiretaps and documents, after September 11th they hand them off to a hired gun to get translated, and lo and behold! one or more documents has specific information about September 11th. Obviously, this means that President Bush and National Security Advisor Rice knew of the attacks, and did nothing! Why didn't they march right into the FBI on January 21, 2001, and demand to see all the untranslated documents and intercepts? Al Gore would've done it!

For those who don't remember Ms. Edmonds, here are some details:

Edmonds emerged as a whistle-blower in July last year when, on the CBS television network, she alleged that FBI officials deliberately slowed down the translation of September 11-related documents to make it appear that the department was sorely understaffed.

So, as far as we know, these documents and wiretaps that she is talking about weren't translated until after 9/11. So how is President Bush lying when he said there was no prior information about the attack? Is he supposed to learn Arabic and translate all intelligence documents himself?

I'm not surprised the Independent is taking this woman seriously; after all, they did think Baghdad Bob was telling the truth. I just don't get why the 9/11 Commission did. So far, none of the major news outlets have picked up the story. Perhaps it's because it is obviously a non-issue. Or perhaps it's because it might make the Great and Omniscient Dick Clarke look bad. After all, if he didn't know about it, then the National Security Advisor probably didn't, either.

Posted by Captain Holly at April 2, 2004 04:18 PM | TrackBack
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