Secret hearings hiding terrorist links?

Something strange and curious is going on under the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington. It began coming to light last week with reports that the White House was livid over classified leaks about the events of Sept. 11.

The administration’s anger led to a demand from the FBI that members and staff of the Joint Intelligence Committee submit to lie detector tests to determine who has been talking. The move is a clear violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Information that was revealed has led to the suspension of top secret hearings that were happening on the fourth floor of the Capitol building. Committee members attending those hearings in a sound-proof room had to check their cell phones and pagers at the door. The hearings have been delayed until September.

Investigative reporter Tom Flocco of American Free said all this secretive activity may have much to do with why the White House and CNN altered the transcripts of a May 16 press conference by National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice.

That was the day reports broke that President Bush had advance knowledge of the 9-11 attacks. After that, there were media reports about the contents of an August 6th FBI memo briefing the president just 36 days before the attacks.

That briefing memo said Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were planning to “bring the fight to America” in retaliation for past attacks on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The report was published in the Toronto Star.

The New York Times, on May 19, reported the president had a 1999 report for the National Intelligence Council stating that suicide bombers belonging to al-Qaeda could crash explosives-packed aircraft into the Pentagon, CIA headquarters or the White House.

Senate and House leaders wondered aloud why they didn’t get this information for several months, and one called for an independent probe of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Flocco said his research turned up evidence that the Secretary of State, two State Department officials, the director of the CIA, three senators and a congressman met with the head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Security Agency or ISI.

This was the man who wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta just before the attacks took place. Atta reportedly was the lead terrorist in those assaults.

Flocco reported evidence exists that references to the ISI and its director were excised from transcripts of Rice’s press conference by both the White House and CNN.

The New York Times on Sept. 14 reported the meeting between top level officials of the Bush administration and ISI Chief Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad. The newspaper also reported that on the day of the attacks, the chairmen of the Joint Intelligence Committee breakfasted with Ahmad.

Flocco stated that evidence of White House and media coverup of these meetings just before the attacks with the man who bankrolled the terrorists becomes even more important when it’s taken into account that U.S. officials met with him while the attacks were in progress.

Americans are being denied a thorough public investigation and an explanation of the evidence.

Selig Harrison of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars said: “The CIA made a historic mistake in encouraging Islamic groups from all over the world to come to Afghanistan.” He added: “The old associations between the intelligence agencies continue. The CIA still has close links with the ISI.”

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