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General News    H2'ed 3/22/13

CIA and FBI Counter-Terrorism Officials: Cheney Lied About 9/11 Hijacker

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Everyone knew that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction (update here).

 

Dick Cheney admits that he lied about 9/11.

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MSNBC recently noted that these two facts are intertwined:

Mark Rossini, was then an FBI counter-terrorism agent detailed to the CIA. He was assigned the task of evaluating a Czech intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attack on the World Trade Towers.

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Cheney repeatedly invoked the report as evidence of Iraqi involvement in 9/11. "It's been pretty well confirmed that he [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with  a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia  last April," Cheney said on Meet the Press on Dec. 9, 2001.

 

But the evidence used to support the claim--a supposed photograph of Atta in Prague the day of the alleged meeting--had already been debunked by Rossini. He analyzed the photo and immediately saw it was bogus: the picture of the Czech "Atta" looked nothing like the real terrorist. It was a conclusion he relayed up the chain, assuming he had put the matter to rest.

 

Then he heard Cheney endorsing the discredited report on national television. "I remember looking at the TV screen and saying, "What did I just hear?' And I--first time in my life, I actually threw something at the television because I couldn't believe what I just heard," Rossini says.

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Rossini gave MSNBC an example in an interview for the documentary Hubris:

Mohammed Atta was a sleight guy " barely 5'5 or 5'6, and skinny.  The guy in the photograph was muscular, thick, and had a neck like the size of two of my necks.  And I thought, "that's not Mohammed Atta in the photograph!"  But I sent it to the lab anyway, knowing that would put it to rest.

McClatchy confirmed in 2009:

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