Jack Cashill points to a kind of truthery indy film project called "Who is Rich Blee", the brainchild of two filmmakers on the trail of the two west coast 9/11 hijackers al Hazmi and al Mihdhar, and has the temerity to ask the question "what about Iraq"? Despite all the official denials that Saddam had anything whatsoever to do with anything related to either terrorists or threats to America, in this case it's a good question (Mr. Blee apparently took over as head of the bin Laden unit, or 'Alec Station', after Michael Scheuer in 1999).
The film centers around the 'terrorist summit' held in 2000 at Kuala Lumpur in which both of the above-mentioned hijackers were present. Also thought to be in attendance--Cole bomber al-Nashiri, Hambali, and KSM. According to History Commons, so was an Iraqi greeter Ahmad Hikmat Shakir.
The filmmakers interviewed Richard Clarke, who paints a rather weird picture in talking to these two young filmmakers who look like they could have just left the Occupy Wall Street protest. But Clarke spins a fantastic tale--seems he wasn't briefed about the two terror summit attendees coming to America, and he believes the CIA was trying to keep the intel under their hats so they could flip them and get someone inside AQ.
And you know what? Maybe that's not so fantastic. The FBI botched the first attempt on the WTC when they lost their mole back in 1993, so perhaps the CIA felt they were not going to lose these two to G-men. Clarke goes on to mention that CIA finally must have figured out they had bitten off more than they could chew as they finally informed others in government on September 4 that two AQ terrorists were possibly in America, but didn't provide enough info so Clarke himself could have prevented 9/11. Clarke jokes in the interview about waterboarding Tenet and company, but would he have been in favor of waterboarding the two AQ guys had we caught them on September 5, 2001? Surely they wouldn't have given up the plot, and it's unknown as to whether UBL would have issued a stand-down order.
He does seem to have one good point regarding Tenet not telling Rice about the two hijackers in their hair-on-fire, red alarm bells ringing meeting that occurred in August 2001 (mentioned in his memoirs and many news reports). But let's be fair. Hindsight is 20/20. If the CIA was trying to get a mole inside AQ they were literally doing their jobs. Clarke seems to be bashing them for not knowing the future.
Then again Clarke said bin Laden might boogie to Baghdad if we missed him in Afghanistan in 1998. He said that Iraqi scientists were probably working for UBL at al-Shifa. And he said Terry Nichols might have gotten help for his Oklahoma City redneck bomb by talking to AQ bomb makers on his trips to Indonesia. And he spun wildly about TWA 800. But all those speculations, especially regarding Saddam, are water under his bridge nowadays, apparently.
What Cashill noticed, and what's interesting to me as well is how the wild speculation always seems to stop at the water's edge when it comes to Saddam nowadays. The filmmakers seem to have little curiosity about Shakir, who appears to have been an Iraqi Intelligence Officer. What was an IIS agent doing greeting the AQ terrorists in Malaysia? When stopped on his way back to Baghdad he had contact information on his person for Abdul Yasin's brother. Abdul Yasin was one of the bomb mixers on the first attempt to knock the towers down in 1993. He was last seen in Iraq, just like Shakir. It's possible Saddam was tracking the movements of AQ just like our CIA, wondering what the hell they were up to. It would be reasonable to assume he got the answer with a mole at the meeting, or in a worse case scenario, gave instructions.
Another participant at the meeting was Yazid Sufaat, a biologist who was tasked with producing WMDs. Sufaat was picked up after 9/11 but amazingly, he was let out of prison in 2008. Why? Did they flip him and send him back out as an agent or do they think he was reformed? Zawahiri is still out there, and Ayman was the germ man of AQ. Terrorists from his Egyptian Islamic Jihad group were called to Baghdad before our invasion. Hope they know what they're doing.
Another name not mentioned by the film, at least yet, is Anwar al-Awlaki. He was an imam in San Diego where the two hijackers lighted after the terror summit then later moved to the Falls Church, VA mosque about the same time the hijackers did. Since everyone is speculating wildly why not speculate that Awlaki was actually working for us as a mole providing intel to the alphabets, who burned us on 9/11? Then turned? Rep Peter King was investigating ties between him and the plot right before Anwar got dead. But there's an old saying about dead men..