The claim that terrorist leader Mohamed Atta met in Prague with an Iraqi spy a few months before 9/11 was never substantiated, but that didn’t stop the White House from trying to insert the allegation in presidential speeches, according to classified documents.Despite the fact that the CIA nixxed inclusion of this alleged meeting into official pronouncements, you've still heard it before, haven't you? I wonder how you would have heard it if the CIA was actively barring it from the speeches coming out of our leader's mouths...
Cryptic references to the White House efforts are contained in a new Senate Intelligence Committee report released last Friday that debunked purported links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. However, attempts by committee Democrats to make public a more explicit account of White House interest in the anecdote were thwarted when the “intelligence community” refused to declassify a CIA cable that lays out the controversy, according to congressional sources. Democrats charged in a written statement that intelligence officials had failed to demonstrate “that disclosing the [cable] ... would reveal sources and methods or otherwise harm national security.” The Democrats also complained that officials' refusal to declassify the cable “represents an improper use of classification authority by the intelligence community to shield the White House.”
According to two sources familiar with the blacked-out portions of the Senate report that discuss the CIA cable's contents, the document indicates that White House officials had proposed mentioning the supposed Atta-Prague meeting in a Bush speech scheduled for March 14, 2003. Originated by Czech intelligence shortly after 9/11, the tendentious claim was that in April 2001, Atta, the 9/11 hijack leader, had met in Prague with the local station chief for Iraqi intelligence. The sources said that upon learning of the proposed White House speech, the CIA station in Prague sent back a cable explaining in detail why the agency believed the anecdote was ill-founded.
According to one of the sources familiar with the Senate report's censored portions, who asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, the tone of the CIA cable was “strident” and expressed dismay that the White House was trying to shoehorn the Atta anecdote into the Bush speech to be delivered only days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The source said the cable also suggested that policymakers had tried to insert the same anecdote into other speeches by top administration officials.
They tried to use the Atta Prague meeting in official speechs, and the CIA wouldn't sign off becuase those speeches are vetted and someone's ass would have been on the line, just as Tenet's ass was hung out to dry over the "Slam Dunk" comment. Now, rather than being defeated by the liberal CIA, the Administration came up with another solution. Instead of putting the lies into official speeches, they just used it on Meet the Press and other non-vetted venues, because it's OK to lie to the American people to get us into a war, it's just not OK to do it from behind a podium. It fits their pattern exactly. The story - a shadowy meeting between the lead 9/11 hijacker and the head of Iraqi Intelligence - was just too damned usefull not to be used. It made the case for war so well, so thoroughly, that they could have cared less what the reality was.
It's dispicable. 20,000 casualties on their heads.