Scott Horton Interviews Jason Leopold

Scott Horton, August 11, 2011

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Investigative reporter Jason Leopold discusses his article “Former Counterterrorism Czar Accuses Tenet, Other CIA Officials of Cover-Up” about Richard Clarke essentially blaming the CIA for failing to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attack by withholding the identities and whereabouts of two eventual hijackers; likely CIA efforts to recruit the hijackers and gain a desperately-wanted foothold inside al-Qaeda; the televised interview of Clarke by filmmakers John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski on Colorado Public Television; and information on Richard Blee, the barely-known replacement of Michael Scheuer at the CIA’s Alec Station (bin Laden unit).

MP3 here. (19:32)

Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter and the Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout. His in-depth coverage includes the US Attorney firing scandal, the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilsion and the Bush administration’s torture program. He is a two-time winner of the Project Censored award for his investigative work on Halliburton and Enron, and in March 2008, was awarded the Thomas Jefferson award by The Military Religious Freedom Foundation for a series of stories on the rise of Christian fundamentalism in the US military.

Leopold also received the Dow Jones Newswires Journalist of the Year Award in 2001 for his reporting on Enron and the California energy crisis. He has worked as an editor and reporter at the Los Angeles Times and was Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, News Junkie, a memoir.

11 Responses to “Jason Leopold”

  1. Niels Harrit, Uni of Copenhagen, together with 8 more scientists found nano-thermite. Science is science. Who had access to nano-thermite ? Hardly OBL. Is there any proof that any terrorist was on board ? Decades ago it was made possible to fly the planes by remote control.

  2. I give Richard Clarke a lot of kudos.

    That said, he's also a bit of a flake. His showy apology to victims relatives strikes as self-promoting. His novel is complete garbage, showing negative (meaning he gets it completely backwards) knowledge of internals of Saudi Arabia, and is garbage in every other respect. http://www.amazon.com/Scorpions-Gate-Richard-Clar… He is great friends with Judith Miller who attended his Manhattan book signing for "Against…." and I told him when it was my turn that I wished he hadn't invited her, which turned the B&N host sheet white.

    The only reason I bring up these seemingly petty points is that I have learned over my life that small signs of flakiness should always be kept at the top of one's mind bc they so often can be "tells" for a much more important hidden agenda.

    That said, so far to my knowledge he's been righter than wronger. I no longer followed his work when he moved to cybersecurity, so anyone familiar with that might add an evaluation.

  3. Clarke's "revelation" sounds a bit like limited hangout. Peruse historycommons.org: We've already seen plenty of evidence that Tenet is dirty; that the hijackers were surrounded by CIA in Venice, FL & San Diego when they weren't actually renting an apartment footsteps from NSA headquarters; that Mueller gave contradictory testimony; and that Bush blocked a House of Representatives investigation into the Boston FBI in October 2001. So what are Clarke & Tenet up to? Good Cop / Bad Cop? Why now?
    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeli

  4. Where is Scheuer's explanation? On this show in the past he blamed poor FBI computers. Did the FBI upgrade their computer systems in August of '01? Scheuer's comments epitomize the contradictory CIA conduct. He blames high level officials for being risk averse and unwilling to push the edge yet has nothing to say about Blee's failure to follow standard procedure and share al Qaeda related information with the FBI.

    Scheuer interviewed Steve Coll on Book TV and made the comment that before 9/11 the Saudis protected Bin Laden. Recent books by former Senator Bob Graham (Keys to the Kingdom) and Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (The Eleventh Day) describe a Saudi support network for the hijackers. The obvious question (unless you happen to be a journalist)–did the Saudi network influence the conduct of US intelligence? Was US intelligence ordered to back off Saudi links to al Qaeda because it might embarrass the Saudis or expose some corrupt US officials? Former CIA agent Robert Baer wrote a book on corrupt dealings between Saudi and US officials. FBI agent Robert Wright went on the record to note that his investigations into Saudi links to terror were obstructed. Craig Unger wrote a book about the Bush family's close ties to the Saudis. If I recall correctly Unger was suggesting that Bush basically had a conflict of interest. The post 9/11 shielding of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 investigations certainly supported this allegation.

    The FBI conduct after they were informed in late August of '01 has not been given enough attention. The information was shared with the UBLU unit which was an intelligence unit. The popular view is that the UBLU agents didn't share the information with the Cole investigators because they misinterpreted the rules of the wall. One would think this "confusion" would have been resolved at the FBI Director level. After all we are talking about two al Qaeda operatives linked to the Cole attack and the Yemen hub. There isn't a chance in the world that IOS Dina Corsi and her boss UBLU chief Rod Middleton did not bring higher level officials into the loop. Regardless the details of the "misinterpretation" do not withstand scrutiny. In a footnote the 9/11 Commission states that the NSLU attorney did not give Corsi advice to keep the criminal side investigators out of the investigation. So we are really talking about an obstructed investigation.

    Clarke mentions CYA as the reason the CIA sat on the information after a possible infiltration effort had failed. What happened at the UBLU? Did Middleton and Corsi decide that they too wanted to sign up for obstructing the Cole investigation and the search for al Qaeda operatives linked to a possible attack? Did they risk criminal prosecution out of loyalty to Tom Wilshire (Blee's subordinate who was detailed to the FBI in May '01)? Nobody thought it might be a good idea to ask Rolince (head of the ITOS), Watson (head of the CT Division) or Pickard (Acting Director)?

    Where are the press conferences with Blee and Middleton? Is it unfair for them to explain to the public why they obstructed al Qaeda investigations?

  5. And I thought Clarke ws going to 'out' the CIA special operation in Building 5.
    Turns out to be more of that fog 'o battle horshite!

    Can't be responsible for what you didn't get told, eh?

  6. Explosive??? Give me a fucking break Snott!!!

  7. "How did they slip though"??? RU fucking kidding? Snott, you are such an establishment douche bag!
    They were handled by the FBI, CIA NSA, you fucking idiot!!!

    Why dont you go with THAT lead??? You buy into the OKC shit!

    and your PBS shill…

    Jesus Fuck!!!

    and

  8. Gern, perhaps you can get a prescription for that condition you suffer from. In the meantime, go fuck yourself and report back on Monday.

  9. Since these "demonstrations" are contrivance created by the US and Israel, color-coded Gene Sharp revolutions, with the "humanitarian concern" created by more "al Qaeda" sniping ordinary Syrians; there is and never has been a popular resistance in Syria.

  10. Very Enjoyable! I hope you write more on this subject!

  11. I appreciate the work of all people who share information with others. Great Blog!

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