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Michael Springman, the Jeddah visa office and 9/11

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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:57 AM
Original message
Michael Springman, the Jeddah visa office and 9/11
Edited on Fri Sep-19-03 09:59 AM by Minstrel Boy
When people talk LIHOP/MIHOP, Michael Springman deserves a hearing. He's a 20-year veteran of the State Department, and witness to a nasty link between bin Laden and the CIA through the visa bureau in Jeddah.

From the transcript of a BBC documentary, Did Bush Turn a Blind Eye to Terrorism?, broadcast Nov 6, 2001:

GREG PALAST: The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah is Michael Springman.

MICHAEL SPRINGMAN: In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General's office. I was met with silence.

PALAST: By now, Bush Sr, once CIA director, was in the White House. Springman was shocked to find this wasn't visa fraud. Rather, State and CIA were playing "the Great Game".

SPRINGMAN: What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama Bin Laden, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA. They would then be returned to Afghanistan to fight against the then-Soviets. The attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 did not shake the State Department's faith in the Saudis, nor did the attack on American barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia three years later, in which 19 Americans died. FBI agents began to feel their investigation was being obstructed. Would you be surprised to find out that FBI agents are a bit frustrated that they can't be looking into some Saudi connections?
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=104&row=1

Springman has said "The State Department did not run the Consulate in Jeddah. The CIA did. Of the roughly 20 Washington-dispatched staff there, I know for a certainty that only three people (including myself) had no ties, either professional or familial, to any of the U.S. intelligence services." http://sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2002/02/521.shtml

Why is this important? Fifteen of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas to travel to the US through the Jeddah office, which was run, unusually, by the CIA.

A CBC radio interview with Springman, from January 19, 2002, can be heard here: http://radio.cbc.ca/programs/dispatches/audio/020116_sp... . Listen to him. He claims his decisions to deny visas to unqualified applicants were frequently overturned for "national security reasons." In the interview, he claims he was told the CIA was working with bin Laden through the Jeddah office as a channel to send al Qaeda recruits to the United States for training as terrorists. He bluntly asserts that this partnership didn't end with the expulsion of the Soviets from Afghanistan, and continued as late as September 11, 2001. Springman raised hell, and lost his job. Why would the CIA be helping bin Laden send terrorists into the US after the Soviet defeat? Springman: "It's only a few thousand dead, and what's that against the greater gain for the United States in the Middle East?"

When they arrived in the United States, five of the hijackers received training at secure military installations. This was reported as early September 16, 2001 by The New York Times. Mohammed Atta attended the International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force in Alabama. Saeed Alghamdi studied at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey,

Lt. Col. Steve Butler was vice chancellor for student affairs while Alghamdi was a student. In a letter published May 26, 2002, Butler charged "Bush knew of the impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. What is...contemptible is the President of the United States not telling the American people what he knows for political gain." Butler was removed from his position and threatened with court martial.

According to its web site, the Defense Language Institute provides foreign language services to "Department of Defense, government agencies and foreign governments" to support "national security interests and global operational needs." Why was Alghamdi there? Why did he enter the US through a visa office run as a CIA operation? And what are we to make of the French Intelligence reports of the CIA meeting bin Laden himself in a Dubai hospital in July 2001?

Springmann, 20-year veteran of the State Department's foreign service, has suggested that those who died on September 11 "may have been sacrificed in order to further wider US geopolitical objectives." Anyone have a better suggestion?
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great and scary post
That about tiews it up/

We're fucked.

Does anybody doubt that Clark is probably in on this game???

Bush and Kerry are tanking so they need an iunsider to ride in on the white horse to save the military industrial copmplex from Dean et al.
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NoKingGeorge Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Where is Clark ?
Where is the connection to Clark ? Wow, having lived through the Vietnam debacle and the Ollie (felon) years I NEVER thought I would look to the military.
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. If this is true, then there might be no hope. n/t
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. one more thing to note about
Jeddah, is that it is the home of the bin Laden clan ("The Jeddah-based bin Laden family":
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/18/1047749729939... ), and the city of Osama's birth. After he broke with the royal family over allowing American troops on Saudi soil, the Saudis limited his movement to Jeddah only (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/... ).
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