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Confirmation bias: Why would anyone uncritically accept Yosri Fouda's story of his "KSM" interview?

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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 01:50 AM
Original message
Confirmation bias: Why would anyone uncritically accept Yosri Fouda's story of his "KSM" interview?
Edited on Wed Mar-21-07 01:57 AM by JackRiddler
March 20, 2007:

In his long career as a terrorist, according to the official histories of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed decided to grant his first and only interview as a free man to a journalist a few months before his capture. This happened in April, May or June of 2002, according to the conflicting accounts given by Yosri Fouda, the London correspondant for Al Jazeera who received the privilege of interviewing not just "KSM," the alleged 9/11 mastermind, but also Ramzi Binalshibh, the putative number two in the 9/11 plot. (Binalshibh is best-known as the man who was dispatched by al-Qaeda to organize the "Hamburg Cell" under Mohammed Atta.)

According to Fouda's original story, he was contacted by the two terrorists and taken in June 2002 to an undisclosed location in Pakistan, where the interview was filmed. Fouda says "KSM" and Binalshibh revealed much the same details about the 9/11 plot as have been reiterated in the latest confession transcript issued by the Pentagon, after its secret proceedings this month against "KSM" at the Guantanomo Bay prison camp.

The terrorists forced Fouda to leave the videotape of their interview behind, however, telling him to later insist that they looked just like the pictures of them published in the papers, says Fouda. After returning to London, Fouda says he received in the mail a CD with the audio of the interview, however with the voices distorted. Fouda in his book says he first spent some time trying to remove the distortion of the audio and reclaim the genuine voices of "KSM" and Binalshibh. But soon enough he (or his employers at Al Jazeera) decided this property was simply too hot to brook further delays. The distorted audio interview was first broadcast on September 9, 2002.

(For those who can read German, a good refresher course with images from a Spiegel-TV documentary on Fouda's interview CD and other terror-confession videos broadcast by Al Jazeera, as well as long passages from Fouda's book with Nick Fielding, here
http://www.arbeiterfotografie.de/galerie/kein-krieg/hin... )

Later, as described in the excerpts below from an article by Chaim Kupferberg, Fouda changed his story about when the "KSM" interview actually took place. June 2002, his original claim, happened to coincide with the US government's public roll-out of "KSM" as the 9/11 mastermind, coupled with the claim that the US had learned of his role through Abu Zubaydah, who had been captured in March 2002. (Zubaydah as presented by the US government is another thoroughly suspect figure, but we'll leave the deconstruction of his legend for a future piece.) This coincidence may have seemed to compromise Fouda as the possible actual source of the US revelation. Whatever his thinking may have been, he suddenly switched the date of his purported interview with KSM to May 2002, explaining that he, quote, "lied" about the date he had originally claimed. Later, Fouda shifted the date of the event again, to April 2002.

Before we go on with the "KSM" story, this seems like the right point to ask: Why would anyone serious believe uncritically in Fouda's story of the "KSM" interview, given the dubious details, the distorted audio tape as the only record, and Fouda himself copping to having lied about the date? At the very least, a researcher properly versed in skepticism would have to take an agnostic stance on the interview's authenticity, and avoid using it as anything other than an unconfirmed assertion of "KSM's" importance in the 9/11 plot, useless on its own. And yet many serious writers cite the interview as though it were self-evidently authentic.

The answer may lie in a phenomenon of the mind that psychologists call "confirmation bias." We humans have a powerful tendency to favor evidence, no matter how outlandish, that confirms our pre-existing ideas, so that we "see what we want to see."

The existence of dubious 9/11 whistleblowers who come forward with claims supporting an "inside job" provides us with a kind of controlled experimental illustration of this process. When a Sgt. Laurio Chavez claims to have witnessed elements of an air-defense "standdown" from CENTCOM on September 11th, those who support the official story of the day's events rightly scrutinize the claims and declare them unconfirmable, as they also do with the testimony of a self-described "New Jersey EMT" who has so far appeared only in the form of an e-mail claiming that he was at Ground Zero on the afternoon of 9/11 and that he witnessed evidence that explosives were used to demolish WTC 7. Yet the same self-proclaimed skeptics who dismiss Chavez and "New Jersey EMT" do not seem to take pause when confronted with the all-too convenient claims of a Yosri Fouda, apparently because these serve to confirm their idea that committed Islamist extremists must have masterminded the 9/11 operation. Perhaps scientists will one day learn more about the biochemistry of confirmation bias, and find ways to counteract its legend-generating effects.

But let us return to the subsequent stages in the "KSM" legend. Writing in October 2003, Chaim Kupferberg deconstructed the fortuitous promotion of "KSM's" role by Al Jazeera and Yosri Fouda in his article, "The June 2002 Plan to Market a New 9/11 Mastermind."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArti...

If habitual coincidence is the mother of all conspiracy theories, then one must surely raise a discerning eyebrow at the revelation that, around this time - after more than a decade of staying hidden in the shadows - Khalid Shaikh Mohammed suddenly was stricken with an urge to conduct his very first interview, with none other than Ramzi Binalshibh at his side. The journalist chosen for this honor was the London bureau chief of Al-Jazeera, Yosri Fouda...

...On September 9, 2002, the die was cast. Al-Jazeera was broadcasting Part I of Fouda's historic interview with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh. For the first time, millions would hear - from the planners themselves - exactly how the September 11 plot was put in motion. It was al-Jazeera's version of VH1's Behind The Music, featuring guest commentaries from Vincent Cannistraro and Lyndon LaRouche. Unfortunately, viewers would only get the audio feed of Khalid and Binalshibh, as Binalshibh and Khalid purportedly had confiscated from Fouda his videotape of the proceedings before he had taken leave of them back in June. (...)

...It was practically a seamless propaganda extravaganza, except for one small detail - Fouda had gone on record as dating the interview to June of 2002, thereby raising the prospect of two plausible scenarios. Scenario One: Khalid and Binalshibh's respective roles in the plot were first discovered solely due to Fouda's contact with them; or Scenario Two: The decision to send Fouda on his interview errand was made at the same time that a decision was made to market Khalid as the new 9/11 mastermind. Of the two scenarios, the first one was far more palatable - from a propaganda perspective - as at least it could be kept within the borders of plausible deniability, and only Fouda would get burned by it. The second scenario, however, would raise the prospect of one of those uncomfortable coincidences that could conceivably expose the 9/11 Legend as a pre-fabricated set-up.

Only two days after the initial broadcast of Fouda's interview with Khalid and Binalshibh - on the first anniversary commemorating the 9/11 attacks - Pakistani forces, accompanied by FBI agents, raided an apartment complex in Karachi. After a "four hour" gun battle involving "hundreds" of Pakistani soldiers and policemen, the authorities captured, among a few others, Ramzi Binalshibh himself. Their original target, however, had been Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whom they had been tracking for months throughout Karachi. While Khalid had just barely slipped away only a few hours before Pakistani forces had arrived at his door, the authorities were reportedly "surprised" to discover that they had netted Binalshibh in the process. At least that is now the official version of the day's events...


News reports in the months that followed held that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was killed in the September 2002 raid that captured Ramzi Binalshibh. These are ably brought together by DU's own Paul Thompson at "The Complete 9/11 Timeline," hosted by the Center for Cooperative Research:
http://cooperativeresearch.org/essay.jsp?article=essayk...

Kupferberg conjectures that Fouda tried to solve his dilemma by admitting he had lied about details.

...With the well-timed arrest of Ramzi Binalshibh in September 2002, journalist Yosri Fouda was in a bind. Only days before, he had gone on record - repeatedly - as dating his interview with Khalid and Binalshibh to June 2002. Up to the time of Binalshibh's arrest, the official legend had it that Khalid's pivotal role as 9/11 mastermind was revealed to U.S. authorities through their interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in March 2002. Now, in the aftermath of Binalshibh's capture, word was circulating that perhaps authorities had learned of Khalid's true role by way of Fouda. That contention, of course, would remain most plausible if Fouda's interview could definitively be back-dated to a time before early June 2002 - that is, to a time before Khalid was first publicly announced as 9/11 mastermind. The alternative scenario quite simply pointed to a conclusion that would have to be denied at all costs - that the decision to out Khalid publicly as the 9/11 mastermind was coordinated with the decision to send Fouda on his interview errand with Khalid. Had Fouda erred, then, by initially claiming that his historic interview had taken place in June 2002? Had he possibly exposed a seam pointing the way to a coordinated set-up?

Soon after the Binalshibh arrest, Fouda took the opportunity to revise the date of his interview for the record, revealing to Abdallah Schleifer of the Kamal Adham Center For Journalism:

Fouda: "Actually, this question of dates is very important for another reason. All of these Islamist websites that were denouncing me alluded to my interview as taking place in June. That's what I mentioned both in my article in The Sunday Times Magazine and in my documentary - that I met them in June."

Schleifer: "So?"

Fouda: "I lied."

Schleifer: "Really?"

Fouda: "Yeah."

Schleifer: "But you're going to come clean with , right?"

Fouda (laughter): "Yes, of course. I lied because I needed to lie. I'll tell you why. Because I thought, maybe even expected, that if something when wrong and I needed to get in touch with them through a website or a statement or a fax ... they would be the only ones who would know that I had met them one month earlier than I let on, and so I'd know I was talking to the right people.

So after the first wave of denunciations a pro-Qa'ida website "jehad.net" put up a statement online in the name of Al-Qa'ida clearing me of any blame or connection with Ramzi's arrest and I knew this was an authentic communique because it alluded to the interview taking place in May."


Note that here, as with the much-pilloried "conspiracy theorists," an anonymous Internet-only publication is taken seriously as a source on Fouda's word.

Kupferberg:

Apparently, Fouda had lied again, for on March 4, 2003 (i.e. a few days after Khalid's eventual arrest), Fouda offered up this newest version of his 48-hour encounter to The Guardian:

"It was late afternoon, Sunday 21 April 2002, when I packed my bags before joining Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-shibh for a last prayer before saying goodbye."

That, as they say in legal parlance, is a very definite recollection. In short, Fouda had impeached his own testimony through these two explicitly detailed, contradictory dates. Fouda, through this compounded lie, was now calling into question the very credibility of his entire interview with Khalid and Binalshibh...

...Recall that, back in June 2002, the "official" legend at the time had it that it was Abu Zubaydah, back in March 2002, who had spilled the goods on Khalid. Yet with Khalid's March 2003 apprehension, this one aspect of the legend was duly revised. As revealed by Keith Olbermann in a March 3, 2003 MSNBC.com item: "Ironically, it would be (Fouda's) interview that would point out, to U.S. intelligence, that (Khalid Shaikh) Mohammed and Binalshibh were the brains behind the 9/11 attacks"...


So much for the credibility of London Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda, his supposed meeting with "KSM" and Ramzi Binalshibh, and his shifting accounts of how it happened. The clumsiness of the latter suggests that Fouda did not have a privileged position vis--vis an intelligence agency, such as might allow him to better coordinate his story with the US government's and avoid having to twice change it. A betting man might speculate that the "interview" came to be simply because Fouda and his partner Fielding seized a well-timed opportunity to fabricate a journalistic blockbuster, but perhaps it is wisest to just place the Fouda story in a bin labeled "unconfirmable and dubious," and leave it there.

Pakistani and US authorities later claimed to have captured "KSM," alive after all, in March 2003. "He" has been held ever since as an enemy combatant - waterboarded, as per the government's admission. The precious intelligence that "KSM" supposedly provided under torture was used as an example by Bush himself, in a speech justifying his administration's detainment and interrogation policies.

For the four years of his detainment, "KSM" has been kept from receiving any visitors at all, let alone seeing a defense counsel. The 9/11 Commission was denied its requests to see "KSM," Binalshibh and Abu Zubaydah, but nevertheless based large sections of its best-selling report on the supposed testimony of these three men, as provided by the US government in the form of transcripts from Guantanomo. The Moussaoui defense was also denied requests to see "KSM" or Binalshibh, even to receive audio or videotapes of the supposed prisoners.

And he has provided his confessions, delivered to the public in the form of transcripts and transcripts only. These confessions, much in line with Fouda's interview, describe an astonishing range of acts for which "KSM" claims responsibility, including, most recently, the beheading of Daniel Pearl (an act otherwise credited to Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is still sitting on death row in Pakistan after his conviction for it).

Is it any wonder that now, finally, even Time magazine is joining the Pearl family in casting doubt on the authenticity of the "KSM" confessions?

---

For a further collection of "KSM" stories, in the form of choice quotes taken from corporate and mainstream media reports, with links to originals, see here.
http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/WATKSMar...
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nobody should, right on. Are you really suggesting it didn't happen at all?
KSM confirms it and there's an audio recording of it.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. "KSM" confirms it...
according to transcripts of his supposed statements, which is all that has ever been provided in the way of showing that he is alive, in custody, and actually providing the statements detailed in the transcripts.

And there is an audio recording of the 2002 interview in which the voices, according to Fouda, were distorted by "KSM" (or his guys) so that it doesn't sound like him. So one dubious source is in sync with another dubious source that came after it.

What the hell am I suggesting? Maybe you should read it again:

A betting man might speculate that the "interview" came to be simply because Fouda and his partner Fielding seized a well-timed opportunity to fabricate a journalistic blockbuster, but perhaps it is wisest to just place the Fouda story in a bin labeled "unconfirmable and dubious," and leave it there.

Fouda's purported interview has no value as evidence and only confirmation bias would suggest otherwise.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Our opposing confirmation bias is interesting.
I think dubious is a fair description of the content of the interview at this point, but that saying the event itself is unconfirmable is going a bit too far. I think Fouda's story of the interview is falsifiable, iow, but it hasn't yet been falsified (like controlled demolition has, for example). Before I'd label it forever as unconfirmable and dubious, I'd want to do more research into evidence that it did happen than I have done. Same as my approach was with CD.

To be clear, are you saying we can never know if the interview happened, or that the evidence suggests a high degree of certainty that it never happened?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. By all means...
Propose a means of falsifying the hypothesis that this interview happened (and of confirming that the audio record of it is accurate).

I might give odds on different possibilities, or make a whole flowchart (KSM really existed and really was a terror mastermind, KSM was or wasn't an asset of ISI or some other agency, KSM really met Fouda, the audio record of their interview is authentic, KSM died in the shootout/is alive, the real "KSM" is/isn't at Guantanomo, the transcripts released by the government are/are not authentic, the claims of "KSM" as detailed in the transcripts are/are not true) but all this is too feeble to base argument upon and relies on doubtful sources (the USG, the ISI and Fouda). I prefer to know.

So propose a test.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'll give it some thought. Can you answer the question? nt
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I answered the question - one can only assign odds ...
to the different possibilities in a flowchart. Quibbling over the probability of each possibility is a parlor game among confirmation biases.

I support a fearless and unlimited criminal probe by a special prosecutor or truth commission empowered to seize all records relevant to answering the question of KSM's authenticity, as well as all other questions about 9/11 which remain open due to a lack of evidence or demonstrably contradictory and incomplete official accounts. Utopian or not.

Otherwise, I would not cite Fouda or "KSM" transcripts as evidence of anything other than the existence of a distorted-voice audio track broadcast by Al Jazeera and pieces of paper from a Pentagon printer. The burden of proof would be on them. Furthermore I summoned David Hume in a seance and he agrees with me.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. kick
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Your "answer" was a bit squirrely and sapped my motivation.
You really think you answered the question?:

"are you saying we can never know if the interview happened, or that the evidence suggests a high degree of certainty that it never happened?"

I'm asking for your opinion at this point in time, no flowchart necessary.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. What would David Hume say?
Edited on Fri Mar-23-07 12:28 PM by JackRiddler
Surely: that nothing can be known here, since we can't see or smell evidence of the interview other than a distorted-voice tape.

Ergo, Hume's default hypothesis?

I'm not as steadfast - not that I matters what I believe - so how about we flip a coin or roll some dice?
a) It happened as Fouda describes, albeit unconfirmable, and so we simply believe his word that the audio's authentic. Or
b) It happened but Fouda (or someone) fabricated the audio after he lost the video. Or
c) the interview itself is a fabrication, along with the audio.

What odds are you willing to give on each? Because odds are all anyone can specify here, unless you wish to propose an empirical test. Where do you place your "high degree of certainty" and on what basis?
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Lordy, just give me your odds, man.
I was all psyched up to do some cooperative research with you, throw me a bone.

Here: I think, with the very limited information I have right now, that the interview probably happened, and that it's probable that it can be proven one way or another beyond reasonable doubt. My opinion could change based on further research.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. If you can say why it matters...
Seeing as in the absence of evidence other than Fouda's word about a distorted-voice tape, I'd have to pull the numbers out of my ass, just as you would, why does it matter?

Fouda=unprovable and therefore inadmissible until you show otherwise, that should suffice.

Oh, all right. On the three above possibilities, I'll go with odds of 50/50/50.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Fine, we'll begin with radical doubt - no problem. nt
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. And where do you say we go from there - besides diagonally? n/t
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I'll approach the interview with radical doubt and try to eliminate or debunk
what has been supplied to us as evidence that it actually happened.

What were your plans?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. as said... proceed (but get off this diagonal and do it below, if you don't mind) n/t
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
92. The gist of the matter
a distorted-voice audio track broadcast by Al Jazeera and pieces of paper from a Pentagon printer

And there is the gist of the matter.

and any further splitting of hairs from this point, is most likely just a disinformants misleading game
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MervinFerd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. The confession is questionable. So?...
Do you intend that we should infer something from this?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-07 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. kick
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
9. Yosri Fouda: "I do not really believe there is such a thing as al-Qaida, the organization"
"I do not really believe there is such a thing as al-Qaida, the organization; there is al-Qaida, the mind-set" Yosri Fouda
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosri_Fouda

"I do not really believe there is such a thing as al Qaeda, the organization; there is al Qaeda, the mindset," said Yosri Fouda, senior investigative reporter in London for the al-Jazeera satellite television network, the only journalist known to have interviewed Sept. 11 planners Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Yasri Fouda, senior investigative reporter for Al Jazeera, told The Washington Post that he doesn't believe there is a specific al-Qaida, the organization, but al-Qaida, the mindset, which he finds much scarier, because it reduces the ability to predict the groups actions.
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0712-24.htm
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MervinFerd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. "there is al-Qaida, the mind-set"
"but al-Qaida, the mindset, which he finds much scarier, because it reduces the ability to predict the groups actions."

Somehow you left out parts of the quote.

I helpfully added the rest.
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CGowen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I f you read everything you would see that he did nt
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Some people post before bothering to read... n/t
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MervinFerd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I took the quotes from his post; he was attempting a misdirection.
Edited on Thu Mar-22-07 06:20 PM by MervinFerd
The heading was deliberately misleading--intending to imply something the speaker never intended--that al qaeda does not exist as a real threat.

I called him on it.

OK?
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Misdirection, my ass. I mentioned it no fewer than 3 times in 6 lines.
You said I left out parts of the quote. I didn't. I mentioned it three times. No edit. No misdirection. No grey area.

Perhaps you can tell me how I could have fit the rest of the quotation into the heading.

You look pretty silly.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. No, once, and you saved it for your last line, omitting it from the subject,
and your first 2 quotes. ", which he finds much scarier, because it reduces the ability to predict the groups actions."

But anyway, do you trust Fouda, or not? Do you trust him only when he agrees with you?
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. No three times, twice in direct speech and once in indirect speech.

"there is al Qaeda, the mindset" - 3 times



If you want to argue that something that everyone here can see in black and white is not there then it is obvious you have no honest purpose here.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Wrong. Please read for comprehension.
How many times did you say: ", which he finds much scarier, because it reduces the ability to predict the groups actions."?
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I take it you're trying to get me to say something to get this sub-thread deleted.
But I'd like to leave it here to allow your two to wallow in the embarrassing mess you created for yourselves.

I'd like people to see how you operate.
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MervinFerd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. Then what was your point in highlighting that part of the quote?
If not misdirection?

Was there some other meaning I have missed?
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. You said I left out part of the quote and I mentioned it three times.
I'm sorry you have to undergo this humiliation, but you'll get over it.
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MervinFerd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Q: What was your point in highlighting that part of the quote?
A: To leave the impression that the speaker did not believe that al qaeda existed as an actual threat.

If you had some other point, please state it.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Thanks for your repeated kicks to this important thread.
I have no doubt that if you repeat yourself enough times, oblivious's faithful delivery of the Fouda quotes will somehow turn into its opposite.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #29
38. Now that
is funny! Kcik :kick:
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
32. So the only thing being used to impeach this interview is Fouda's lies about the interview date.
Nobody has any evidence to dispute any of the material claims made in the interview. The only thing that anyone can point to is this dispute over the interview dates. Correct?
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CGowen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. The bogus KSM confession has a little tidbit
Edited on Sat Mar-24-07 06:14 PM by CGowen
Second main point" There are two false statements in the Summary of evidence.
Sub-paragraph 3c is false. I never stated to the Al Jazeera reporter that I was the head of Al Qaeda military commitee"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Is that it?
KSM questions one statement in the interview. Sounds like he's therefore vouching for the rest.
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CGowen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. If both are made up, then it's a great thing to create a paper trail.
Edited on Sat Mar-24-07 06:42 PM by CGowen
It's his personal representative telling us these things on a sheet of paper.(KSM confession)
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Diane_nyc Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #34
74. boloboffin's conclusion that KSM is "therefore vouching for the rest" of the interview
boloboffin wrote:
KSM questions one statement in the interview. Sounds like he's therefore vouching for the rest.


I see no reason to conclude that "he is therefore vouching for the rest." That's quite a leap.

First off, we have no reason to be sure that KSM has even heard the entire tape. If he was arrested back in June 2002, as many people suspect, he very well might not have been allowed to hear the tape.

Second, even if in fact he was arrested later as per the official story, and even if we assume he did have an opportunity to hear the tape, we don't know whether he might have denied what's on the tape. The transcript of his interrogation session is alleged to contain only the contents of that interrogation session, not every word he ever uttered since the moment he was arrested. For all we know, he might have repeatedly denied that he was the person interviewed. Nor do we even know whether the transcript of the interrogation session is complete, given the CIA's destruction of evidence.

Third, even if he had heard the entire tape but didn't deny it, that doesn't mean he's "vouching for it." Given the threat of torture, he might well have been hesitant to tell his captors anything but what they wanted to hear. (That's one of the reasons why torture is illegal, after all.) Alternatively, he might have chosen not to say anything at all except when forced to talk, out of fear that no matter what he said, it would likely be twisted into more "evidence" of guilt. (That's why, in this country, cops are supposed to give Miranda warnings.)
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. Ya missed a couple of things besides his self-admitted lie about the dates, ace.
- The only record of said interview is an audio track with the voices distorted. Fouda tells a story for why this is so (the video was taken from him by the terrorists, who later sent him the audio track with distortion via the UK mail). One is entitled to take that with a grain of salt.

- Fouda claims he first tried to remove said distortion and was making progress, but then decided to go ahead and broadcast it in distorted form on Sept. 9th, 2002. Were they trying to make the 9/11 ratings sweeps? More importantly, has he or has Al Jazeera made further progress in the last four years toward fixing that pesky audio track? Do you know of a follow-up to that?

- They told him to assure the world they were the same guys as in the pictures of them.

- One of Fouda's ways of confirming himself is by citing an anonymous "jehad" web site that he can confirm knows what he knows, so it's All in the Circular Family, I guess.

- Al Jazeera is a propaganda channel that consciously feeds to a jihadi fan audience in the Arab world. They are the first public source of many of the dubious hijacker confession videos.

- The Binalshibh paraded to the world by the ISI with a mask on doesn't look like the Binalshibh in other photos (the visible lower part of his face, anyway).

Again, the evidence of "KSM's" confessions consists in the Fouda audio track and written transcripts released by the Guantanomo authorities.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-07 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. My name is not ace.
You can call me bolo or boloboffin. Anything else will be reported as harassment. This is your only warning.

Cutting through the bullshit you posted, you've got - a lie about the date (done to help verify future contact), a lie about the faces (done to avoid being killed), and the KSM denial of his saying he was the military guy for al-Qaeda.

That's all you got?
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Diane_nyc Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #37
77. The ambiguity of the tapes as evidence
Edited on Sun Jun-15-08 02:49 PM by Diane_nyc
boloboffin wrote:
Cutting through the bullshit you posted, you've got - a lie about the date (done to help verify future contact), a lie about the faces (done to avoid being killed), and the KSM denial of his saying he was the military guy for al-Qaeda.

That's all you got?


You missed the first sentence of the post you were replying to, which says:

The only record of said interview is an audio track with the voices distorted.


You also missed JackRiddler's second paragraph in that post, which says:

Fouda claims he first tried to remove said distortion and was making progress, but then decided to go ahead and broadcast it in distorted form on Sept. 9th, 2002. Were they trying to make the 9/11 ratings sweeps? More importantly, has he or has Al Jazeera made further progress in the last four years toward fixing that pesky audio track? Do you know of a follow-up to that?


If you don't understand why these points are significant, please see my post How does anyone know that the voices are those of KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh?.
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Grateful for Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. Some good points here. n/.t
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-02-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #37
80. And what's my name? Please recall this post the next time...
You want to call me by anything other than my chosen screen name.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #80
81. :eyes:
Whatever you say, Jack.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. After some recent comments on all sides
and without getting into who-said-what-when-whys, I think we could all do well to be more civil and sober in tone around here, including, especially, in the arts of trashing each others' claims.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #83
84. Because if we got into the whens, the one time I've called you anything but your screenname was
at least a month ago, and you're bumping this to prove you carry a big grudge.

Jack.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #84
85. Was speaking more generally and not even talking about that...
trying to do better on civility, and encouraging others to do the same.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #85
86. You highlight a post about calling people by their screenname
and you weren't "even talking about that"?????

:rofl:

Pull the other one!
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #86
87. Actually, I was thinking about all the "JAQ" stuff...
but what's the point? Can't we raise the civility, even as we tear each others' posts to shreds? I've been guilty of sins in this regard and hope it's more than a momentary resolution to try to move away from side-swipes, verbal nitpicks that aren't on-topic, laughies and smilies, names, etc.
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #36
39. I tried to find a transcript of the Fouda interview of KSM but no luck. Have you seen one?
He doesn't even say which language it was in.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Lexis search...
No, I can't find a transcript as such, and I don't have the book at hand right now, but the following should do - first a typical summary, then a lot of detail from The Guardian.

TYPICAL COVERAGE AT THE TIME:

Copyright 2002 The Press Association Limited
Press Association

September 9, 2002, Monday
SECTION: HOME NEWS
LENGTH: 347 words
HEADLINE: AL QAIDA 'PLANNED NUCLEAR SEPTEMBER 11 TARGETS'
BYLINE: Tom Kelly, PA News, in New York
BODY:
The al Qaida terror network initially plotted to strike nuclear plants rather than the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, leaders of the organisation told an Arab TV network.
But they told the TV journalist that they "decided against it for fear it would go out of control," the journalist, Yosri Fouda, a correspondent with the station, said.
The Capitol building, not the White House, was the target for the fourth hijacked jet which crashed in Pennsylvania, the two lieutenants of Osama bin Laden also told Arab TV network Al-Jazeera.
Fouda said al Qaida contacted him in June to arrange the interview with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh at a secret location in Pakistan.
Mohammed told him planning began two-and-a-half years before September 11 and that the first targets considered were nuclear facilities.
In an article in The Sunday Times, Fouda also quoted Mohammad as telling him: "The attacks were designed to cause as many deaths as possible, and havoc, and to be a big slap for America on American soil."
US officials regard Mohammed as one of the highest-ranking al Qaida leaders still at large and believe he is still planning an attack against US interests.
Binalshibh is believed to be a member of a Hamburg-based cell led by Mohammed Atta, the Egyptian-born suspected leader of the September 11 hijacks.
Both men are on the FBI's most wanted list and have a 17 million bounty on their heads.
Fouda said he was led blindfolded to the meeting, held in a hideout in Pakistan for the interview.
"I am the head of the al Qaida military committee and Ramzi (Binalshibh) is the coordinator of the 'Holy Tuesday' operation," he quoted Mohammed as saying.
During the two days he spent talking to the two, Mohammed once referred to bin Laden in the past tense, leading him to believe the terror chief could be dead.
One of the hijacked jets destined for the World Trade Centre flew over the Indian Point nuclear power station just a few miles north of New York City on September 11.
Al-Jazeera plans to air the interview on Thursday.
LOAD-DATE: September 9, 2002

Guardian, Mar. 4, 2003, just before publication of the Fouda/Fielding book (and just before the official "KSM" capture), sums up the salient details as presented in the book, minus the story of how the video was confiscated and the audio tape later sent to him. (So many different stories Fouda has told.)

SECTION: Guardian Foreign Pages, Pg. 17
LENGTH: 1399 words
HEADLINE: We are leaving the nuclear targets - for now: The masterminds of Holy Tuesday - September 11 - frankly describe their lives as professional terrorists: It is what we do for a living
BYLINE: Yosri Fouda
BODY:

Yosri Fouda of the Arabic television channel al-Jazeera is the only journalist to have interviewed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida military commander arrested at the weekend. Here he describes the two-day encounter with him and his fellow organiser of September 11 Ramzi bin al-Shibh

It was late afternoon, Sunday 21 April 2002, when I packed my bags before joining Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh for a last prayer before saying goodbye. After nearly 48 hours with them the last moments in that Karachi safe house were bizarrely emotional. Ramzi hugged me closely, and Khalid handed me a statement called The Operation of the Jewish Synagogue in Djirba, Tunisia. "You can read it later," he said. Then he insisted on leading the way down the stairs - a very uncharacteristic act for someone as security conscious as him. "You know what!" Khalid said as we walked down. "You would make the perfect terrorist. I mean, look at yourself! You are young, intelligent, highly educated, well organised, you speak good English, you live in London, and you are single."

I presumed he was joking but, because I was now blindfolded, I could not see whether he was smiling. He went on: "You remind me in a sense of brother Atta." A comparison with Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 hijackers, would have been in his eyes a huge compliment. How do you respond to such a comment? It needed a delicate reply, so I said: "One of Allah's dearest blessings is that no human being can read the minds of their fellow human beings."

Indicted

Khalid seemed content. As he smartly guided me to the waiting car, Khalid opened the door himself and shook my hands like he never did before. "You are such a man. God bless you and protect you." Those were the last words of al-Qaida's military commander, which would resonate in my ears for a long time.
Before the September 11 attacks few people, even intelligence agents, had heard of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. True, he had been indicted for his role in a 1995 Philippines-based plot to crash US airliners into the sea, but no one had ever questioned him for this - or for his alleged role in the first attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993.

Until his arrest this week the only known photograph of him was a strange passport picture of a man staring out from under a Gulf Arab headdress, his thick beard and glasses obscuring most of his features. It glowers at you on the FBI Most Wanted website, along with an electronically enhanced version of the same picture showing him wearing a shirt and collar and cleanly shaven. The details on the website are sketchy and contradictory: he was born on 14 April 1965 or 1 March 1965. His place of birth is Kuwait or Pakistan. He is olive or light skinned. He wears a full beard, a trimmed beard or a shaven face and is also known to wear glasses to hide his brown eyes.

It was only after my 48-hour encounter with the masterminds of the "Holy Tuesday" operations in New York and Washington that the world, including the CIA and FBI, came to learn that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is al-Qaida's number three and that his importance to the group as a terrorist organiser in the field exceeds that of his boss, Bin Laden. (NOTE: So here he's taking credit for being the source after denying it earlier.)

When I arrived after a long series of changing cars and guides, it was Khalid who removed my blindfolds. "Recognised us yet?" he joked as Ramzi shook my hand warmly. "You will when intelligence dogs turn up at your door," Ramzi said.

"They say that you are terrorists," I surprised myself by blurting out. Calm and serene, Ramzi just offered an inviting smile. Khalid answered: "They are right. That is what we do for a living." Ramzi then said: "If terrorism is to throw terror into the heart of your enemy and the enemy of Allah then we thank Him, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, for enabling us to be terrorists." Khalid outlined the conditions for my interviews. I was not to mention how we communicated, nor reveal their "real" code-names.

"When they ask you what we now look like, you will say we have not changed at all since the photos they will show you were taken." I was asked to place my right hand on a copy of the Holy Koran and solemnly swear to this. Summoning every thread of experience and courage, I looked Khalid in the eye and asked: "Did you do it?" The reference to September 11 was implicit. Khalid responded with little fanfare: "I am the head of the al-Qaida military committee," he began, "and Ramzi is the coordinator of the Holy Tuesday operation. And yes, we did it."

He went on: "About two and a half years before the holy raids on Washington and New York, the military committee held a meeting during which we decided to start planning for a martyrdom operation inside America. As we were discussing targets, we first thought of striking at a couple of nuclear facilities but decided against it for fear it would go out of control." I was dumbfounded. Nuclear targets? Could he be more specific?

"You do not need to know more than that at this stage, and anyway it was eventually decided to leave out nuclear targets for now."

"What do you mean 'for now'?"

"For now means 'for now'," Khalid said, silencing me.

The attacks, he said, were designed to cause as many deaths as possible. It would be a huge slap in the face for America, on its own soil.
But who would carry it out? "We were never short of potential martyrs. Indeed, we have a department called the department of martyrs."
Was it still active? "Yes it is, and it always will be as long as we are in jihad against the infidels and the Zionists."

When the time came to start filming I sat in front of the camera and invited Khalid to have a look into the viewfinder. "What do you think?" But Khalid was not happy. He yelled at an associate: "Bring me that brown cloak, will you?" With the help of Ramzi he pinned the cloak to the wall in front of the camera and had another look through the lens to see if the colour worked on film. Still, he was not happy. He disappeared for a moment and came back dressed in a large loose brown cloak, almost identical to the other one, covering him from neck to toes. As everybody was laughing, he took it off, placed it on Ramzi's shoulders and asked him to sit in front of the camera so that he could have yet another look. "It is OK now," he declared, "we can now begin. Sit in front of me."

Stumbling

When the camera started rolling Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was different. He tried to sound authoritative, but stumbled as he tried to compose a couple of sentences in classical Arabic. During the 70 minutes on camera he referred to Osama bin Laden as "Sheikh Abu Abdullah", sometimes "Sheikh Osama" or simply "the Sheikh", but always in the present tense, and always praying to Allah to protect him. Once, though, he made what I thought was a slip of the tongue, referring to him in the past tense.

After the interview Khalid went off to another room and came back with a small box. "This is for you," he said as he opened the box and started to hand me some CD-roms and mini cassettes, including a will made by one of the September 11 hijackers, a documentary on what Khalid called the "new crusades" and a video of the beheading of the Wall Street Journal's reporter Daniel Pearl. He said that he wanted me to distribute the tapes to western news agencies, and then added quizzically: "Especially the French."

When Ramzi bin al-Shibh was arrested on the first anniversary of their "finest hour", September 11, I was surprised.

I am shocked by the unceremonious arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The man who planned and orchestrated the most sophisticated act of terror in history can, it seems, make mistakes. I believe that he was sold out rather than hunted down. The manner of his fall tells us less about the bravery of the Pakistanis or the cleverness of the Americans - the official view - than about the disruption that has shaken the heart of al-Qaida. His place, however, will soon be claimed by more than one new "mastermind".

Given the boiling emotions in the Arab and Muslim world at present, they will be hailed.

Yosri Fouda is the chief investigative reporter for al-Jazeera channel. His book Masterminds of Terror, with Nick Fielding, will be published shortly by Mainstream Publishing
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. More, from Jakarta Post
In this one we see Fouda not contradicting an interviewers' claim that his reporting was what led to the capture of Binalshibh.

Copyright 2003 Financial Times Information
All Rights Reserved
Global News Wire - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
Copyright 2003 The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post

January 12, 2003
SECTION: Pg. 3
ACC-NO: A20030113D1-372E-GNW
LENGTH: 1016 words
HEADLINE: FOUDA TO MAKE 'AL-JAZEERA' BETTER THAN 'CNN'
BODY:
From the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. has learned that winning the information battle can sometimes be more important than securing a military victory.

Yosri Fouda -- Al-Jazeera's London bureau chief and award-winning journalist -- reveals the secret of his success, including his exclusive interview with two of the masterminds of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. and his current interview with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Question: Has Saddam Hussein's claim that he has no weapons of mass destruction acted as a catalyst for the build-up of a possible war against Iraq?

Answer: There is a much stronger, more real build-up today, militarily and media-wise. This build-up is done so with the pretension that no matter what comes out of the (12,000-page) report to the UN or from the UN inspections in Iraq, it (the war) is going to happen. There is a build-up to provoke pressure so that the Iraqi government can perhaps give more concessions regarding the real interests of the U.S. government.

This is, if anything, more about going to war against Saddam than Iraq. It's about toppling him. Behind all the smoke and the headlines, there are strategic interests that the U.S. government has, more than just human rights issues. Interests like the new American vision of the Middle East. In fact, the remaking of the Middle East. There is the matter of oil, and Israel.

Would previous U.S. administrations have carried out matters differently in terms of launching a possible war against Iraq?

In comparison to previous U.S. administrations, the current one is a little bit more hawkish and more non-compromising, particularly after the Sept. 11 attacks. It comes down to the extreme right-wingers within the U.S. administration, because the way it looks now, Iraq is really feeling the heat. I believe that everything should be down to the UN inspectors to decide, otherwise there would be every way of trying to find a pretext to launch a war.

Again, this war, when launched, will have nothing to do with the misconception that George Bush Sr. failed to invade Iraq during the Gulf War. It's got to do with the U.S.'s strategic interests. If at that time they had wanted to take over Iraq, they would have done so. It's no secret that when the Shia Muslim leaders in the south rebelled against Saddam in the days following the Gulf War, it was the Americans who allowed Saddam to use their helicopters to suppress (the rebellion).

In 1991, the Shia Muslim leaders were in fact encouraged by the U.S. to rebel but then were abandoned in the end. If it (the U.S.) really wanted to go all the way, it would have done so. It would come as no surprise to anyone if the U.S. once again tries to woo tribal leaders away from Saddam.
If a war against Iraq is launched, where does Al-Jazeera see itself in the ensuing media war?

We have beaten CNN and the rest of the world during two wars: Desert Fox in Iraq and during the Afghanistan war. We are not an anti-American network that aims to increase animosity toward the U.S. by broadcasting audiotapes of Osama bin Laden. You don't expect him to give them to CNN or an Arab government channel, do you? He gave it to us and we aired them.

In order to communicate better with the Arab people, particularly about what America wants and thinks, every politician I imagine would try to use the Al-Jazeera satellite network. Even though Al-Jazeera was initially founded and financed by the emir of Qatar, the network commits itself to presenting opposing news.

Al-Jazeera, by airing opposing views, has attracted anger from Islamic militants as well. You, for instance, did clandestine interviews with Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, two alleged masterminds of the Sept. 11 attacks. Two days after your report, Binalshibh was captured in Pakistan and an Islamic militant website indicated that the capture was the result of treason. Are you not afraid for your life?

I took a calculated risk and I somehow knew that even though I wrote the story, nothing would happen to me. I had not gone looking for them, you see. They contacted me and asked me whether I would be doing anything special for the one-year anniversary of the attacks. When I said no, they asked me if I would be interested in exclusive interviews about the attacks.

They gave me elaborate instructions. I went first to Islamabad, Pakistan, and from there they wanted me to go down to Karachi. I was moved from one car to another, one intermediary to another, until I found myself blindfolded in an apartment where Ramzi and Khalid Sheik were waiting for me.

They told me that bin Laden had picked me for the interviews. They told me that their initial plans were to attack at least a couple of nuclear installations, but that they abandoned this idea, fearing that it would get out of control.

I knew for several reasons that they would not kill me. First, what kind of points would they be scoring by killing a fellow Muslim and how would they justify this to their sympathizers. Second, they wanted me to write the story. They wanted it known that they did it.

Al-Qaeda, I believe, contacted me to prove that the group is still functioning and able to communicate with the outside world.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell met with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and asked him to restrain Al-Jazeera, citing specifically the channel's rebroadcast of an 1998 bin Laden interview and charging that the station gave airtime to anti-American guests. Despite all of this, CNN and news executives from around the world started pouring in to secure a working relationship with Al- Jazeera. How did all this come about?

This was during the time in Afghanistan, and we were the only station in Afghanistan. CNN realized this and they came to us, and deals were struck for footage and resource-sharing. They are using our correspondents in the south of Afghanistan and we use their correspondents in northern Afghanistan. CNN also has access to key locations like Kabul through the Al-Jazeera correspondent there.

Yogita Tahilramani, The Jakarta Post, London
LOAD-DATE: January 13, 2003
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. NY Times, with moderate skepticism...
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company
The New York Times

September 16, 2002 Monday
Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section C; Column 1; Business/Financial Desk; Pg. 7
LENGTH: 899 words
HEADLINE: Media;
If it's on Al Qaeda's favorite station, is it news? A television reporter with a 9/11 scoop finds that nobody seems to care.
BYLINE: By Felicity Barringer

BODY:

A TELEVISION reporter in London answered his cellphone one day in June to be told that, if he followed instructions, he would have good material for a 9/11 broadcast. That, the reporter says, is how he ended up in Karachi, Pakistan, interviewing two members of Al Qaeda's hierarchy who said that they had planned the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Details of the interview, including the revelation that the Capitol was the target of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania were made public before the first anniversary of 9/11, but American news organizations gave the information little more than a cursory nod until this weekend. Then after ABC News reported on Friday that Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the two Al Qaeda lieutenants who boasted of their work, had been arrested on Wednesday by Pakistani police, details of the June interview were everywhere.

If the apparently newsworthy interview got off-handed treatment initially, consider the source. The journalist, Yosri Fouda, works for Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite television network that has been Al Qaeda's news organization of choice. The same network last week was also broadcasting the latest Al Qaeda-produced video, which featured Osama bin Laden's voice offering a hagiographic tribute to the 19 hijackers.

Why is Al Jazeera's news treated gingerly? The standoffishness clearly began in October when the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, asked television news executives to consider limiting their use of Al Jazeera's videos from Al Qaeda. The Arab network remains the best source of Al Qaeda material, but the wariness persists.

There are reasons. Al Jazeera's material is often uncheckable. As Richard Wald, a former senior vice-president of ABC News and a journalism professor at Columbia said last week, "There are many different views on where Al Jazeera is coming from. The view in the Arab world is that it is the only place telling the straight story, and the view in West is it is skewed against America."

But Mr. Fouda is a journalist trained in his native Egypt, in the Netherlands and at the BBC. Yet, he was also alone with two Al Qaeda members, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohamed, without the camera or sound operators who would usually accompany a broadcast journalist. There is no indication, however, that the audio tapes were fake.

Which leaves the question of control. In a telephone interview last week, Mr. Fouda noted that in June, Al Qaeda representatives faxed him an "outline of what they would like the program to look like." Interview subjects often seek that kind of control, but the question is whether the journalist cedes it.

Mr. Fouda's account of the Karachi interview makes it hard to answer that question clearly, and it is this kind of ambiguity that makes Western journalists uncomfortable. In last week's interview, Mr. Fouda said that his sources had wanted his broadcast to be timed to coincide with the anniversary. He did delay the broadcast, but he said that he did so because he needed time to check their account and receive the audio tapes back from Al Qaeda, which used its own camera.

So Mr. Fouda's information -- about the target of United Flight 93, about Mohamed Atta's final operational meeting with Al Qaeda representatives in Spain -- was kept secret for more than two months.


One journalist, who interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1998, shortly before the attacks on two United States embassies in Africa, thinks these are not easy questions. John Miller, a terrorism expert for ABC News, said, "Al Qaeda is a very legitimate story and a very, very hard-to-reach story." Speaking of Al Jazeera's relationship to Al Qaeda, he said, "It's hard for a journalist from a competing agency to say they are too close. Who as a journalist who covers this hasn't tried to get access to Al Qaeda?"

It is also clear from Mr. Fouda's account that he was at some risk when he traveled to Karachi and put himself in Al Qaeda's hands. He said he did not worry about sharing the fate of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Karachi, because he reasoned that many Arabs would turn against Al Qaeda if it murdered a popular television host. But his obvious vulnerability, alone in an Al Qaeda apartment, may have made him reluctant to ask obvious questions. When Khalid Shaikh Mohamed gave him a video disc of the execution of Mr. Pearl and asked Mr. Fouda to help distribute it, Mr. Fouda did not ask if Al Qaeda had directed the journalist's death.

Did Mr. Fouda ever think about contacting law enforcement or intelligence agencies before or after the interview? His answer was very similar to what a Western journalist might say. No, he said. That was not his job. He would only do so if he had specific information about an imminent attack on a civilian target. "Other than this, I am not going to do the job of someone else."

Mr. Miller agrees with the basic premise of most journalists that "reporters are not supposed to be an arm of the police," he said. But, he added, in the case of a mass murder in which almost 3,000 people died, the question "gets caught in the traffic of a very busy moral crossroads."
Western news organizations' delay in paying much attention to the Al Jazeera interview makes it clear that the station's ambiguous reputation continues to limit the acceptance of its journalism.

URL: http://www.nytimes.com
LOAD-DATE: September 16, 2002
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. "I somehow knew that even though I wrote the story, nothing would happen to me."
I wonder why he "somehow knew" this. Could it be that he knew he was lying about the date of the interview? Hm.
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Diane_nyc Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #41
73. Thanks for digging up this info....
Thanks very much for posting this.

But one minor nit: You wrote:

It was only after my 48-hour encounter with the masterminds of the "Holy Tuesday" operations in New York and Washington that the world, including the CIA and FBI, came to learn that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is al-Qaida's number three and that his importance to the group as a terrorist organiser in the field exceeds that of his boss, Bin Laden. (NOTE: So here he's taking credit for being the source after denying it earlier.)


At least technically, he's not necessarily taking credit here. He says that the CIA and FBI learned about KSM's role "after," but not necessarily "because of," the "48-hour encounter." "After" does not necessarily imply "because of." (Look up "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" in any standard list of logical fallacies.)

Anyhow, I do agree with your main point: that the tape is dubious. (See my post How does anyone know that the voices are those of KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh?.) And I agree that this is important.
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 04:55 AM
Response to Original message
40. they went REALLY over the top with that crap
to a comical level. i don't know how they ever thought it would be taken seriously.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-25-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. Easy.
Edited on Sun Mar-25-07 01:57 PM by JackRiddler
If indeed parts of the "KSM" stories from Fouda and the Pentagon are fabricated, and they do have the smell of it even in the absence of definitive proof, then the fabricators would be relying on a phenomenon of the mind that psychologists call confirmation bias. It's really very interesting, you should read some of the other posts about it on this forum.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-04-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. kick
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-11-07 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. kicker
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. kick
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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
49. Some intriguing additional information
Edited on Sat Apr-21-07 10:02 PM by paulthompson
Here is a new entry I made the other day, but it hasn't been posted yet:

June 14, 2002 and Shortly After: Al Jazeera Leak Leads US Intelligence to KSM and Bin Al-Shibh
Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda had recently interviewed 9/11 figures Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), though there are conflicting accounts if the interview took place before or after KSM was publicly identified as the 9/11 mastermind (see April, June, or August 2002). Author Ron Suskind will later claim in the book The One Percent Doctrine that on June 14, 2002, Fouda went to his superiors at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar and told them about the interview. He speaks to Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani, the chairman of Al Jazeera and the cousin of the emir of Qatar, and a few others. At the time, the US has been intensely pressuring the Qatari government to get Al Jazeera to tone down what the US perceives as anti-American news coverage. In fact, it was widely believed in Qatar that the US deliberately bombed the Al Jazeera office in Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2001 to send a message. Perhaps as a result of this pressure, a few days after Fouda reveals his interview, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, tells the CIA all about it. Fouda described some of al-Qaeda’s operational plans and even had a good idea where the apartment was in Karachi, Pakistan, where the interview took place, and what floor he had been on. Suskind claims that “No one, not even Al Jazeera management, knew the emir was making the call” to the CIA. US intelligence begins an intense surveillance of Karachi in an attempt to find KSM and bin al-Shibh. Mostly because of this lead, bin al-Shibh will be arrested in Karachi in September 2002, around the time when Fouda’s interview is finally aired in public (see September 11, 2002). (Suskind, 2006, pp. 134-140) Interestingly, in early September 2002, it will be reported that KSM was arrested in an apartment in Karachi on June 16, 2002, which would be right about when the CIA was given this information (see June 16, 2002).

And here's one that has been posted but I've just updated to factor in the above entry (the update hasn't been posted yet):

June 16, 2002: 9/11 Mastermind KSM Reported Captured
In September 2002, articles appear in the Pakistani and Indian press suggesting that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) is actually captured on this day in an apartment in Karachi. Supposedly he has been sent to the US, though the US and Pakistan deny the story and say Mohammed has not been captured at all. (Daily Times (Lahore), 9/9/2002; Times of India, 9/9/2002; Economic Times (Gurgaon, India), 9/10/2002) Interestingly, it will later be reported that in mid-June 2002 the CIA learned about an Al Jazeera interview with KSM and Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see April, June, or August 2002), and the information passed to the CIA included the apartment building and floor in Karachi where the Al Jazeera reporter believed the interview took place (see June 14, 2002 and Shortly After).

------

I have no idea way really happened, but it certainly seems that one possibility is KSM was captured in June 2002, esp. since Ron Suskind appears not to know about the news reports of his capture then, and obviously those news reporters didn't know about Suskind's scoop, and they both talk about apartments in Karachi. Imagine that Yorsi Fouda interviews him in June, goes back to Al Jazeera headquarters to immediately tell them about this big scoop (the idea that the interview really happened in April but Fouda took two months off to introspect and didn't tell anyone about it is hard to believe), the CIA determines within a day or two what apartment KSM was in from what Fouda said, and then arrests him. Fouda didn't know about the arrest at first, so he said the interview took place in June. Later, he finds out that he was pretty much responsible for KSM's capture within days of his interview, which could make him a marked man in the Arab world, so he backpedals and says it happened in April as a CYA (cover your ass) measure. The CIA hides news of KSM's capture for months while they interrogate him and try to round up his associates. Only after they've exhausted all those leads do they then (badly) stage a fake arrest of a KSM lookalike. And it seems pretty obvious to me that his 2003 arrest was faked. Check out these entries:

March 1, 2003: KSM Reportedly Arrested in Pakistan, But Doubts Persist
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) is reportedly arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Officials claim that he is arrested in a late-night joint Pakistani and FBI raid, in which they also arrest Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, the purported main financer of the 9/11 attacks. However, some journalists immediately cast serious doubts about this arrest. For instance, MSNBC reports, “Some analysts questioned whether Mohammed was actually arrested Saturday, speculating that he may have been held for some time and that the news was made public when it was in the interests of the United States and Pakistan.” There are numerous problems surrounding the US-alleged arrest of KSM:
Witnesses say KSM is not present when the raid occurs.
There are differing accounts about which house he is arrested in.
There are differing accounts about where he was before the arrest and how authorities found him.
Some accounts have him sleeping when the arrest occurs, some don't.
Accounts differ on who arrests him—Pakistanis, Americans, or both.
There are previously published accounts that KSM may have been killed in September 2002.
There are accounts that he was captured in June 2002. These are just some of the difficulties with the arrest story. There are so many problems with it that one Guardian reporter says, “The story appears to be almost entirely fictional.” In addition, 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Vice-chairman Lee Hamilton will write in a 2006 book that the arrest is made in an apartment in Karachi and carried out by a joint CIA, FBI, and Pakistani team (see Early 2003).

March 10, 2003: Dubious Arrest Video Raises Question of KSM-ISI Connection
One week after the purported arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) in Pakistan, the ISI show what they claim is a video of the capture. It is openly mocked as a bad forgery by the few reporters allowed to see it. For instance, a Fox News reporter says, “Foreign journalists looking at it laughed and said this is baloney, this is a reconstruction.” Other information about the arrest also raises questions about his relationship with the ISI. At the time of Mohammed’s alleged arrest, he was staying in a neighborhood filled with ISI officials, just a short distance from ISI headquarters, leading to suspicions that he’d been doing so with ISI approval. One expert notes that after his arrest, “Those who think they have ISI protection will stop feeling that comfort level.” Journalist Robert Fisk reports, “Mohammed was an ISI asset; indeed, anyone who is ‘handed over’ by the ISI these days is almost certainly a former (or present) employee of the Pakistani agency whose control of Taliban operatives amazed even the Pakistani government during the years before 2001.”

Early 2003: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Arrested in Karachi?
In a book published in 2006, 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton will say that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) is captured “in an early 2003 raid on a Karachi apartment orchestrated by the CIA, the FBI, and Pakistani security services.” (Kean and Hamilton, 2006, pp. 115) Pakistan and the US will announce the arrest at the beginning of March (see March 1, 2003). In contrast to the version put forward later by Kean and Hamilton, the Pakistani government initially states he is captured in a house in Rawalpindi, solely by Pakistani security forces. The US agrees on the date and place, but says it was a joint operation.

Let me repeat that quote from MSNBC: “Some analysts questioned whether Mohammed was actually arrested Saturday, speculating that he may have been held for some time and that the news was made public when it was in the interests of the United States and Pakistan.”


In fact, let me put my tin foil hat on and throw out a wild speculative idea: what if both KSM and bin al-Shibh were arrested or killed in June 2002, and AFTER that Fouda colluded with the CIA to fake an interview? Dead and/or captured men in secret CIA prisons can't refute it, and it would be a great way to squeeze more value out of an unannounced take down of someone like KSM. The problem is, everything is speculation since there's so much spin and intrigue about all this. You'd have to be a fool to believe the official account (which is that the capture of Abu Zubaida leads to the capture of KSM and bin al-Shibh, and Fouda had nothing to do with it), but beyond that it's anyone's guess.

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tenseconds Donating Member (237 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Yeah...diddly..dum
Yeah we know what happened Paul....so lets get on with it...shall we..
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-22-07 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Thanks Paul... But I noticed something...
The Al Jazeera owners' possible cooperation with the CIA apparently didn't help any in April 2003, when the US on taking Baghdad again incidentally launched rockets at an Al Jazeera crew, killing two reporters, as well as Al-Arabiya (killing two more) and the Palestine Hotel where the international press was staying, hitting the room of a Reuters employee.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
50. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 05:42 AM
Response to Original message
53. Update!
irrelevant
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
54. complicated
Edited on Sat Jun-02-07 06:01 AM by greyl
jjjjjjje3334
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-23-07 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
55. One thing
we learn in Fouda's book is that Binalshibh was able to get into several countries (including Britain) but not the US. Al Qaeda supposedly pulled off 9/11 but couldn't get a key operative in the US?

Why are the photos of these 9/11 conspirators top secret? Not even videotaped testimony was allowed in the Moussaoui trial and the trials in Germany. Just transcripts.

Most importantly, Fouda is given a floppy disk with the kunyah (a type of proper name Binalshibh says was used for security purposes) used for each alleged hijacker. The 19 named by the FBI were the 19 listed on the disk. The obvious problem is the issue of stolen identities. There is nothing in the book that concerns this issue. We are expected to accept the 19 listed were the 19 involved. IMO, that means Fouda's account cannot be trusted. It seems the intent was to use Fouda's Islamic credibility to bolster the OCT.

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Fainter Donating Member (499 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-23-07 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
56. EMT Worker And Use Of Explosives At WTC 7
Jack, I believe what you are referring to here is a radio interview of an unidentified New Jersey EMT conducted by 1010 WINS News Radio NYC on the afternoon of 9/11 shortly after the fall of building 7. This gentlemen reported witnessing concussion waves and explosions emanating from WTC 7 before it fell. He gave this testimony within hours of seeing the event while it was still fresh in his memory. He claims to have been shocked by this aspect of his experience and sounds so in the radio interview. The audio of this WINS Radio interview has been archived on the net. While unidentified, this witness gives credible immediate testimony to a disputed event that is not easy to dismiss. He was practically next to the building when it blew up. This evidence is far more compelling than your characterization of it as an unsourced claim merely asserted in an email...even discounting my confirmation bias.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
57. kick
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Have you learned anything new that supports your doubt the interview never happened? nt
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. Have you?
I like this thread, so I kick it. Thanks for doing the same.

Beautiful day, innit?
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Nah, me neither.
It's a bit overcast where I am. Nice day in Louisiana, though.
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. It's a beautiful day here in NE Indiana
Mid-80s, light breeze, sunny blue skies. Supposed to be this straight through Monday. Perfect weather for the Bilderberger mid-West blogger meet-up in Sandusky this weekend.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-21-07 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #61
62. I see you decyphered the code from post 54.
I'll be attending the meet-up in Uniontown. Transport should be here shortly.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-21-07 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #62
63. Yeah, keep shovelling in the general irrelevant mockery...
Why don't you do this crap in the lounge?

Stick to the topic or shut up.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-21-07 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. You're the one that started talking about the weather. n/t
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-26-07 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #63
65. Your evenhandedness is inspirational.
As I recall, evidence that the interview happened is currently overwhelming any evidence that the interview was faked.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-26-07 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. By always repeating the same assertion you win.
You do. Psychologists and marketers know this, as do Republicans.

You can also win by framing, for example, by slipping in a definition of the question as simply of whether "the interview happened." It may or may not have, but it just sounds so reasonable.

As I recall, the current evidence is overwhelming that Yosri Fouda lied several times and that his story is dodgy and therefore to be dismissed from serious consideration.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-31-07 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. kick
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-28-08 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
68. The torture tapes and destruction of evidence make this relevant again...
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. Springtime kick.
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
70. Fouda
wasn't able to arrange a codeword with al Qaeda? After all the only people on the planet with knowledge of the codeword would have been KSM, al-Shibh and Fouda. Wouldn't that have been more logical than lying about the date of the interview?

What about fingerprints? Why didn't Fouda get fingerprints? After all, if he truly was talking to KSM and al-Shibh and the whole point was so they could prove they were the 9/11 masterminds, fingerprints would be an excellent way to confirm their identity and Fouda's credibility.

I still find it strange that KSM and al-Shibh had the exact same list of 19 hijackers as the FBI eventually determined. That comes across as awfully convenient. No stolen ID's used to board the planes? 5,5,5,4 configuration? No backup plan in place to get more hijackers on a plane? Remember we are told al Qaeda had the operational sophistication to pull of 9/11. OTOH, we are supposed to believe hijackers known by the CIA as early as '99 with links to the Cole plotters were able to board planes using their real names when the system was blinking red. Absurd.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
71. May 08 Update: Fouda on Egyptian TV
FYI, an informant from Egypt writes as follows about a Fouda TV appearance yesterday:

Just tonight, Yousri Foda was interviewed for more than 2 hours on one of Egypt's most popular current-events shows. Fouda is the star Al-Jazeera investigative reporter who has done more than any other individual in the Middle East to promote the U.S.' official story about the Sept. 11 attacks.

He was the Forrest Gump-type character who pulled off coup after coup, getting exclusive interviews with all the big shots in "al Qaeda", including Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubeida and of course, OBL. He was the only Arab reporter allowed to film in Guantanamo Bay and to go all over Pakistan and Afghanistan from his base in London, where he's been living for 16 years.

At one point in the interview, in response to some call-in questions, he said in a scolding voice that there is NO DOUBT at all that the entire operation was masterminded, financed and executed by 'al Qaeda' and the 19 hijackers. He added, "as the media, we fail to do our jobs if we allow people to stay ignorant by telling them what they want to hear."

Then he added that the operation was a relatively simple one, and relatively cheap as well, costing less than $500,000. "We must keep in mind," he added, "that it takes a lot fewer resources to destroy than to build." He remarked that those high-level cadres that he has spoken with in 'al Qaeda' (in Afghanistan) were very intelligent, more than intelligent enough to pull off the 9/11 attacks.
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-24-08 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #71
89. Fouda banks on public ignorance
Edited on Sun Aug-24-08 03:08 AM by noise
Was that truly binalshibh who was captured on 9/11/02? I know I'm a conspiracy theorist for questioning this but from what I can tell it seems the blindfolded man is not Ramzi binalshibh. I don't get the use of blindfolds in the first place. What was the point of that?

So where is he (IF that wasn't him)? No idea. For all I know he was killed on 9/12/01. Sure I might be wrong but one must consider the US government refused to allow testimony from him in the Mzoudi and Motassedeq trials. Not even videotaped testimony. Just transcripts. Due to the integrity of the tribunal process, we are only permitted to see artist renditions of the high level al Qaeda detainees.

Does the US truly have the named al Qaeda operatives in custody or were they killed years ago?
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Diane_nyc Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
72. How does anyone know that the voices are those of KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh?
Hi!

I would say that the main thing that casts doubt on the interview is simply the distortion of the voices. Because the voices are distorted, there is no way of knowing for sure who those guys are. How does anyone know whether they are, in fact, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh?

Even if we assume that the voices on the tape are those of genuine Al Qaeda members, is it not reasonable to suspect that those guys might have misled Fouda as to their personal identity, given all the other security measures they took? Perhaps they might even have tried to frame some totally innocent people, in order to throw the CIA off the trail? After all, assuming that the Al Qaeda folks had any brains, surely they would suspect that Al Jazeera might be infiltrated by the CIA, and surely they would do whatever they could to mislead the CIA.

To me the above is more convincing, as a reason to doubt the tape's validity as evidence against KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh, than Fouda's admitted/claimed lie about the date. We simply don't yet have any verifiable evidence that the voices on the tape are those of KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh.

Anyhow, if indeed that tape plus KSM's confession under torture are our sole evidence that KSM was "the 9/11 mastermind," then I agree with you that the case against KSM is very weak indeed.

Is anyone here aware of any other evidence of KSM's guilt? If so, please tell us about it, and please be specific.

Of course, it's entirely possible that the CIA has secret evidence that they can't reveal without revealing sources and methods. But we certainly should not put blind faith in alleged secret evidence. If anyone here does put blind faith in possible secret evidence, well, I've got some Iraqi WMD's for sale....

Note: I'm not one of those folks who believe that there was no real Al Qaeda terror plot. The reality of an Al Qaeda terror plot seems far more likely, to me, than any alternative hypothesis that has been proposed. But this doesn't necessarily mean we know for sure the identities of all the plotters. Until and unless KSM et al receive due process, we won't know for sure whether they personally are guilty.
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petgoat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #72
75. Welcome, Diane! I know your work from TruthAction. Thanks for kicking this. nt
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Grateful for Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
76. Hi Diane_nyc
Welcome to DU!

Obviously, we have no way of knowing if the voices are really those of KSM and RB. Your point is a good one.

BTW, I am enjoying your blog. I am sure you will be a valuable addition to this forum.











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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #72
79. Welcome, Diane to the Democratic UNDERGROUND.
This place just got a lot more interesting!
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Bassman66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
82. A very interesting thread.
I am puzzled by the need for voice distortion.

It all sounds phoney to me.
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Diane_nyc Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-04-08 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #82
88. IF the tape is real, then the obvious purpose of the voice distortion ....
Edited on Fri Jul-04-08 07:45 PM by Diane_nyc
... would have been to reduce these guys' risk of getting arrested.

The voice distortion seems to me like a perfectly reasonable precaution for these guys to have taken, assuming they had the technical means and know-how.

But it does mean we can't know who these guys really are. Hence, as JackRiddler has correctly pointed out, there's no reason we should assume that they really are who they say they are.
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #82
91. Agree

I am puzzled by the need for voice distortion.

If you had already admitted your publicly known name, why would you need to distort your voice?

UNLESS you were not really who you said you were.

This also applies to the supposed video. If everyone knows who you are already and their photos are in public, why the secrecy? Unless it's not really them.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
90. Fouda's 2002 Al Jazeera documentary now available on youtube.org
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 04:40 PM by JackRiddler
The Sept. 9, 2002 Al Jazeera broadcast of Yosri Fouda's documentary on Sept. 11th has been uploaded to youtube. It's in Arabic with English subtitles, uploaded by the copyright holder, Al Jazeera.

Part One:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM5yGfx1KUk

Part Two:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC3P-Ai-HtU

These links were found and posted on this forum by boloboffin, to whom thanks are due. He posted the links on the following discussion thread:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Fouda's 2-hour documentary includes a few minutes total of audio from his supposed interviews of "KSM" and Binalshibh. These are sprinkled around the second hour, for the most part. The voices do indeed provide unforced "confessions" of responsibility for masterminding the September 11th attacks.

The interview is suspect for the reasons discussed in the OP of this thread. Fouda can provide no visual documentation of the alleged interview subjects who contacted him. Rather, he claims he was contacted by them in cloak and dagger fashion, then driven around Karachi blindfolded before being brought to the two interview subjects, whom he says he then recognized as "KSM" and Binalshibh. He claims the interview was filmed, but the two subjects kept the film and later sent him a distorted version of the audio track.

The two voices do not provide any confirmable information about the attacks, the planning or the movements of the 19 alleged hijackers that could not have been gleaned from press reports prior to the air date.

In addition, the Fouda documentary includes footage of Fouda in his own hotel room with a fellow who is supposedly the emissary from KSM and Binalshibh. In this footage, Fouda summarizes his supposed interview with "KSM" and Binalshibh. The emissary's head is pixellated to prevent identification. This creates a kind of cloak and dagger feel, but it's mostly Fouda doing the talking about his recollections.

To complete the circularity, the voices identified by Fouda as "KSM" and Binalshibh (although the audio has been by his own admission treated by them to prevent their identification) also give assurances that the Osama Bin Ladin Afghanistan "confession" released by the US government in Dec. 2001 was indeed authentic. Well, there we go.

The documentary was interesting - I'd seen a shortened German TV version way back then. There's an ambiguity with regard to the act of Sept. 11th itself, which is condemned, but with an awareness that it's also glorified by many in the Arab world, and that it's hardly out of the blue or entirely without justification given the prior history of American policy (assuming the official story). The film also strikes a fairly agnostic view on the subject of possible US foreknowledge or facilitation of the attacks for the purposes of justifying subsequent US wars and policies.

But on the whole treatment of that and almost all of the subjects is rather cursory, fleeting and rarely in depth; Fouda jumps back and forth between subjects and time frames in a typical and superficial way of TV news, for example previewing snippets of the supposed juicy bits but then delaying them until later so as to keep up an artificial sense of suspense.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-10 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
93. New thread: "Ashcroft, Tenet, Rumsfeld warned 9/11 Commission about 'line' it shouldn't cross"
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-01-12 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
94. Ha, now this is probably the FINAL KICK for this thread.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-11-12 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #94
95. (except this one)
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-23-12 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
96. Look at this, this STILL works -
Kudos to the admins for allowing this space to continue.
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