Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
WASHINGTON — Inside an opulent palace in Riyadh late one evening in February 2004, two American investigators interrogated a man they believed might hold answers to one of the lingering mysteries of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: What role, if any, did officials in Saudi Arabia’s government play in the plot?
The man under questioning, Fahad al-Thumairy, had been a Saudi consular official based in Los Angeles and the imam of a mosque visited by two of the hijackers. The investigators, staff members of the national 9/11 commission who had waited all day at the United States Embassy before being summoned to the late-night interview, believed that tying him to the plot could be a step toward proving Saudi government complicity in the attacks.
They were unsuccessful. In two interviews lasting four hours, Mr. Thumairy, a father of two then in his early 30s, denied any ties to the hijackers or their known associates. Presented with phone records that seemed to contradict his answers, he gave no ground, saying the records were wrong or people were trying to smear him. The investigators wrote a report to their bosses saying they believed Mr. Thumairy was probably lying, though no government investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks has ever found conclusive evidence that Mr. Thumairy — or any other Saudi official — assisted in the plot.
But nearly 15 years after the attacks on New York and Washington, the question of a Saudi connection has arisen again amid new calls for the release of a long-classified section of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that discusses a possible Saudi role in the terrorist plot — the so-called 28 pages, whose secrecy has made them almost mythical.
American officials who have read the 28 pages say that, of all the investigative leads in that section of the report, the unanswered questions about Mr. Thumairy and the two hijackers remain the most intriguing. If there was any Saudi government role whatsoever, some still believe, it most likely would have gone through Mr. Thumairy...
Rohrabacher was initially elected to Congress in 1988, with the fundraising help of friend Oliver North. Rohrabacher’s decades-long involvement in “all things Afghan” eventually earned him the nickname “Gunga Dana.” Today he chairs the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
This morning President Obama called him a “home-grown” terrorist. In a series of phone interviews Monday morning, Donald Trump responded that “there’s something going on” with the President’s reaction to the Orlando shooting.
I guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day...
Friday, June 17, 2016
The database, known as the Automated Case Tracking System, crashed last month. ACTS hosts files for the Air Force’s inspector general and legislative liaison divisions, and it is the singular repository of records concerning investigations on everything from fraud to workplace disputes and Freedom of Information Act requests.
“The database crashed and there is no data,” Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon told The Hill. “At this time we don't have any evidence of malicious intent.”
Lockheed Martin, the contractor tasked with operating the database, spent two weeks trying to recover the information before notifying the Air Force, according to Defense One.
The Air Force is now seeking help from cybersecurity experts from the Pentagon and third party contractors to recover the records, which relate to 100,000 different cases dating back to 2004.
“We’ve kind of exhausted everything we can to recover within [the Air Force] and now we’re going to outside experts to see if they can help,” said Stefanek, according to Defense One.
The Air Force has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the crash, and is trying to assess how much damage is done and how much data may have been backed up at other bases...