Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #569 The Triumph of Treason

MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

Introduction: Observing the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks; this program highlights the heroic work of Rita Katz, a private citizen whose ground-breaking research on the terrorist-funding apparatus was first subverted, and then ignored. The targets of Katz’s research are connected to both the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist milieu of al-Qaeda, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and to the upper echelons of the Republican Party and the Bush administration. Not surprisingly, the investigation of Ms. Katz, John Loftus and the agents of Operation Green Quest was actively neutralized by elements of the FBI and CIA. Among the most complex events in recent history, the 9/11 attacks have—understandably—been conceptualized as a provocation, designed to justify “U.S. imperialism” and the attenuation of democratic freedoms in this country. It is Mr. Emory’s view that the attacks are analogous to the subversion of France in World War II. The primary reason for the rapid capitulation of the French to the German invaders was the fact that the French power elite—who had strong business and political affiliations with their German counterparts—welcomed the German invasion as a vehicle for eliminating French democracy and instituting fascism in France. The French power elite benefited from their participation in the Third Reich’s wartime economy. It is Mr. Emory’s contention that the GOP power elite—with strong economic and political affiliations with the Underground Reich and the Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood Islamic fascists behind the 9/11 attacks—helped facilitate the attacks for similar purposes. Far from expanding American power, the attacks of 9/11 signaled the twilight of the United States, and the events that have followed will (barring a sea-change in the tide of events) lead to this country’s doom. To flesh out their understanding of the subversion of France prior to, and during, World War II, listeners should examine FTR#’s 372, 412 and 441. In addition, they should read Armies of Spies by Joseph Golomb and Triumph of Treason by Pierre Cot. Both books are available for free download.

Program Highlights Include: Discussion of the profound connections between the targets of Operation Green Quest and Ptech—the company that developed the threat assessment software for the Air Force, the FAA and the Department of Energy; the confusion that reigned in U.S. air defense networks on 9/11; Operation Green Quest chief Michael Chertoff’s relationship with alleged al-Qaeda financier Dr. Magdy el-Amir; the investigation of Sami al-Arian and how it led to the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002; the harassment and surveillance of Rita Katz and her Green Quest associates by first the FBI and then the CIA.

1. Beginning with discussion of the response of air defense units to the 9/11 attacks, the program notes the evident confusion that the military experienced on that day. Mr. Emory notes that the threat assessment software architecture for the Air Force, FAA and Norad was developed by a company called Ptech. It is Mr. Emory’s view that the anomalous behavior of the air defense units on 9/11 may very well have resulted from the fact that the elements that launched the 9/11 attacks were also developing the software essential to this country’s air defense networks. Ptech has been capitalized to an enormous extent by individuals and institutions that have been focal points of Operation Green Quest—the attempt at interdicting terrorist money flows. As Mr. Emory notes, the milieu of Ptech is the milieu of Operation Green Quest.

Of particular significance is Yaqub Mirza, a director of Ptech (described as being very close to the FBI) and the unindicted individual who set up the fronts raided in the 3/20/2002 Operation Green Quest raids. It should be noted that Ptech has gone un-interdicted—and it develops the threat assessment software for the Department of Energy, which oversees the country’s nuclear power plants! As discussed in FTR#’s 495, 500 Operation Green Quest was headed by Michael Chertoff, who had represented Dr. Magdy el-Amir, a New Jersey-based physician, who appears to have channeled profits from his medical practice to al-Qaeda. Perhaps it should not be all that surprising to view the subversion of Green Quest in light of Chertoff’s stewardship of the task force. “Newly disclosed tapes offer evidence of the widespread confusion within the military as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were being carried out, further undermining claims by the Pentagon that it moved quickly to try to intercept and shoot down one or more of the hijacked jets. When matched with the timeline of the attacks, the tapes make clear that information about the hijackings was slow to reach the military on Sept. 11 and that much of the information that did reach Air Force commanders was faulty. The tapes were provided under subpoena to the independent commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, and parts of them had previously been made public by that commission.” (“New Tapes Disclose Confusion Within the Military on Sept. 11” by Philip Shenon; New York Times; 8/3/2006; p. A16.)

2. “But the full collection of nearly 30 hours of tapes from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, were released by the Pentagon last year to Michael Bronner, a producer on the recent film ‘United 93,’ who described them in detail in an article posted this week on the Web site of Vanity Fair magazine (www.vanityfair.com). The web site site includes links to excerpts from the actual tapes. The tapes demonstrate that for most of the morning of Sept. 11, the airspace over New York and Washington was essentially undefended, and that jet fighters scrambled to intercept the hijacked planes were involved in a fruitless chase for planes that had already crashed.” (Idem.)

3. “Although much of the conversation in the tapes is heavy with military jargon, it makes clear the terror of the morning, with military air controllers trying to monitor the whereabouts of hijacked planes bearing down on lower Manhattan and Washington. ‘I got an aircraft six miles east of the White House!’ one military commander is quoted as barking to a colleague. . . .” (Idem.)

4. “ . . . The Sept. 11 commission subpoenaed the tapes and other evidence after the panel’s investigators determined that material had been improperly withheld by Norad, which is responsible for air defense. Members of the commission said the tapes demonstrated that the Pentagon’s initial account of its actions on Sept. 11 was wrong and that some military offices might have intentionally provided false statements to the commission. . . .” (Idem.)

5. It is Mr. Emory’s view that the 9/11 attacks are analogous to the German invasion of France in World War II. The primary reason for the rapid capitulation of the French to the German invaders was the fact that the French power elite—who had strong business and political affiliations with their German counterparts—welcomed the German invasion as a vehicle for eliminating French democracy and instituting fascism in France. The French power elite benefited from their participation in the Third Reich’s wartime economy. It is Mr. Emory’s contention that the GOP power elite—with strong economic and political affiliations with the Underground Reich and the Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood Islamic fascists behind the 9/11 attacks—helped facilitate the attacks for similar purposes. In addition to subverting what is left of American democracy, the Bush administration has decimated the U.S. economic landscape and enriched their business cronies and themselves. Mr. Emory should not be misunderstood as denying that confusion and incompetence played a role in the failure of the U.S. to stop the attacks. Nevertheless, the Fifth Column—an essential element of which is the milieu of Ptech and the targets of Green Quest—played a decisive role in the events of 9/11/2001. An excellent view of the Fifth Column at work can be achieved by studying the story of Rita Katz, an Iraqi-born Jew. Fluent in Arabic, Ms. Katz infiltrated the Islamist milieu that was targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. It was Ms. Katz’s heroic research (along with the efforts of the equally heroic John Loftus) that led to the Green Quest raids. The milieu of Ptech and the targets of Operation Green Quest have profound connections to some of the most powerful people and institutions in the GOP and the Bush administration, particularly Grover Norquist and Karl Rove. As will be seen below, after the raids of 3/20/2002, Rita Katz and the other people involved in Operation Green Quest were harassed, followed and investigated by both the FBI and the CIA!! With this suppression of Operation Green Quest and the harassment of the investigators, we are witnessing the triumph of treason. Here is Rita’s story: “ . . . I was expecting the usual team of two, three investigators, tops. To my surprise, Mark arrived with seven people in tow, all meticulously dressed in suits. There were Green Quest agents, IRS agents, and agents from Customs’ Sterling, Virginia, office, which had the jurisdiction over Herndon and 555 Grove Street. Dave Kane, an agent from the Sterling office, a tall, thin man with a kind expression, was among the group. He’d been with Customs for three years, and like Mark, he too had had no experience with counterterrorism until Green Quest, but he would later become pivotal in this investigation. I asked Jerome to join us, we arranged another desk to accommodate the large group, and I began briefing them on 555.” (Terrorist Hunter by “Anonymous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harper Collins]; Copyright 2003 by Harper Collins [HC]; ISBN 0-06-052819-2; p. 313.)

6. Rita began to brief the agents on the milieu raided on 3/20/2002—555 Grove Street, the SAAR network and numerous individuals and institutions that overlapped both of them. “ . . . I was impressed. Sending eight people to meet me meant that they were serious. In 1999, I was approached by two agents of the FBI Virginia office, who asked for information on [Jamal] Barzinji and other SAAR directors. We met. I worked with them for a few months. The FBI agents investigated and even interviewed some of the 555 people in the presence of their lawyers. Similarly to so many others, this FBI investigation on 555 slowly faded away. To date, nothing happened with it. Maybe this time, I thought, with Green Quest, it would be different. I was highly motivated to give them the SAAR story—and to persuade them that it was very important.” (Idem.)

7. Fleshing out some of the key names in this narrative, Tariq Hamdi was part of the SAAR milieu and an individual who delivered a battery to Osama bin Laden for use in his satellite phone. Sami al-Arian is a Palestinian-born Islamofascist who is the driving force behind Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hailed as a hero by the so-called progressive sector, al-Arian is a stone Nazi killer. It was John Loftus’ investigation into Sami al-Arian that helped to force the Operation Green Quest raids, along with Rita Katz’s heroic research. (For more about al-Arian, see—among other programs—FTR#538.) “We sat for six hours, I explained that SAAR was a network of think tanks, charities, nonprofit and for-profit companies, some hundred in all, based at 555 Grove Street. I explained who Sulaiman and Saleh al-Rajhi were. I told the agents how I’d first encountered 555 Grove when I looked into Sami al-Arian and PIJ and when I was studying Hamas front groups. With HLF, the al-Aqsa Educational Fund, WISE, ICP, and many other Islamic charities linked to terrorism, I told them, there was always some connection to SAAR. My briefing, to this point, as I unwrapped the story in a chronological order, was focused on the ties between SAAR and the Palestinian organizations Hamas and PIJ. Interesting by itself, but Green Quest’s top priority, namely al-Qaeda. So I introduced the Tariq Hamdi story to them and elucidated his ties with Sami al-Arian, with IIIT, and with Bin Laden and his satellite phone. This latter story astonished them. Then I pulled out my copies of Wadih al-Hage’s telephone books. None of the agents knew who al-Hage was! So I explained to them who he was and what he did. Then I showed them Saleh al-Rajhi’s name and numbers in both of al-Hage’s books. The agents were speechless as I continued to brief them.” (Ibid.; p. 314.)

8. “The task force went to Florida, as I’d suggested, and Mark called as soon as they’d returned. I knew better than to ask him what they’d gotten there; I’d been working with the government for years, and the rules were clear to me. I giveth, it taketh away. End of story. ‘Remember you told me about a tape where Sami is introduced as PIJ’s representative and where he collects money for PIJ?’ Mark said. ‘Can you make a copy of that tape for me?’ Naturally, I told him I would. But why would he need the tape from me? They’d just been in Tampa, where this and many other tapes are kept! I guess they didn’t have time to copy all the material, I thought. A few days later, Mark called and asked me for copies of FBI and INS affidavits I’d told him about. That was even more bizarre, but I faxed them to him. Later that day, Dave Kane called me. ‘You said you had transcripts of Barzinji and al-Alwani in ICP conferences,’ he said. ‘Yes?’ ‘Could I get them from you?’ ‘Sure.’ ‘Also, you mentioned having copies of checks from IIIt to Sami. Could you fax me those?’” (Ibid.; p. 315.)

9. “ ‘Of course,’ I said, ‘I’d be more than happy to help you guys. But the copies I have of the checks are of poor quality and are barely legible. The FBI in Tampa must have much clearer copies, and probably many more checks than I do. Why don’t you call them and ask them to fax you their copies of the checks?’ ‘I guess you’re right.’ There was something funny in his voice. ‘Could you please make copies of those checks, as best you can, and FedEx them to me anyway?’ These requests continued for some time, and I was gradually able to figure out what had happened in Florida. I knew the players; I knew the FBI team in Tampa well. These were the people who’d put me under investigation. These were the people who’d investigated John Canfield and kicked him off Sami’s investigation. They’d provided next to no help to Loraine, the INS immigration attorney who’d come to me for help on her investigation after she’d come up dry with the FBI in Tampa. I didn’t expect much of that team of people. But I couldn’t have dreamed how bad it would be for Green Quest.” (Ibid.; pp. 315-316.)

10. “The Green Quest agents did meet with Canfield, who told them exactly what they should look for at the FBI facilities and where they’d be able to find it. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any documents in his possession—he’d had to surrender everything to the FBI when he was dismissed from the case. But he’d continued to play ball with the FBI whenever they called him for information and so he took the Green Quest team to the FBI headquarters in Tampa and introduced them to the investigation’s new head, Jerry. The Green Quest agents explained to Jerry what they were doing and asked him for the pertinent information on SAAR and their ties to Sami. They asked him for the material obtained in the raids on Sami’s ICP and WISE. They were told that Sami was under FBI investigation. The material the FBI had on Sami was therefore confidential. Green Quest couldn’t get any of it. Remember that we are talking months after 9-11.” (Ibid.; p. 316.)

11. Note the FBI’s reluctance to help the Green Quest agents. As will be seen below, that reluctance to help blossomed into open hostility. Along with elements of the CIA, the FBI actively harassed and surveiled Rita Katz and other Green Quest investigators. “The Green Quest agents tried to explain that there was no competition between them and the Tampa task force. They only wanted the information relating to their investigation, not general information on Sami. So Jerry asked them to submit a detailed, written report on Green Quest’s investigation, explaining exactly which material they needed from the FBI and why they needed it. That activity took up an entire afternoon of their visit in Tampa. That was enough to get Marcy Futerman, the head of Green Quest, on the phone to her superior in Customs. Futerman is a soft-spoken, motherly boss, but she’s protective of her team. She realized that without some noise, her agents might come back empty-handed. Her boss in Customs called the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and asked for an authorization for Green Quest to examine the material in Tampa. The FBI headquarters authorized the request, called the Tampa office, and instructed them to cooperate with Green Quest.” (Idem.)

12. “Mark and his companions submitted their report to Jerry and were finally allowed to enter the evidence rooms. There were given a few boxes, much like the story with Loraine, and told that these were the only boxes that contained relevant material for their investigation. But this wasn’t all. They were instructed only to look at the material. They were not allowed to copy, scan, photocopy, or record anything. The only thing they were allowed to do was jot down in their notebooks what they saw. Furthermore, they were supervised by an FBI agent who watched them at all times to make sure they didn’t copy or take anything from the boxes—and to listen to their conversation. When they began discussing documents they thought were valuable, as soon as they showed enthusiasm about what they found, they were told by their FBI minder that it was time to take a break; it was time for lunch. The FBI seemed petrified that Green Quest would find in the material something that the Bureau had overlooked, and every effort was made to prevent that from happening. The trip was a failure in many ways, but Green Quest didn’t return to Washington completely empty-handed. They came back with the superb reports that John had given them. What they lacked was evidence, the material that the FBI had yet wouldn’t let them have. This was the reason that mark and Dave Kane kept calling me to ask for copies of documents and tapes.” (Ibid.; p. 317.)

13. “Green Quest is a supervising and coordinating task force that belongs to Customs. It includes FBI agents and IRS agents, and it works in close collaboration with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC, which also reports to Customs. Green Quest supervises local offices that lead investigations in their jurisdictions, and sometimes, as in the SAAR investigation, it is involved directly. OFAC assisted Green Quest. So did the FBI guys I was in contact with a couple of years before with regards to SAAR. Unlike their counterparts in Tampa, these FBI agents were cooperative and helpful, at least for a while. They forwarded Green Quest many documents they had. They, like Green Quest, seemed serious to me in the good number of months we worked together on the SAAR investigation; I never really understood why their investigation didn’t take off.” (Ibid.; pp. 317-318.)

14. “For all practical purposes, Mark and Dave were in charge of the SAAR investigation. They were the ones who worked directly with me. Mark represented Green Quest, and Dave represented the Customs office in Sterling. They’d get the material from me, write a report, and show it to a federal prosecutor, who’d weigh in on whether enough was there to merit the going-forward investigation of 555. Mark and Dave were under tremendous pressure from their superiors. Everyone wanted to move as quickly as possible. So Mark and Dave on the government’s side, and Sam, Jerome, and I in the office, worked very hard on 555. Mark and Dave practically worked day and night. I devoted most of my time to the investigation and their constant questions, although during this time I was doing a million and one other things as well. I conducted several investigations of my own; I collaborated with federal prosecutors and FBI, Customs, and INS agents from coast to coast. I continued to attend Muslim conferences and rallies. I even found time to search for clues in trash again.” (Ibid.; p. 318.)

15. “ ‘You mentioned Tariq Hamdi,’ Mark said to me one day. ‘How can you prove that he was in fact the one who delivered the phone to Bin Laden?’ I told him it was in the transcripts of the embassy bombing trial. I pulled out the relevant pages and within half an hour faxed them over to him. He called again. ‘In the notes I took while you briefed us,’ he said, ‘I wrote that Hamdi was also tied to Sami. We couldn’t find any mention of Hamdi’s name in the documents we were allowed to see in Tampa.’ I e-mailed him a picture from the publication of the university of South Florida, the USF International Affairs Quarterly, showing Sami and Hamdi sitting with Hassan Turabi, the Sudanese leader who hosted Bin Laden. Hamdi is identified there as a WISE associate. Moreover, WISE, according to research databases, had a P.O. box that was registered to Hamdi. I faxed Mark these documents.” (Idem.)

16. The IIIT is the International Institute of Islamic Thought, an Islamic think tank that is also involved in terrorist activity. “A few minutes later he called again. ‘So how do you know Hamdi worked for IIIT?’ I told him that Tariq Hamdi was the publisher of IIIT’s quarterly publication, Islamiyat al-Ma’rofaj (Islamization of Knowledge). I found the file and faxed mark the page from the publication with Hamdi’s name. He called again. ‘Okay, but how do you know he still works for them?’ Good question. I didn’t know. But this was a fine time to find out. So I called IIIT—after hours, because I hoped I could get the information without speaking to a representative. The voice mail guided me through a list of choices. I chose the option of contacting the employees of IIIT. I listened to the recording, and sure enough, Hamdi had a voice mail box in the system. He was still working for IIIT. I listened to the recording, and sure enough, Hamdi had a voice mail box in the system. He was still working for IIIT, then. Long after it was common knowledge that Hamdi worked for Bin Laden, IIIT still had him on the payroll.” (Ibid.; p. 319.)

17. “The next day Mark called and asked, ‘How can you tell that Hamdi was indeed involved in anything else linked to al-Qaeda besides that story with the satellite phone? Maybe this was a onetime gig where he didn’t really know what he was doing?’ This too was a legitimate question, albeit a difficult one to answer. After all, the government didn’t pursue any charges against Hamdi. He lives happily ever after, and his wife, Wafa Hozien, teaches in the Bethesda—Chevy Chase High School near Washington, D.C. She too was heavily involved in the activities of ICP in Tampa, where she met her husband; she was the managing editor of Inquiry, ICP’s publication in English, and she served as Sami al-Arian’s secretary.” (Idem.)

18. “Rumor had it that the FBI assumed that Hamdi had told them all he knew, and that there was no use in dealing with him any further. But was that indeed the case? I found my file on CDLR. CDLR, the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, is a London-based Saudi dissident group that is an al-Qaeda front. From that file I pulled out newspaper clips from al-Zaytuna, the IAP publication advertising the opening of a CDLR branch in the United States in the mid-1990’s. In these ads two telephone numbers were published. I’d been unable to obtain information on those numbers in the past. As a government agent, however, Mark had access to investigative tools that I didn’t. I gave the numbers to him, and two days later he called and told me that I was right: these two numbers did belong to Hamdi. So Hamdi was the CDLR representative in the United States and was thus tied to al-Qaeda in more than one way.” (Ibid.; pp. 319-320.)

19. “While Mark was cross-examining me on IIIT, Dave was pounding me with the Muslim World League. According to the way Mark and Dave addressed their questions, I understood that they were dividing between them the organizations connected to the SAAR network. They went, systematically, from one category to another. As I’d done years before, they started at the base of the pyramid, the U.S.-based organizations, and slowly made their way toward the pyramid’s peak. When they got there, I knew, they’d find the Rajhi brothers. But at that point they were still climbing. Dave, for instance, asked me how I could tie the designated Rabita Trust to MWL and to 555. I told him that Rabita, according to MWL’s Web site, was a subsidiary of MWL. I told him that Rabita’s director, Naseef, listed his address at 555 Grove. I sent him all the corporate records.” (Ibid.; p. 320.)

20. “The reason Dave and Mark were unfamiliar with such basic facts as the contents of MWL’s Web site was that they couldn’t browse the Internet at work. If government agents were to browse sites such as MWL’s on their office computers, the traces (signatures) left while visiting them might raise suspicions in those who operate the sites. Amazingly, there was only one computer in each of their offices that could not be traced as a government computer, and the queue for that machine is obviously long. After I taught mark and Dave how to use the Internet to find documents, browse relevant sites, and figure out who ran these sites, along with the other research tools I often use, they began surfing late at night, at home. For long months, the investigation continued in that fashion. Green Quest worked nights and weekends, and so did I. They came to my office at least once a week. They needed me, and I was always there for them. Thus between Mark and Dave, Green Quest was studying the ties between SAAR and terrorism. They needed my input for every single step of their investigation because they knew so little at first.” (Ibid.; pp. 320-321.)

21. “But they were enthusiastic. After 9-11, the government’s priorities changed, and many agents were reassigned to counterterrorism. While some agents I’d worked with in the past had resented such reassignment, or even seen it as a demotion, Mark’s and Dave’s motivation and willingness to learn were sky-high. Working with such a team was an exhilarating experience for me. Although it was very labor-intensive. I only had to say a thing once and they’d look into it immediately. I’d never been involved with an investigation like this before, where the agents would take into consideration practically every word that came out of my mouth. For years I’d been used to hearing that my leads would be ‘forwarded,’ ‘looked into,’ and ‘considered’—attitudes that many a time led investigations nowhere. With Green Quest—not just with Mark and Dave and Marcy, but with the whole team—the story was completely different. They took seriously the religiously everything relating to it.” (Ibid.; p. 321.)

22. Note that much of Rita’s research was gleaned from public sources. “It had become clear to me that SAR had been investigated by the government many times. OFAC had information on it, so did the FBI, and other agencies had also noticed that something fishy was going on at 555 Grove Street, Herndon, Virginia. But none of those agencies were able to tie the SAAR network to terrorism. The suspicions were there, but the investigations didn’t lead anywhere. Until I got involved, that is. Using only public records, I studied and researched and spent long nights and weekends delving deeper and deeper, until I put it all together, I made the connection and found the missing link between SAAR and terrorism. When Green Quest, with my guidance, looked deeper and used sources Ii had no access to, they were able to substantiate my findings. They told me that my information, combined with the backup of the classified information they had, provided solid grounds for investigation. They said that the stuff I couldn’t see was better than I’d every imagined. [Emphasis added.] They, too, were becoming terrorist hunters.” (Ibid.; pp. 321-322.)

23. “From the kinds of questions Dave and Mark were asking me, I realized that they were working on a search warrant. Mark said that they were making significant progress with the investigation but had encountered serious problems when they tried to convince the U.S. attorney that the residences of some of the individuals linked to 555 Grove needed to be searched in addition to 555 itself. I’d explained to Green Quest that searching 555 alone would be insufficient; that examining the individuals involved in the network of companies—who incorporated what and with whom—was critical; and that the government had to investigate these individuals at least as carefully as the material at 555. But it seemed that the U.S. attorney found it highly unusual to search the residences of the directors of the companies, and therefore he requested more evidence before he’d authorize the search warrants.” (Ibid.; p. 322.)

24. “On my own initiative, I called him and asked what exactly was needed. He told me that it was a major problem to convince a judge that these individuals might have material at home that could shed light on the investigation. I said that the individuals were the important players, not the sham operations they had created as a smoke screen. He wasn’t convinced and said that no judge would buy that. Then I came up with an idea. ‘What if,’ I told him, ‘I could show you that each of these individuals has incorporated a number of companies at 555, but used their residential addresses as the mailing addresses of these companies?’ ‘Prepare that list for me,’ he said, ‘and I promise you we’ll go to their houses.’ My staff and I sat for forty-eight hours, pulling out the records of each of those individuals and checking who use his residential address for his companies. My list was approved by the U.S. attorney. Then Mark called and said that although the other addresses were approved, the U.S. attorney didn’t approve Hamdi’s address. I told Mark that when the battery was delivered to Hamdi, it was sent to his home address. Maybe he had other things sent there, too, that the government might want to know about. Mark called me later. Hamdi’s house was now approved for search, too.” (Ibid.; pp. 322-323.)

25. As the date for raiding the SAAR network approached, Rita was visited by several FBI agents, who did not treat her as an ally. “In early March 2002, a government agent named Brandon called me at the office. He said he had a few questions and would like to stop by to discuss them. ‘What about?’ I asked. When agents call me they usually want something specific, some leads or documents relating to a certain investigation. I always prepare material for such meetings, so I asked what I should prepare for him. ‘We just want to get your opinion about something.’ We? Opinion? This sounded very strange. He asked to meet me soon as possible, preferably the next day. He showed up relatively early the following morning with a woman who presented herself as Anita. I asked them for their ID’s and then I invited them in. They asked if we could shut the door to the office. On one of my walls was a huge chart of the SAAR network. On my computer monitor was a new SAAR chart I was working on, at Dave and Mark’s request. Brandon and Anita sat down, and I expected the regular pleasant question-and-answer session where they ask for information and I do my best to provide it.” (Ibid.; p. 323.)

26. “Brandon began. ‘We are aware of the fact that you are, ahem, very much involved in the investigation in Virginia. As you may have guessed, the day for the raids on these entities is approaching. And this is why we’re here.’ I certainly knew that they were making progress with the warrant, since I had provided much of the needed information for it. I also knew that the raids we’re going to be extensive, as I had been asked to provide proof for some of the locations that were to be raided, including the residential addresses I’ve mentioned. ‘Go on?’ I became uneasy. I couldn’t see where this was leading ‘Well, we have certain concerns,’ he said. ‘Regarding the safety of agents in the field.’ My throat dried up. What do you mean by that, exactly?’ I asked in a whisper.” (Ibid.; pp. 323-324.)

27. The FBI agents who visited Rita were not on her side. They assumed a rude hostile stance, hinting at disloyalty on her part. “ ‘In other words, we wanted to make sure that they won’t be waiting for our agents out there.’ I regained my composure. ‘Let me make sure I got it right,’ I said. ‘Are you here to ask me whether I called Barzinji, al-Alwani, or Jaghlit to inform them that Green Quest and Customs agents would be coming to raid their homes on such-and-such date? Do you suggest that I told them to wait for these agents with machine guns?’ I was shocked and humiliated as never before in my entire career. ‘No, don’t misunderstand, we were just worried and wanted to make sure that everything would go smoothly.’ ‘Do you know who you’re talking to?’ I said, my tone sharp. ‘I don’t know you, and you certainly don’t know me or who I am. This is my investigation, my baby, my project—solely—and you accuse me of leaking it? This is all my knowledge. It all comes from public records. I can leak any of it as I please. No one can prevent me from leaking it. I could have leaked it anytime, months ago, or years ago. Everything Green Quest has comes from me. Everything. I sat and taught them everything from the beginning, and this is what I get in return?’” (Ibid.; p. 324.)

28. “Anita tried to undo the damage, saying that they were only the messengers who’d been asked to come here, ask a few questions, and verify that the bad guys would be surprised and not the agents. ‘Even a criminal in custody is informed that he is about to be questioned about his alleged crime. You could have at least told me what this was about before you came,’ I spat. Now the tables had turned, and they were the ones on the defensive. They really didn’t know who they were dealing with. But they never bothered to find out before they showed up in my office. Brandon tried to change the subject. He looked at the chart on my monitor and asked what it was. I told him that I was putting it together for Green Quest. He asked for a copy. I printed out five copies for him, and then I said: ‘You see this? This all comes from public documents. And you know what—maybe this is not such a bad idea after all. Maybe I should share this with The New York Times, Sunday edition.” (Idem.)

29. Rita rebuked the agents for their antagonistic treatment of her. “They should looked horrified. ‘Shame on you,’ I said. ‘I devoted my life to this cause, and you accuse me of being a double agent. Get out of my office. Right now. Session’s over.’ They scurried out of there. I immediately called Marcy Futerman. She was out, and I was told she’d be out the entire week. I asked to speak with her assistant. ‘What’s going on?’ I began firing the second he picked up the phone. ‘This is how you show your gratitude, sending a team to interview me?’ I didn’t know if he or Marcy knew about the little incident, but this was the best way to find out. ‘Just tell me whether Marcy approved that.’ ‘Marcy was informed about it, yes, but take my word for it, she would never have approved such a thing,’ he said. He was sincere, and I realized that Marcy was caught between a rock and a hard place. ‘You know how highly she thinks of you. But you must realize that some things are beyond her. There was nothing she could do to prevent it.’” (Ibid.; p. 325.)

30. Rita’s hostile treatment at the hands of the FBI was also experienced by some of her compatriots in Operation Green Quest, who also felt they were being surveilled. “The next thing I did was page Mark. Uncharacteristically, it was hours before he replied. He was distraught. I was trying to tell him that I’d been questioned by some agents I’d never heard of, but he kept repeating that he had the feeling he was being followed. ‘I can’t seem to shake them. I had this feeling that I was followed throughout the day. I don’t know what they want of me, all I know is that I didn’t know is that I didn’t do anything wrong,’ he insisted. I called Dave. He, too, was upset. He, too, was under investigation. Why do I deserve this? I thought. Every time I’m onto something good, every time an investigation is going well, I end up being investigated instead. It made me sad, and angry, and frustrated. This wasn’t the first time I’d been investigated since that business with John Canfield. Not at all. There were other times, which I can’t mention here.” (Idem.)

31. More about the beginning of Rita’s betrayal by the FBI: “But this time it went a step further: this was the first time that I was directly accused of endangering federal agents. For many days I was gravely agitated. I couldn’t focus on anything. I couldn’t sleep. I had recurrent nightmares in which I was haunted by these agents who came to question me. I knew my phone was tapped, I knew I was being followed, I knew someone was listening to and recording every word I was saying. . . Worst of all, I had no one to turn to for help. Whom could I call, the government? Maybe I was on the wrong side after all. Maybe, I thought, I should join 555, as these agents had suggested. I’d definitely be much safer in the arms of SAAR than in the government’s. I do what I do because I’m trying to make the United States a little safer, and this is the way the government thanks me.” (Ibid.; p. 326.)

32. Next, Rita learns of the Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, precipitated by the research she generated: “A couple of weeks later, on March 20, 2002, I returned from a meeting out of the office to discover a pile of messages from journalists lying on my desk. I called the top one on the pile. ‘So what do you make of these raids in Virginia?’ the reporter asked. ‘What are you talking about?’ I guessed what he was referring to, but I wanted to make sure. ‘Early this morning,’ he told me, ‘about a hundred and fifty agents from the FBI, police, Customs, and INS raided sixteen locations in Virginia and some poultry factory in Georgia. Haven’t you heard? It’s all over the news.’ So Green Quest and other agents had raided eighteen different locations in Virginia tied to SAAR. It was the largest counterterrorism raid ever in U.S. history. The raids continued the following day. Some one hundred computer companies were subpoenaed as well. [Emphasis added.] Everyone knew about the raids. Everyone but me. I was the last to find out, and I watched the raids on TV, with feelings as mixed as one could ever have. Content that the raid took place on the one hand, but feeling used and abused on the other. This is how John Canfield must have felt when he was kicked off the PIJ investigation, I thought. . . .” (Idem.)

33. Rita’s associates in Green Quest were investigated and harassed by the FBI. In FTR#310 (recorded in July of 2001) Mr. Emory hypothesized that Robert Mueller was appointed head of the FBI in order to safeguard the Bush administration’s links with the milieu of the BCCI and George W. Bush’s business links to the Bin Laden family. “ . . .For two months after the raids I didn’t hear a word from Green Quest. Then one day Mark suddenly called and asked to see me. ‘Why?’ I said cynically. ‘Your investigation is over. You don’t need me anymore.’ He understood. ‘Please don’t be cross,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t talk to you. I too was under investigation. I was being followed, my phones were tapped, and I was questioned. I was miserable. They gave me a very hard time. Please don’t give any more grief. I don’t deserve it.’ What was this, I thought, another rerun of the story with John Canfield? What’s wrong with these people who keep investigating the investigators? ‘If you don’t believe me,’ he continued, ‘talk to the U.S. attorney you worked with. He’ll tell you. He and everyone else on the team were under investigation.’ Mark, I knew, was not a guy to make something like that up. But I was curious, and I called the U.S. attorney to get his take. I didn’t press him too, much, because the whole thing was—and probably still is—under investigation. But he did verify everything Mark had told me. Practically everyone involved with the SAAR investigation had been under surveillance. The FBI was among the agencies conducting that investigation.” (Ibid.; p. 327.)

34. Note that the FBI gave more documents to Zacarias Moussaoui for his defense than to the Green Quest investigators. “No wonder! The FBI had long set its sights on this investigation, which became so major and so famous. The Bureau had already been meddling in the SAAR investigation in a manner less than gentlemanly; after the raids, people who had information about the SAAR network called to offer their tips. Unaware of who was in charge of the investigation, some of those people called and gave their tips to the FBI. The FBI, instead of forwarding the tips to the people in charge—Green Quest—kept the leads to themselves and initiated their own probes into those leads, sharing neither with Customs. Moreover, at some point, the two FBI agents in Virginia stopped helping Green Quest abruptly and completely. It was obvious that they’d been instructed to do that. The FBI continues to refuse to give Green Quest documents needed for its investigation. The FBI treats Green Quest worse than it does the enemy; Zacarias Moussaoui received from the FBI more documents pertaining to his investigation—including a good number of classified documents—than did Green Quest! And of course the ultimate scandal is that all this is taking place after 9-11.” (Idem.)

35. “Now, as I write these lines, the FBI is trying to take over the investigation altogether. Once again, a replay of the story with Sami al-Arian and with John Canfield. The FBI claims that Customs and Green Quest were rightfully the ones to initiate the investigation, when it seemed to be about money laundering. But now that it’s become a terrorism-related matter, Customs is incapable, you see, of dealing with it. Isn’t that peachy? Judging by what the FBI did with other investigations, if it indeed succeeds in taking over the SAAR probe, we can all kiss this investigation good-bye. How many terrorism-related successes can the FBI take the credit for? Not too many, that’s for sure.” (Idem.)

36. The inconvenient GOP ethnic/Green Quest connection cited in paragraph #5 may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hostile interest in the investigators of Operation Green Quest. “Yet the FBI wasn’t the worst part in that sticky affair. The CIA was. The CIA was investigating me and the SAAR investigators from Green Quest and Customs. The CIA and the FBI investigated everyone who had anything to do with the SAAR investigation. White vans and SUV’s with dark windows appeared near all the homes of the SAAR investigators. All agents, some of whom were very experienced with surveillance, knew they were being followed. So was I. I felt that I was being followed everywhere and watched at home, in the supermarket, on the way to work . . . and for what? . Now—I was being watched 24/7. It’s a terrible sensation to know that you have no privacy. . . . and no security. That strange clicking of the phones that wasn’t there before. . . the oh-so-crudely opened mail at home in the office. . .and the same man I spied in my neighborhood supermarket, who was also on the train I took to Washington a week ago. . .Life can be miserable when you know that someone’s always breathing down your neck.” (Ibid.; pp. 328-329.)

37. “The Customs agents were questioned. So were their supervisors. So was the U.S. attorney on the SAAR case. One of the questions they were all asked was whether they’d leaked material to me. They all kept saying that this was the most preposterous idea; they all said that before I came, none of them had the slightest clue about SAAR and 555. They said that there was nothing of value they could give me that I didn’t have already. That it was I who gave them the material, not the other way around. None of the investigated parties has the slightest clue as to the real reason they were being investigated.” (Ibid.; p. 329.)

38. “Risking criticism for being unfoundedly paranoid, I must convey my theory about the investigation and CIA’s involvement in it, I don’t know for certain what’s the deal with the CIA investigating the SAAR investigators, but it sure feels as if someone up in that agency doesn’t like the idea that the Saudi Arabian boat is rocked. The raids on 555 had taken place already—the CIA couldn’t change that—but investigating and giving the people behind the raids a hard time is a most efficient way of making sure the SAAR investigation stops there. Which, come to think of it, may be the reason the government looks so unfavorably on the lawsuit filed by 9-11 victims’ families against several Saudi entities and individuals, accusing them of funding terrorism and seeking damages.” (Idem.)


One comment for “FTR #569 The Triumph of Treason”

  1. […] FTR #569: The triumph of treason […]

    Posted by The investigation of Rita Katz on Operation Green Quest | Lys-d'Or | June 26, 2012, 11:54 am

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