Many of you probably never had the chance to read one of the dKos diaries I wrote when I was relying on an expectation of anonymity and was not adhering to any defensible journalistic standards. I won’t be able to write too many ‘Octopus’ stories (like the one below) anymore, because it doesn’t fit with the purpose of the site. But I figured I’d give y’all a chance to read one, written in the old style.
This was originally posted at dKos, on January 21st, 2005.
Posted: January 9, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern
Three years after the attack on New York’s World Trade Center, the manhunt for Osama bin Laden has failed to produce the world’s most wanted terrorist, and, according to the former No. 3 man at the CIA, that’s just fine.
Former Central Intelligence Agency executive, A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, has told the London Times that letting the al-Qaida leader run free may actually make the world a safer place.
“You can make the argument that we’re better off with him (at large),” Krongard said. “Because if something happens to bin Laden, you might find a lot of people vying for his position and demonstrating how macho they are by unleashing a stream of terror.”
Krongard, former head of Alex. Brown & Co., a Baltimore-based investment bank, came to the CIA in 1998 as then Director George Tenet’s counsel. He was appointed executive director of the CIA in March 2001 by President Bush.”
Krongard sees bin Laden’s role “not as a chief executive but more like a venture capitalist. “Let’s say you and I want to blow up Trafalgar Square,” Krongard says. “So we go to bin Laden. And he’ll say, ‘Well, here’s some money and some passports and if you need weapons, see this guy.’ I don’t see him keeping his fingers on everything because the lines of communications are just too difficult.”
Krongard is the most senior official to date to publicly question the wisdom of capturing Osama. If his views are widely shared – and the London Times reports that other U.S. officials have privately said pinning bin Laden down on the Afghan-Pakistan border is preferable to making him a martyr or trying him – they represent a break with three years of official pronouncements about bringing him to justice.
The shift in thinking certainly reflects the difficulty the CIA has had getting inside Islamist groups. “There are hundreds and hundreds of cells — it’s like a living, moving bit of protoplasm,” Krongard explains. “In order to penetrate you not only have to be language-proficient, you also have to commit acts that exceed criminality. It’s very hard.”
Only this week the U.S. re-stated its desire to capture the elusive bin Laden and more than a dozen other al-Qaida figures by placing a half page ad in the Urdu daily “Jang” promising millions of dollars in rewards. “All the information would be kept secret,” the U.S. Justice Department advertisement promised.
Krongard continues. “He’s turning into more of a charismatic leader than a terrorist mastermind. Some of his lieutenants are the ones to worry about.”
Buzzy Krongard has been “of interest” to 9/11 conspiracy theorists every since it was divulged that suspicious ‘put’ options were made on American and United Airlines, as well as reinsurance agencies and financial institutions that stood to lose copious amounts of money if the Twin Towers were attacked.
Now, there was another man that is tangentially connected to 9/11 and Deutsche Bank. His name is Kevin Ingram.
Mr. Ingram was one of the most powerful black traders on Wall Street. [Future Senator] Jon Corzine personally took him under his wing at Goldman Sachs. But Kevin was passed over for a promotion in 1995, and didn’t take it well.
In 1996 Ingram was tipped off by his gurus that he was unlikely to make partner that year, either. When his mentor Jacobson jumped to Deutsche Bank and offered him an opportunity to double his salary to $2 million, Ingram informed Mortara he was quitting. Sources say Mortara was furious; he had planned to push Ingram for partner in 1998. “Mike would have gone to the wall for him if he’d stayed and not screwed up,” says [Sen.]Corzine.
And he screwed up at Deutsche Bank too. Before long he was terminated, but not before he got a six million dollar parachute.
Desperate to avoid jail, on December 2, 1998, Glass approached the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and said he knew someone involved with illegal arms deals. He agreed to cooperate with an ATF sting if prosecutors helped reduce his jail time.
Five days later Glass called a meeting with Diaa Mohsen, whom he identified to ATF agents as an arms dealer he had met two years earlier at the Taj Mahal casino in Las Vegas. A former Olympic long-jumper who speaks nine languages, Mohsen had been a US. citizen for 30 years; he claimed to be a lumber and commodities broker but he’d also worked as a ticket-taker at New Jersey’s Meadowlands sports complex. Glass told Mohsen he knew army-base people who could supply him with artillery. Court papers say that Mohsen eagerly inquired about howitzers, grenade launchers, and surface-to-air missiles, and even asked if Glass could get hold of an MR2020, a nuclear-weapon component. The ATF affidavit says that Mohsen told Glass that a friend of Mohsen’s--Mohammed “Mike” Malik–was negotiating with an individual who was seeking arms on behalf of an unnamed foreign country According to court papers, Mohsen says this individual wondered whether Glass would accept heroin as partial payment. By August, court papers say, Mohsen, Malik, and an individual named “Abbas” had flown down to Fort Lauderdale to inspect Glass’s goods, which had been assembled by the ATF. Throughout the sting, Glass made tape recordings for the government, and he was talking one night with Diaa Mohsen, say court papers, when Mohsen suddenly said that the Taliban was seeking arms, too.
The question of how Glass would dispose of some of the $32 million in arms payments naturally arose. Mohsen suggested that Glass get in touch with Ingram, whom he’d met through their mutual car detailer, says a source close to Mohsen.
It turns out that Mohammed ‘Mike’ Malik was the brother of a man suspected of laundering medicare money through his New Jersey based HMO and funneling it to Usama bin Laden.
And our new Homeland Security Chief was his lawyer.
Yes, you read that right.
You can read about it here:
An most amazingly of all? Mohammed ‘Mike’ Malik shares the same name and hometown as the infamous Mohammed Atta. (this appears to be a coincidence, albeit one of the huge varieties).
So, Buzzy says we shouldn’t try to catch bin Laden?