In Staff Statement #16, the 9-11 Commission's staff comes to the conclusion that the alleged 2001 meeting between hijacker Atta and an Iraqi official never "occurred." In reaching that conclusion the staff says it relied on written government documents, a FBI liaison, and its own "judgment calls."
     Yet, just four months earlier, CIA director Tenet,testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the same meeting, and came to a different conclusion about whether it occurred: "We can't prove that one way or another." Presumably Tenet had access to the same documents and intelligence reports as the Commission staff.
     It is up to the Commission to determine whether the Staff or the CIA Director is correct. What key facts are missing in Staff Statement #16 that the Commission needs to know to make this judgment ?  r.


       It is the business of the staff to produce evidence
for the committee members to appraise, not to make
"judgment calls" without presenting any evidentiary basis.  The staff omits at least seven facts in "Staff statement #16" that the full Commission deserves to know to render its own judgment.

They are:

    1)   Atta made 2 prior trips to the Czech Republic in 2000 at a time he was engaged in the 9-11 plot.  They were the first two trip Atta made outside of Germany after he obtained his US visa.

    2)    In applying for his Czech visa (BONN200005260024), Atta identified himself as a" Hamburg student."

    3) An eyewitness identified Atta as the person meeting  the Iraq official, Al-Ani,on the outskirts of Prague on April 9th.
    4) Atta's whereabouts is unknown to the FBI on the day in question. The FBI found no other witness to his whereabouts between April 4, 2001 and April 11th.

    5) The FBI has not been able to determine Atta's purpose in withdrawing $8,000 in cash from his bank account on April 4th.

    6) There is no chain of evidence showing that Atta himself was in possession of a cell phone on which billing records indicate calls were made from Florida on April 9th. It is possible he left the phone behind (since it did not function in Europe) and it is possible the phone was used by his roommate or others.  Without evidence he was exclusiver user, the billing records show the whereabouts of a phone, not of Atta. 

    7) A surreptitious search of the Iraq Embassy (presumably conducted after the defeat of Iraq) showed, according to a Czech official, that Al-Ani had scheduled a meeting on April 8, 2001 with a"Hamburg student."  The staff report makes no mention either of the appointment book or of the "Hamburg



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