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Missed Chance - Sources: U.S. ignored Sudan's overtures on bin Laden ^ | 12/2/0` | S. Mitra Kalita

Posted on 12/02/2001 11:33:52 AM PST by Jean S

Edited on 09/03/2002 4:49:36 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Before Osama bin Laden moved from Sudan to Afghanistan in 1996, Sudanese leaders offered to extradite the terror mastermind to Saudi Arabia, and share intelligence to help the United States disrupt terror networks, according to people involved in the talks.

Yet the Clinton administration repeatedly turned down or largely ignored the overtures from Sudan, a pariah state seeking to rid itself of economic sanctions and shed its image as a haven for terrorists and slave traders.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthraxscarelist

1 posted on 12/02/2001 11:33:52 AM PST by Jean S
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: abwehr
As you say, this doesn't exactly absolve clinton. He was up to his eyebrows in corruption and scandals, so he couldn't afford to conduct foreign policy in a manner beneficial to the country. Instead, as we all know, his main foreign policy objective was to do whatever was needed to take people's minds off Monica and his other assorted scandals. A secondary objective was to give CNN and his media buddies good photo-ops, so they would continue to support him.
4 posted on 12/02/2001 1:34:12 PM PST by Cicero
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To: abwehr; Poincare; Fred Mertz; OKCSubmariner; BlueDogDemo; Plummz; Alamo-Girl
I just listened, over C-SPAN Radio, to a repeat broadcast of Wolf Blitzer's Late Edition, originally broadcast on CNN earlier in the afternoon. Its concluding segment was an explosive debate between Susan Rice, Clinton's assistant secretary of state for African affairs, who was involved in this nonresponse to the Sudanese, and David Rose, the author of the forthcoming Vanity Fair article on this matter. When the transcript is available, people must look at it. It was apparent that Rice was baldly lying throughout the segment. Rose cited numerous witnesses, Sudanese officials, American middlemen like this Ijaz, and the two most recent U.S. ambassadors to the Sudan, Ambassadors Carney and Petterson. Rice only made bald assertions denying Rose's claims, with no supporting testimony or evidence. I have never heard a segment like that where it was so clear that someone was lying throughout. In fact, it was so clear that it's puzzling she consented to appear on the show. When Rose was trying to contact her while doing his article, she made herself unavailable to him until just after his deadline. I suspect the Clintons have ordered her to try to take the heat for this scandal.

You asked about Ijaz. In trying to discredit his testimony, Rice said that he has business interests in the Sudan, in particular in the oil industry.

5 posted on 12/02/2001 1:54:23 PM PST by aristeides
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To: Cicero; LSJohn; slym; Boyd; rubbertramp; metalbird1; dawnal
I don't believe Clinton is as blameless in this matter as you suppose. Rice's behavior was so bizarre that I think she must have been following orders. I think Clinton did not want intelligence agencies and other parts of the government to learn too much about bin Laden and the Islamofascists, because they were involved in some of his own dirty business.
6 posted on 12/02/2001 1:58:08 PM PST by aristeides
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To: JeanS
...A number of former Clinton Administration officials say they might have been wise to pay closer attention to Sudan.

Hard to do when these SAME officials were toking bongs the size of saxophones while trying to write down the Sudanese info on rolling paper. In the meantime, when approached with this Sudanese info on Bin Laden, the major occupant of the White House refused to be interrupted while he was doing lines of coke off the belly of Monica.

7 posted on 12/02/2001 2:13:37 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: abwehr; bvw; gumbo; Alamo-Girl; *Anthrax_Scare_List
Got a name and/or address for the medical instruments company in Trenton?
9 posted on 12/02/2001 2:37:12 PM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
I think Clinton did not want intelligence agencies and other parts of the government to learn too much about bin Laden and the Islamofascists, because they were involved in some of his own dirty business.

Yep, I think you're right. Why else would he completely ignore bin laden, especially after evidence existed that he was involved in prior attacks?

10 posted on 12/02/2001 2:40:33 PM PST by LiberteeBell
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To: JeanS
When Osama Bin Ladin Was Tim Osman

by J. Orlin Grabbe

The two men headed to the Hilton Hotel in Sherman Oaks, California in the late Spring of 1986 were on their way to meet representatives of the mujahadeen, the Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

One of the two, Ted Gunderson, had had a distinguished career in the FBI, serving as some sort of supervisor over Special Agents in the early 60s, as head of the Dallas field office from 1973-75, and as head of the Los Angeles field office from 1977-1979. He retired to become an investigator for, among others, well-known attorney F. Lee Bailey. And all along the way, Gunderson, whether or not actually a CIA contract agent, had been around to provide services to various CIA and National Security Council operations, as he was doing now.

In more recent years Gunderson was to become controversial for his investigations into child prostitution rings, after he became convinced of the innocence of an Army medical doctor named Jeffrey McDonald, who had been convicted of the murder of his wife and three young children in the 1970s. This has led to various attempts by the patrons and operators of the child prostitution industry to smear Gunderson's reputation.

Michael Riconosciuto was there to discuss assisting the mujahadeen with MANPADs—Man Portable Air Defense Systems. Stinger missiles were one possibility. If the U.S. would permit their export, Riconosciuto could modify the Stinger's electronics, so the guided missile would still be effective against Soviet aircraft, but would not be a threat to U.S. or NATO forces.

But Riconosciuto had another idea. Through his connections with the Chinese industrial and military group Norinco, he could obtain the basic components for the unassembled Chinese 107 MM rocket system. These could be reconfigured into a man-portable, shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft guided missile sytem, and produced in Pakistan at a facility called the Pakistan Ordinance Works. The mujahadeen would then have a lethal weapon against Soviet helicopter, observation, and transport aircraft.

Riconosciuto was more than just an expert on missile electronics; he was also an expert on electronic computers and associated subjects such as cryptology (see my "Michael Riconosciuto on Encryption").

Riconosciuto was a prodigy who had grown up in the spook community. The Riconosciuto family had once run Hercules, California, as a company town. In the early days (1861) a company called California Powder Works had been established in Santa Cruz, CA. It later purchased land on San Pablo Bay, and in 1881 started producing dynamite, locating buildings in gullies and ravines for safety purposes. A particularly potent type of black powder was named "Hercules Powder", which gave the name to the town of Hercules, formally incorporated in 1900. In World War I, Hercules became the largest producer of TNT in the U.S. Hercules, however, had gotten out of the explosives business by 1940 when an anhydrous ammonia plant was constructed. In 1959 Hercules began a new manufacturing facility to produce methanol, formaldehyde, and urea formaldehyde. In 1966 the plant was sold to Valley Nitrogen Producers. Labor problems led to a plant closure in 1977. In 1979 the plant and site was purchased by a group of investors calling themselves Hercules Properties, Ltd.

However, Michael and his father Marshall Riconosciuto, a friend of Richard Nixon, continued to run the Hercules Research Corporation. In the early 1980s Michael also served as the Director of Research for a joint venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians in Indio, California. Riconosciuto's talents were much in demand. He had created the a-neutronic bomb (or "Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device"), which sank the ground level of the Nevada test site by 30 feet when a prototype was tested. Samuel Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, said of Riconosciuto: "I've spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the inventor of the a-neutronic bomb) and he's an extraordinarily bright guy. I also have a hunch, which I can't prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and Lavos, his partner) indirectly work for the CIA."

Riconosciuto's bomb made suitcase nukes obsolete, because it achieved near-atomic explosive yields, but could be more easily minaturized. You could have a suitcase a-neutronic bomb, or a briefcase a-neutronic bomb, or simply a lady's purse a-neutronic bomb. Or just pull out your wallet for identification and —. The Meridian Arms Corporation, as well as the Universities of California and Chicago owned a piece of the technology.

But there was more than explosives in the portfolios of the CIA agents who surrounded Riconosciuto like moths around a candle. Both Robert Booth Nichols, the shady head of Meridian Arms Corporation (with both CIA and organized crime conections), and Dr. John Phillip Nichols, the manager of the Cabazon reservation, were involved in bio-warfare work—the first in trying to sell bio-warfare products to the army through Wackenhut, the second in giving tribal permission for research to take place at Cabazon. According to Riconosciuto, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the classified contracts for biological warfare research. Riconosciuto would later testify under oath that Stormont Laboratories was involved in the DARPA-Wackenhut-Cabazon project. Jonathan Littman, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle would relate: "Cabazons and Wackenhut appeared to be acting as middlemen between the Pentagon's DARPA and Stormont Laboratories, a small facility in Woodland near Sacramento."

The Race Weapon

Riconosciuto would make additional claims about Bio-Rad corporation, a medical supplier which had gradually taken over Hercules, California. They were also, Riconosciuto would say, covertly engaged in bio-warfare research—producing some of the deadliest toxins known to man. The focus of Bio-Rad's research was said to be bio-active elements that could be tailored to attack those with certain types of DNA. Weapons could thus be produced that were specifically designed to wipe out specific races or genetic classes of human beings. (Alternatively, particular DNA types could be immunized against a deadly biological agent; the agent could then be released, and everyone else would die.)

A couple of years later, Meridian International Logistics, the parent company of Meridian Arms, was to farm similar research out to the Japanese. This included (according to minutes of a corporate meeting dated Aug. 26, 1988) methods for "induction and activation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes". Associated with Meridian's Robert Booth Nichols in a Middle Eastern operation called FIDCO, a company that ran arms into and heroin out of Lebanon's Beqaa (Bekaa) Valley, was Harold Okimoto, a high-ranking member of the Yakuza. Okimoto had longed worked under Frank Carlucci (who served as Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA before becoming Chairman of The Carlyle Group). Okimoto owned food concessions in casinos around the world—Las Vega, Reno, Macao, and the Middle East. (Free drinks and anthrax while you play blackjack, anyone?)

Meeting Riconosciuto and Gunderson at the hotel were two representatives of the mujahadeen, waiting to discuss their armament needs. One of the two was named "Ralph Olberg." The other one was called Tim Osman (or Ossman).

"Ralph Olberg" was an American businesman who was leading the procurement of American weapons and technology on behalf of the Afghan rebels. He worked through the Afghan desk at the U.S. State Department, as well as through Senator Hubert Humphrey's office. Olberg looked after the Afghanis through a curious front called MSH—Management Sciences for Health.

The other man, dressed in Docker's clothing, was not a native Afghan any more than Olberg was. He was a 28-year-old Saudi. Tim Osman (Ossman) has recently become better known as Osama Bin Ladin. "Tim Osman" was the name assigned to him by the CIA for his tour of the U.S. and U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments.

Gunderson and Riconosciuto were not on an altruistic mission. They had some conditions for their help. And they had some bad news to deliver. The mujahadeen needed to be willing to test new weapons in the field and to return a research report, complete with photos.

The bad news was that some factions of the CIA didn't feel that Oldberg and Osman's group were the real representatives of the Afghans. Upon hearing this both Tim and Ralph were indignant. They wanted to mount a full-court press. Round up other members of their group and do a congressional and White House lobbying effort in Washington, D.C.

"Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name."

—The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

Did the lobbying effort take place? I don't know. There is some evidence that Tim Osman and Ralph Oldberg visited the White House. There is certainty that Tim Osman toured some U.S. military bases, even receiving special demonstrations of the latest equipment. Why hasn't this been reported in the major media?

One week after giving an affidavit to Inslaw regarding the PROMIS software in 1991, Riconosciuto was arrested on trumped-up drug charges. The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case attempted to cover up Riconosciuto's intelligence background by claiming to the jury he was "delusional." A TV station came and pointed a camera out at the desert at Cabazon and said, "Riconosciuto says he modified the PROMIS software here." Of course Riconosciuto didn't modify the software out between the cacti and yucca. Sand isn't good for computers. He did the modifications in offices in nearby Indio, California. The AUSA told reporters Riconosciuto had been diagnosed with a mental condition, the implication being "he's making all this stuff up". Yes, there had been a mental evaluation of Riconosciuto. I have a copy of the report. The diagnosis? Here it is: NO MENTAL DISORDER. The Department of Justice consistently and maliciously lied to the jury, just as had been threatened by Justice Department official Peter Viednicks if Riconosciuto cooperated with the congressional investigation of PROMIS.

If the war against Osama Bin Ladin (Tim Osman) is not a total fraud, then what is Michael Riconosciuto doing in prison? Why doesn't he have an office next to Colin Powell so he can give realistic advice on Bin Ladin's thinking? And where is Ralph Olberg?

Thirty-four days before the East African embassy bombings of August 7, 1998, Riconosciuto notified the FBI in Miami that the bombings were going to take place. Two days prior to the bombings he requested of BOP (Bureau of Prisons) officials at the Federal Corrections Institution (FCI) in Coleman, FL., that he be allowed to call ECOMOG security headquarters to warn African officials. The BOP denied the request. Riconosciuto was mystified at being ignored by the relevant government authorities. I'm not mystified. I suspect the reason Riconosciuto was ignored was that the relevant parties, including especially the Miami FBI office, knew all along the bombings would take place. And they wanted them to happen.

The same is true with respect to the recent plane bombings of the WTC. It wasn't an intelligence "failure". The terrorist acts were deliberately allowed to happen. The actors may have been foreign. But the stage directors appear to have been all along here in the U.S. Cui bono?

Isn't it time to let Michael Riconosciuto out of prison, and wipe the slate clean of the trumped up drug charges, and let him be a national security advisor—at least with respect to the government's pursuit of Osama Bin Ladin? Isn't it time to quit pretending Osama Bin Ladin came out of nowhere?

This is not an academic argument. Sources say three dozen MANPADs have been imported into Quebec, Canada, from Colombia (where they arrived from Eastern Europe). The missile shipments followed the "northern" drug route—from Colombia into Canada. The missiles involved are Russian Strellas and Iglas. These will serve just fine to take down commercial airline flights. Just like TWA 800. Which group of terrorists has the missiles? Meanwhile, how many biological warfare agents are in the hands of organized crime? Maybe you should ask Riconosciuto about all this.

Michael Riconosciuto is now incarcerated at the FCI Allenwood, PA. You know where to find him.


Note: Michael Riconosciuto has just been moved to Springfield, MO. His address is:

Michael J. Riconosciuto

21309-086 Box 4000

U.S. Medical Center

Springfield, MO



J. Orlin Grabbe's homepage is located at Grabbe's homepage


12 posted on 12/02/2001 3:17:38 PM PST by wooly_mammoth
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To: abwehr; gumbo; Alamo-Girl
Thanks. Jersey City is the other end of New Jersey from Trenton, right across the river from NYC. It has its share of extreme Muslims (Sheik Rahman's mosque is there, the two shaved Muslims from India -- Khan and Azmath -- that the government has been holding lived in Jersey City, near that mosque.) Maybe somebody will check out the firm's location, but I don't think I will -- if it were in Trenton, I would be more interested in its proximity to anthrax sites.)

I wonder why a biochemist would live in Mentor, OH, outside Cleveland. Maybe he works at Case Western Reserve?

13 posted on 12/02/2001 3:17:57 PM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
KNF Neuberger, Inc. markets the necessary laboratory equipment. They are at Two Black Forest Road in Trenton NJ which is located very close to the Kuser Road, where the accountant was infected.
14 posted on 12/02/2001 7:00:51 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: aristeides
On Susan Rice (and Sudan) from the Downside Legacy:

9/21/98 NY Times “…In May 1996, at the request of the United States and Saudi Arabia, Sudan expelled bin Laden, who moved to Afghanistan. Sudanese officials also say that they sent 100 of his operatives and their dependents to Afghanistan as well. But U.S. officials were convinced that the Sudanese were insincere. "With the exception of the expulsion of Osama bin Laden, which was not followed by any steps to get rid of his financial network, they have not done anything serious," Ms. Rice said. ….In February 1997, Sudanese President Oman al-Bashir sent President Clinton a personal letter. It offered, among other things, to allow U.S. intelligence, law-enforcement and counterterrorism personnel to enter Sudan and to go anywhere and see anything, to help stamp out terrorism. The United States never replied to that letter; the isolaters derided it as a meaningless "charm offensive" by Sudan, in Ms. Rice's words. A senior Sudanese official made a similar offer directly to the F.B.I. six months ago -- send a counter-terrorism team to Sudan, and we will help in any way we can, it said. The F.B.I. wrote back more than four months later, in June, declining the opportunity….” 8/29/99 Michael Moran “…THE PROBE was sparked by two stories earlier this month that detailed an offer by Sudan to turn over to the FBI two men taken off a plane from Nairobi the day after the twin embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Sudanese, who confirmed the offer in earlier interviews with MSNBC, held the men until Aug. 20, the day when the U.S. ordered a retaliatory Tomahawk missile strike on a Sudanese factory outside Khartoum. Sudan then deported the two men to Pakistan. Officials were unable, or unwilling, to describe their whereabouts today. The closed-door probe by investigators of the House and Senate Intelligence committees differ slightly in their scope. Several sources, including one who has answered questions before the two panels, said Congress wants to know why the Sudanese offer was not taken up, where the two men are today and whether inter-agency friction played any part in the missed opportunity….. Two top counterintelligence officials — Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Sheehan and FBI counter-terrorism chief Michael Rolince — were among about a dozen people who have given evidence to investigators over the past two weeks, sources said. Without confirming his appearances, Rolince said Thursday that his working relationship with State Department and other counter-terrorism officials is “rock solid.” “There may have been a couple of people who had disagreements with State,” he said. “But I’ve been here through the whole ordeal, and we all understand each others’ strengths and weaknesses and we’re very much in synch” with the State Department’s efforts. ….”

National Post (Canada) 12/6/99 Steven Edwards “…..Madeleine Albright, the U.S. secretary of state, has refused to appear before a United Nations-mandated independent inquiry probing why the world body failed to prevent the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the National Post has learned. Ms. Albright was the U.S. ambassador to the UN at the time of the genocide and can provide key information about high-level decisions that led the U.S. to call on the UN Security Council to dramatically reduce the number of UN peacekeepers in Rwanda shortly after the killing began in earnest in April. ….. However, she and members of her senior staff, including Susan Rice, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa both at the time of the genocide and now, have declined invitations from Ingvar Carlsson, a former Swedish prime minister who is chairing the inquiry, to meet with him and his two fellow panelists when they visit Washington this week…..”

AP 5/30/00 Casimiro Siona “……The top United States' official for Africa expressed support on Saturday for Angola's military efforts to end a protracted civil war against the UNITA rebels. But Susan Rice, assistant U.S. secretary of state for African affairs, also said negotiations between the government and UNITA appeared unlikely at the moment. …… The fastest way to end the conflict, she said, would be for UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to abide by a 1994 peace deal, end military actions and disarm. ``But, since he won't do that, the military response is a necessary part of the government's efforts for peace.'' ….. “

11/20/98 Executive Intelligence Review “…Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, is reported to have won her post at the U.S. State Department through strong pressure from Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees, who pushed for her candidacy over the appointment of Howard Wolpe, now U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, who was also a contender for the post. Her other known patron is Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has been a life-long friend of Rice and her family, as Albright is quoted in the Washington Post of March 30. She also comes to the administration with the vetting of the neo-colonial apparatus in the British Commonwealth, which is the source of the policies Rice is carrying out. A Rhodes Scholar, she received her masters and doctorate degrees in International Relations at New College, Oxford University. In 1992, she was the recipient of the first annual award given by the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the British International Studies Association for the "most distinguished dissertation in the United Kingdom in the field of International Relations." Her topic was "The Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-80: Implications for International Peacekeeping." In 1990, she had also been awarded the Royal Commonwealth Society's Walter Frewen Lord Prize for "outstanding research in the field of Commonwealth History." Her first job was a management consultant in Toronto, for McKinsey and Company. Her next posting was at the U.S. National Security Council, as director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping in February 1993, and then as Special Assistant to the President and as Senior Director for African Affairs, from March 1995 until May 1997, when she was appointed by President Clinton as Assistant Secretary….”

15 posted on 12/02/2001 7:13:35 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
Susan Rice let slip that she visited Khartoum with Madeleine Albright in 1994. That would have been while Albright was UN Ambassador, and Rice had that NSC international organizations position. The Sudan was not an obvious object of concern for people in either of those positions. I wonder why they went there. I bet Rice was already concentrating on African affairs.

1994 was the year of the Rwandan genocide. It's long been known that Albright was very much involved in the Clinton policy of ignoring that genocide. I suspect Rice was probably also involved in the policy.

To speculate a bit further, I suspect they were both overreacting to scolding they had been administered by one or both of the Clintons after the Somalian debacle. Mark Bowden makes it clear that the internationalist Somali policy was supported by Madeleine Albright and by Anthony Lake, Clinton's national security adviser, and thus Rice's boss at the time.

16 posted on 12/03/2001 3:29:38 AM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
Hmmm ... thank you so much for the insight and analysis on Susan Rice!!!
17 posted on 12/03/2001 6:02:00 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: JeanS
The story made the LA Times today.
18 posted on 12/06/2001 8:46:08 AM PST by KeyLargo
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