Author: Fitzgerald Libel Threat Aimed At Censoring Key 9/11 Tale

I don't agree with Rory's statement that we think "that Mohamed’s intimate relations with the FBI and CIA are proof of government involvement in a 9/11 plot." I see it more as a history lesson of the kind of practices the U.S. Government takes part in. As Peter Dale Scott says, "one of al-Qaeda’s top trainers in terrorism and how to hijack airplanes was an operative for FBI, CIA, and the Army." - Jon

Powerful prosecutor’s efforts to suppress book virtually guarantees elevated sales


Published: June 12, 2009

Peter Lance should be thanking Patrick Fitzgerald right now, even as the attorneys’ checks are being signed.

If it were not for the U.S. Attorney who famously prosecuted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former Vice President’s Chief of Staff, the re-release of Lance’s stunning tale of mishandled espionage leading up to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, might be overlooked.

The former ABC News investigative reporter’s book Triple Cross hit relatively few shelves in 2006 as a hardcover and left retail quietly, almost completely ignored. Now, with its paperback release looming, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is threatening to sue over material which he calls “defamatory” and “easily proven to be objectively false,” some of which touches on little known information relating to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Because of the threat, the reissue of Triple Cross received attention from The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, among others.

“That’s the lesson of censorship,” chided Lance, speaking to RAW STORY.

The dark plots of Ali Mohamed
Ali Mohamed, according to Lance, was something of an al Qaeda super-spy who managed to work with terrorists, the Green Berets, the CIA and become an FBI informant, even while ensuring Osama bin Laden’s safe passage around the middle east. For years, Triple Cross alleges, the FBI and specifically Fitzgerald, knew about him but allowed Mohamed’s activities to continue unchecked.

Mohamed, Lance wrote, was actually responsible for writing portions of the terror network’s training manual and played a key role in the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa which left over 200 dead.

“While some contend that Mohamed’s intimate relations with the FBI and CIA are proof of government involvement in a 9/11 plot, Lance says that it was instead embarrassment and ass-covering on the part of Justice and Pentagon officials over the mishandling of Ali Mohammed that led first to a conspiracy of silence and then to a conspiracy to cover up their incompetence and deception,” noted author Rory O’Connor in November, 2006. “He believes that chagrin over the fact that bin Laden’s spy stole top-secret intelligence (including, for example, the positions of all Green Beret and SEAL units worldwide) led to a decision on high to bury the entire Able Danger intelligence program, which identified the Al Qaeda cell active in Brooklyn months before the 9/11 attacks, and also identified Ali Mohamed as a member of bin Laden’s inner circle as early as March 2000.”

“In 1996, Fitzgerald and other top officials discredited a treasure trove of al Qaeda-related evidence, including evidence of an active al Qaeda cell operating in NYC five years before 9/11 and of a bin Laden plot to hijack a plane to free Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman—intelligence considered so important that it was later cited in the infamous Presidential Daily Briefing given to George W. Bush just weeks before 9/11,” noted HarperCollins in a press release.

Mohamed is allegedly still alive today, though his whereabouts is unknown.

Fitzgerald, in one of several letters (PDF link) to the book’s publisher, argued that a number of the allegations are “defamatory.”

“Allegations that a government attorney lied and concealed evidence are defamatory per se because such allegations: impute that I have engaged in criminal activity (making false statements, which is an offense in itself and which constitutes perjury when contained in a sworn affidavit; and obstruction of justice); impute that I lack integrity in performing employment duties; and otherwise prejudices me in my profession,” he wrote.

He further alleges that Lance’s statements are “actionable” in that they were “published with actual malice.”

“It is outrageous to falsely accuse me of causing those deaths [on 9/11] corruptly,” Fitzgerald said. He’s repeatedly called on the publisher to withdrawal copies from stores and refrain from publishing the paperback.

“Patrick Fitzgerald accuses me of making charges in the book that I never made,” Lance told the Associated Press. “At the same time, he continually fails to respond to the substantive allegations documented in 604 pages, 1,425 end notes and 32 pages of documentary appendices.”

After the publisher’s attorneys vetted Lance’s text, which ultimately suffered only incidental modification, Triple Cross ended up 26 pages longer; the new material apparently detailing Fitzgerald’s attempt to censor it and Lance’s specific rebuttals.

“What Patrick Fitzgerald tried to do is almost unprecedented,” Lance told RAW STORY. “It’s amazing, really. Arguably the most powerful prosecutor in America is trying to kill my book.”

“Triple Cross has become Patrick Fitzgerald’s obsession,” he commented to Geoff Metcalf, writing for Accuracy in Media.

While declaring the book to be Fitzgerald’s “obsession” may be presumptuous, it is certainly safe to predict that the paperback release of Triple Cross will become the obsession of many more readers than it would have if the U.S. Attorney had never attempted to censor it.

The paperback is due in bookstores everywhere on June 16.