NSA

Cheney shoots Hayden in the foot over wiretapping

VP Dick Cheney recently justified the NSA's "domestic wiretapping program" by saying:

"If you'll recall, the 9/11 Commission focused criticism on the nation's inability to uncover links between terrorists at home and terrorists overseas. The term that was used is "connecting the dots" -- and the fact is that one small piece of data might very well make it possible to save thousands of lives. If this program had been in place before 9/11, we might have been able to prevent it because we had two terrorists living in San Diego, contacting terrorist-related numbers overseas. The very important question today is whether, on five years' reflection, we have yet learned all the lessons of 9/11."
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/print/2...

The two terrorists in question are American 77 hijackers Khalid Al Mihdhar and Nawaf Al Hazmi. The terrorist-related number (why does he use the plural, what other number?) is 00 967 1200578, an Al Qaeda communications hub in Sana'a, Yemen. Unfortunately for Cheney, he forgot that one of the main things the administration is trying to cover up about 9/11 (for example the 9/11 Omission Report does not mention them) is that Al Hazmi made calls from the US to the hub and that the NSA intercepted them, as the hub was one of its hottest targets. So thanks for the slip, Dick.

NSA intercepts of hijackers' calls – update

I noticed this passage in the One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind (pp. 93-94). It is further evidence that the NSA intercepted some of the hijackers' calls to/from the US before 9/11:

“FBI investigators had been interviewing [FBI agent] Coleman and others throughout the winter, seeking context on several key NSA dispatches that had been discovered in the days after 9/11. Most notable among them were calls NSA had collected in 2000 from San Diego to a number in Yemen. The Yemen number was for the daughter of a man who, Coleman told investigators, “was the uncle of half the violent jihadists we knew of in the country.” This was the number—so familiar to Coleman from his work prosecuting al Qaeda that he knew it by heart—the 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar had called while he hid out in San Diego. In fact, Coleman and other FBI al Qaeda specialists had even placed an order with the NSA back in 1998—that any calls between the Yemen line and the US be passed to the bureau—that the NSA didn't fill. “For us,” Coleman said, “anyone who called the Yemen number is white-hot, a top suspect.”

Hattip: PT

I have some comments:
(1) If you hadn't already heard, the NSA intercepted some of the hijackers' calls.