Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is U.S. news about 9/11 (self-)censored?

You might think so after you learn about the arrest two weeks ago of a French journalist who in April 2007 reported that France's secret service knew minute details of Al-Qaeda's 9/11 plan as early as January 2001 and passed them to U.S. intelligence. Add to that the fact that neither the original French story, nor the reporter's arrest has appeared in a single major U.S. newspaper.

The story is very simple.

On April 16, 2007, the Paris daily Le Monde, which is France's top newspaper, ran a story by Guillaume Dasquié in which he describes a sheaf of 328 pages stamped "Confidential-Defense" and "Strictly National Usage," that he obtained from a source who had access to secret documents of the Direction générale des services extérieurs (General Directorate for Foreign Services).

These documents described Al-Qaeda detailed discussions concerning the hijacking of planes on U.S. soil, including the selection of American Airlines and United flights. All information available months before the attacks.

Moreover, a Jan. 5, 2001 DGSE memo on this subject was given to the Central Intelligence Agency's chief of station in Paris, Bill Murray. Not only did the French know, the CIA knew.

You can read the full story here.

Dasquié, who has also been writing controversial stories concerning French government corruption, was arrested Dec. 5 and charged with "publishing defense secrets" after refusing to name his sources or sources.

“We are troubled by the criminal probe against Guillaume Dasquié and his detention for two days by French security services who pressured him to reveal his sources,” the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “Dasquié should not be prosecuted for serving the public’s right to know.”

The Associated Press picked up this story and the The Guardian of London ran it (see here). But is it anywhere in The New York Times or The Washington Post? Does it turn up in any U.S. newspaper or major media in a Google search?

Nope.

The Times last mentioned Dasquié in 2002 in a book review. The Post appears never to have heard of him. Why? Has everyone in the newsrooms been so full of eggnog for the last two weeks that they couldn't be bothered?

As a journalist, I find this appalling. Frightening. We are about to have a presidential election and significant information that our government knew beforehand of the signal event of the present century is swept under the carpet.

2 comments:

Anne said...

Will this remain unnoticed? Isn't there at least one newspaper that would pick it up? Or is it now only a matter of time (hopefully a very short time) that we all will know?

Alex Fear said...

Careful Cec,

You are bordering on Conspiraloonism!

Merry Christmas btw, like the new blog colours