"Triple Cross adds a new wrinkle to the 9/11 debates and calls into question the veracity of the historical record the public has been forced to accept. Lance's reporting is bound to stir up debate about the integrity of the 9/11 Commission's investigation and the panel's lengthy final report on the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,973 Americans. Be forewarned, Triple Cross presents no conspiracy theory. It's a 489-page thriller. And it's all true. Lance, a five-time Emmy award-winning reporter and former ABC News correspondent, sticks closely to the facts. He provides readers with exhaustive footnotes and copies of some of the more crucial government documents he obtained to build a compelling case of the FBI's incompetence in reining in one of the most dangerous terrorists next to Osama bin Laden, who ended up playing a crucial role in 9/11. It should be noted as well that Lance steers clear of partisan politics: his book - unlike so many others that came before it - leans neither "right" nor "left."
Triple Cross covers 1981 through 2001 and tracks the rise of al-Qaeda, focusing heavily on former Egyptian army major and al-Qaeda operative Ali Mohamed, who successfully infiltrated the FBI. Perhaps the most intriguing part of Triple Cross is the appearance of Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the CIA leak case, who plays a leading role in Lance's book and is featured prominently on the dust jacket and in the subtitle: How bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the FBI - And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him. In the 1990s, Fitzgerald was the Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York directing the FBI's elite bin Laden squad.
Still in his early 30s, Fitzgerald made some costly blunders early on that might have changed the course of history if more attention had been paid to detail. Indeed, in 1991, the FBI discovered that a mailbox store in New Jersey had direct ties to al-Qaeda but failed to monitor the location. Yet four years later, Fitzgerald named the owner of the store as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Day of Terror case he was prosecuting. However, since no charges were filed against the owner, the store continued to stay in business and once again fell beneath the Justice Department's radar. Six years later, two of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their phony identification cards from that very store.
Lance presents convincing evidence in the form of court records, transcripts, and interviews with key players that casts Fitzgerald, along with numerous other Justice Department and CIA officials, as terribly negligent in allowing the agencies to be hoodwinked by Mohamed, who succeeded in penetrating the CIA's Europe division and the FBI in California, all while Mohamed was secretly helping bin Laden orchestrate the African Embassy bombings. The story of Mohamed, a man Fitzgerald called the "most dangerous man I have ever met," is groundbreaking and has never been fully fleshed out before.
Triple Cross would end up being a highly entertaining Tom Clancy-esque thriller, in other words, pure fiction, if Lance didn't have tens of thousands of pages of documents locked up in a safe-house to back up this explosive account. Remarkably, Mohamed was never sentenced for the crimes he pleaded guilty to. He is in the witness protection program, his existence shrouded under a veil of secrecy."
Monday, November 20, 2006
Jason Leopold reviews Peter Lance's Triple Cross
* Jason Leopold reviews Peter Lance's Triple Cross (thnx Prissy):
Posted by lukery at 11/20/2006 10:23:00 AM