By Rory O’Connor, MediaChannel.org
Posted June 12, 2009.
Powerful prosecutor and public figure Patrick Fitzgerald has been waging
a chilling private jihad aimed at "killing" a book critical of him.
Okay, so he’s one of the "sexiest
men alive" — but what does Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney in
Chicago and Special Counsel in the CIA leak case, have against us poor, unsexy
journalists? It’s bad enough that Fitzie won’t answer my questions: ("Rory.
I just wanted to get back to you and let you know that I am going to decline
to be interviewed. Thank you. Pat") It’s worse that he was responsible
for the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who spent
85 days behind bars. Now comes word that Fitzgerald, who must have too much
time on his hands now that Scooter Libby has been freed and Rod Blagojevich
indicted, spent much of the last year and a half going after another journalist,
Peter Lance, in an attempt to kill a new edition of Lance’s investigative book
Triple Cross by threatening to sue both the author and his publisher
published in November 2006 by Regan Books, a division of Harper_Collins,
Triple Cross uncovers the story of how Al Qaeda master spy Ali Mohamed
infiltrated U.S. intelligence in the years leading up to 9/11 – "and how
the FBI’s elite bin Laden squad failed to stop him." Among the radicals
trained by Ali Mohamed –and photographed by the FBI in 1989 — one would go
on to kill Rabbi Meier Kahane in 1990; three were convicted in the World Trade
Center bombing in 1994; and two (including Kahane’s killer) were later convicted
by then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald in 1995 in what became known as the
"Day of Terror" plot to blow up the bridges and tunnels into Manhattan.
The book also details how the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s offices in New York
prosecuted terrorists before 9/11, including "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel
Rahman, who infamously tried to blow up the World Trade Center, and others who
bombed US embassies in Africa. And Lance alleges that Fitzgerald, when he was
an assistant U.S. attorney in the 1990s, discounted information that may have
revealed the existence of an Al Qaeda cell in New York years prior to September
Fitzgerald’s stab at censorship is especially chilling coming from such a powerful
prosecutor. But the lawman says he has no choice, since the book, which focuses
on cases Fitzgerald prosecuted as Chief of Organized Crime and Terrorism in
the Southern District of New York, is "a deliberate lie masquerading as
the truth" and maintains that "it defames me or casts me in a false
light," as he said in one of four threatening letters sent to Lance’s publisher.