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My mom sent an e-mail yesterday to my sister and me. It was a collection of pictures of the World Trade Center, both on fire and not, surrounded with words saying Oliver North had warned us about Osama Bin Laden, and Clinton had freed Mohammad Atta. Here’s the text:

Thought you might be interested in this forgotten bit of information……….
It was 1987! At a lecture the other day they were playing an old news video of Lt.Col. Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration.

There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning!

He was being drilled by a senator; “Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?”

Ollie replied, “Yes, I did, Sir.”

The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, “Isn’t that just a little excessive?”

“No, sir,” continued Ollie.

“No? And why not?” the senator asked.

“Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir.”

“Threatened? By whom?” the senator questioned.

“By a terrorist, sir” Ollie answered.

“Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?”

“His name is Osama bin Laden, sir” Ollie replied.

At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn’t pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn’t. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. Why are you so afraid of this man?” the senator asked.

“Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of”, Ollie answered.

“And what do you recommend we do about him?” asked the senator.

“Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth.”

The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip.

By the way, that senator was Al Gore!


Terrorist pilot Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called “political prisoners.”

However, the Israelis would not release any with blood on their hands, The American President at the time, Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, “insisted” that all prisoners be released.

Thus Mohammad Atta was freed and eventually thanked the US by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified.

It was censored in the US from all later reports.

If you agree that the American public should be made aware of this fact, pass this on.

Subj: 9/11

Do Not Break – it is 3 years strong

This is why I always say I love YOU….

This has not been broken since 9/11/01, please keep it going…
This has been kept alive and moving since 9/11. In memory of all those who perished this morning; the passengers and the pilots on the United Air and AA flights, the workers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and all the innocent bystanders. Our prayers go out to the friends and families of the deceased.

Send this to at least 10 people to show your support.


Ah, yes. A chain e-mail!

I originally sent my mom this in reply: “Funny how they don’t mention any of the mistakes Bush and his folks made regarding terrorism.” But I was foolish for not picking up on the stink of this e-mail from the start. Hey, what can I say? I was very busy yesterday!

We all know that any information contained in chain letters is wrong. False. Lies. Unless it’s one of the ones with pictures of kittens and puppies in cute poses, cuddling and playing and hanging from trees, with a message about how important friends and loved ones are and this note is to share with everyone you love about how you are thinking about them today and don’t break it or you’ll die in the fires of regret!!!!! Okay, while you won’t die in any fires because you did not pass along a treacly dispatch, it is true that friends and loved ones are important and you should tell them that whenever you can.

I love you, mom!

But back to Ollie.

I woke up at 5:45 this morning because I’m getting old and can’t seem to get through the night without having to use the bathroom. When I’d finished that task and was back all snuggly in my warm, warm bed, I started thinking about the e-mail. And I thought, “Huh. So staunch conservatives, who of course see Oliver North as some kind of hero, decided to ignore that he was being questioned as part of the whole Iran-Contra scandal, wherein we sold weapons to Iran and used the money to supply terrorists in Nicaragua.” I say “terrorists,” but anyone who would write an e-mail like this would say “freedom fighter.” Just like we call Al Qaeda terrorists and they call themselves freedom fighters.

Then I remembered that this was an e-mail chain. Who do you turn to to prove or debunk such chains?!

That was it. My mind was at work, and I could not, despite my own protestations, get back to sleep for those precious extra 45 minutes I wanted, darn it all. But I did, as a result, get up early and get to work by 7:45 so I’d have time to post this post I’m posting.

So what does Snopes say? Why, that both the Ollie warning and the Atta freeing are false.

In the first link, you’ll even see a letter from Ollie himself denying everything in the e-mail. Read it and weep. There’s also some more info here. After some poking around myself, I couldn’t find any info confirming that Al Gore was even part of the hearings.

The second Snopes link above shows that the Atta thing is all mistaken identity, as if, say, George H. W. Bush had been accused of the crimes of George W. Bush. Perhaps you can’t blame the e-mail writer for including this info because, as the Snopes article shows, the major news media made the huge mistake of not confirming that that Atta was not the other Atta.

I can see a blind conservative thinking that perhaps Snopes is politically motivated toward the left. However, just for fun, I looked up the issue of Osama Bin Laden’s family being flown out of the U.S. immediately following the 9/11 attacks, when most air traffic had been grounded. Snopes says this, too, was false. Here, it quotes heavily from the 9/11 commission. Members of the Bin Laden family, the commission concludes, were not flown out before air space were re-opened.

But Snopes, via the 9/11 commission citations, does show that the Bin Ladens were flown out September 20th. The FBI questioned them, but then let them fly out. The commission also says one of the FBI agents who questioned the family was a pilot for the flight, though the vagueness of the report could lead one to conclude that the FBI agent was a pilot in general and not the pilot of the flight. Which begs the question, why mention it at all unless they meant that an FBI agent was the pilot flying the Bin Laden escape plane in question…

Anyway, the point of the whole Bin Ladens leaving the States is that they were allowed to leave so effortlessly and with our government’s help. It sounds great to say the government flew them out when all air traffic was grounded, but that’s just icing. That Snopes claims the rumor is false while the underlying point that the U.S. flew the Bin Ladens out of the States is true shows that Snopes is no more left-leaning than right-leaning. It’s admirable. They seem to take the tack that “if part of statement is false, the whole statement is false.” Very mathematical.

Snopes is not biased, and so I will continue to rely on it for these kinds of matters. In fact, everyone else should rely on them too. I mean, can you believe someone actually sent me an e-mail not too long ago telling me about that ludicrous Microsoft paying for sending e-mails thing? Puh-LEEEZ!

The world is so full of disinformation and non-truths that it’s hard to take any of it seriously. Certainly, none of us should ever trust anything sent via e-mail or posted on a blog. Unless it’s my blog, because, you see, I do such a good job of citing sources.

I love you, mom!


we saw that... Expounded Thusly:

great post. the most annoying thing about email forwards is that a lot of people dont know to put their recipients email addresses in the BCC line so that the email addresses arent displayed.

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 • 9:58am • Permalink

Steve Expounded Thusly:

How true dat iz. Most people I know don’t send stuff out bulk any more, but the couple friends I have who do drive me batty! Er, my friends don’t drive me batty, their mass e-mails do. You get the picture…

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 • 10:03am • Permalink

Sam Expounded Thusly:

This is a great example of people believing just about anything they read. As long as it’s in print, they will believe it – even if it’s in a chaim email. As I was reading through the post (btw, I love the line ‘post the post I’m posting’) I thought, “I’ve got to check this out…” But lo and behold you already did and it is all bullshit. Good work, Steve-o. Now go back to bed.

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 • 5:12pm • Permalink

G-Man Expounded Thusly:

Wow dude…A LONG and POLITICAL post. Good job. I hate all chain emails…hate em with a passion.

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 • 7:49pm • Permalink

Mom Expounded Thusly:

Wow! Who knew a little (little?) forwarded e-mail could take on such a life of it’s own! Thanks for setting the record straight, Steve, and teaching the ole lady something new in the process! Thanks, Son. Ilove you, too!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 • 8:32pm • Permalink

Sam Expounded Thusly:

Stevie Beavie – I LOVE, LOVE, LA – UV, that your mom reads your blog! Sounds like a cool woman. I wish my mom read my blog…. I wish my mom could read.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 • 7:18pm • Permalink

Mamma's Boy Expounded Thusly:

Ain’t she grand? She was in L.A. recently and had a night out with me and my friends. She charmed them all with her hilarious impersonations of Middle Eastern leaders, her cleverly-spun tale of the mystery and intrigue surrounding her recent switch to MAC from Maybelline, her jaw-dropping soft-shoe rendition of the Battle of Little Big Small, her politically astute comprehension of the connection between poodle skirts and Belgian foreign policy, her word-perfect recitation of the epic poem “Heracles and the Low Amperage Photovoltaic Cell” (in its native Telugu), and her ability to navigate through Silverlake without getting lost.

Okay, so maybe it means I have to be careful not to talk about all my erotic exploits (of which there are none at all, of course), but it also means I can thank her here first for my birthday present. “Thank you for my birthday present, mom! Pass the word to dad.” (Yes, I’ll call, too. Something’s to be said for old-fashioned communications.)

Thursday, March 16th, 2006 • 12:18am • Permalink

Sam Expounded Thusly:

Your mom switched from MAC??!! Oh, Mrs. Steve’s Mom, I was just starting to like you…

Thursday, March 16th, 2006 • 11:44am • Permalink

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Switched to MAC. And I should have spelled it M-A-C, I think. Well, it’s all just makeup to me…

Friday, March 17th, 2006 • 10:18am • Permalink


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