The News repeats “ludicrous” claims

Nov 19th, 2011 | By | Category: The News

The News (Jang Group)A curious article appears in The News today which claims that Jang Group researchers discovered that Mansoor Ijaz, the American millionaire at the center of the “memogate” controversy, had previously “negotiated between the United States and the Sudanese government in an otherwise failed effort to apprehend Osama bin Laden”. This is an old and well known claim of Mr Ijaz, and one that this blog researched when Mr Ijaz originally published his infamous opinion column in The Financial Times. While researchers at The News found quite a bit of information, what is curious is just what information they found – and what information they didn’t.

Despite their hard work, researchers at The News failed to discover news reports in the international media over the past two days that quote Clinton’s former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger terming Ijaz’s claims about his role in negotiations with Sudan as “ludicrous and irresponsible”.

The News‘s research staff didn’t even read this blog where we revealed that in 1997, The Washington Post reported that Mr Ijaz used his political connections to advance his financial interests in Sudan1.

Wealthy and well-connected, Ijaz was more than willing to pitch in. By Election Day in November, he had raised $525,000 for the Democratic cause, including $250,000 from his personal funds and $200,000 donated by guests at a fund-raising reception for Vice President Gore at Ijaz’s New York penthouse in September, according to Federal Election Commission records, White House documents and Ijaz.

Now Ijaz is trying to reap what he has sown. Having earned access to the Clinton administration through his fund-raising prowess, Ijaz has met with a succession of senior officials in the White House, State Department and Congress to further his business interests through changes in U.S. policy toward Islamic countries, particularly Sudan, a government long accused of sanctioning international terrorism.

Unfortunately, researchers at The News also forgot to read the report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States AKA The 9/11 Commission that says, “We have not found any reliable evidence to support the Sudanese claim.”

What information was The News able to find? Apparently they could only find the testimony of Mr Mansoor Ijaz himself before US Congress. Testimony that was considered by the US government as too unreliable to be included in the 9/11 Commission Report.

It appears that US officials who have met Mansoor Ijaz have a habit of terming his claims as ludicrious, unreliable, and uncredible. It is quite unfortunate that The News either could not find or forgot to include in their report all of the independent, third-party information. It might have been a little more informative than only taking Mr Ijaz’s word.

1. Ottaway, David B. ‘Democratic Fund-Raiser Pursues Agenda on Sudan’. The Washington Post. 29 April 1997.

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