Video: Free Speak

The road to terror could lead to Iran's door-step.

While the Military battles insurgency and violence in Iraq, Congressman Curt Weldon says an Iranian cleric is plotting to kill Americans on U.S. soil.

He says Iran planned a massive terror attack against United States, possibly a nuclear one.  He discusses this intelligence information in his new book, Countdown to Terror: The Top-Secret Information that Could Prevent the Next Terrorist Attack on America and How the CIA has Ignored It.

The Republican from Pennsylvania shares new information with MSNBC-TV host Tucker Carlson about this threat and what the CIA isn't doing about it.

CARLSON:  Now, your book title essentially says it all.  It sounds almost a plea.  Here you are the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Vice Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and you have to write a book in order to get the attention of the CIA and the Bush administration.  That seems odd to me. 

WELDON:  Well, it's very troubling to have to do this. 

But I went through this back in '99 and 2000 when I led the effort to force the CIA to create an integrated national collaborative center, linking together all 33 classified systems.  The CIA on November 4, 1999, with the FBI and the Defense Department in the room with me, said, 'Congressman, we don't need that capability.  We can do it on our own.'

Well, we realized, after 9/11 hit us and 3,000 people were killed, that they weren't right.  And, today, we have that collaborative center now being put into place.  It's called the NCTC.  I lost some good friends on 9/11.  And I'm not going to be pushed back again.  Two years ago, I was approached by a former Democrat member of Congress who gave me information from a former CIA informant they knew where Osama bin Laden was. 

I went down and met with George Tenet a week later.  Tenet assigned one of the senior operations people from the CIA to work with me.  He told me, 'Congressman, we'll have somebody in our Paris office meet with your people and we‘ll talk to them and assess them.'  Two weeks went by.  And, finally, somebody approached the person whose name I gave to the George Tenet. 

That person was a member of the French intelligence service.  And he told the guy, 'You shouldn't be talking to American members of Congress.'  I called the operations guy back on the phone and said, why did you lie to me?  You told me that you were going to have one of our people meet with this guy in Paris.  You had somebody from French intelligence. 

And he said, well, Congressman, to be honest with you, we trust the French intelligence service.  I said, that's ridiculous.  But even if you do trust them, why did you lie to me?  Why didn‘t you tell me that you were going to have somebody from the French intelligence... 

CARLSON:  Well, that's a great question.  What's the answer?  Why would a CIA officer lie to a ranking member of Congress, A?  And, B, why wouldn't the CIA want to follow up on the information about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden?  It doesn‘t make sense. 

WELDON:  No, it doesn't make any sense, Tucker.  And that's the question I‘ve been asking for two years.  And the CIA hasn't come back to me and given me any substantive information.  All they have tried to do is spin this book three months before it came out. 

CARLSON: Congressman, let's go to the central, what seems to me to be central allegation in your book, page 63.

I'm going read it.  You said: “A terrorist plot managed from Tehran” you have knowledge of “to hijack an airliner in Canada, crash it into a nuclear reactor in the United States, the target, Seabrook nuclear reactor near Boston, one million people nearby.  The objective,” you write, “was to inflict a blow more catastrophic than the attacks of September 11,” etcetera, etcetera.

This is a remarkable claim.  Do you believe that Iran was behind an attempt to blow up a nuclear reactor in the United States? 

WELDON:  Absolutely.  Not Iran as a country.  I wanted to make the distinction, as I've been making.  This is not against the Iranian people.  It is not against the government.  It's against Ayatollah Khomeini, who has formed a council of nine to link in and network with all the major terrorist groups in the country.

In May of 2003, I gave the CIA very specific information that 19 Pakistanis, a part of al Qaeda funded by Iran, were going to hit a nuclear reactor in the U.S.  And I said the first three letters were SCA.  In July, I gave them the name of the reactor.  I said it's Seabrook.  On August 22, in 2003, the Rural Canadian Mounted Police in Canada arrested a 19-member Pakistani cell. 

When you go through my book, you'll see all the detailed specifics of those 19 terrorists.  In fact, they had no visible means of income, yet one of them had $20,000 or $40,000 in the bank.  They had been involved in indication of the Pickering reactor in Canada.  One of them had been training as a pilot.  So, the facts are all there.

CARLSON: Well, wait a second.  I mean, if those are indeed facts, Congressman, we ought to be invading Iran, say, tomorrow. 

WELDON: I don't advocate a war with Iran. 

CARLSON:  Why not, if they're trying to blow up a nuclear reactor in the United States or plan to? 

WELDON: It's not coming from the Iranian government, Tucker.  It's coming from Ayatollah Khomeini, the radical religious cleric who has established a separate operation away from the Iranian government. 

What I'm doing with the book, by the way, is, I'm printing it — in Farsi.  We're today flooding Iran.  I just did the Voice of America interview.  Tomorrow night, 14 million Iranians will be able to see what Ayatollah Khomeini has done behind their back.  We need to awaken the Iranian people.  They're not happy with this regime.  They're not happy with Ayatollah Khomeini.  We need them to understand and help them to understand that we are not our enemy. 

CARLSON: Well, quickly, Mr. Weldon, why do you think, if this is true, the Bush administration hasn't told the rest of us about it?  Why hasn‘t the president had a prime-time television address to the nation to tell us that a cell within Iran is planning to attack our country, indeed, did plan to attack our country?

WELDON: I can only say that my battle isn't with the president.  My battle is with the intelligence agency. 

The intelligence agencies have become so strong and bureaucratic that they determine what does or doesn't rise to the surface.  Look, I've been involved in the defense and intelligence issues for 19 years.  I can't tell you the number of times that we've had distortions and misinformation brought before us. 

Why were they not able to predict the fall of communism?  Why did they not understand North Korea had a three-stage missile in 1998, before they launched it?  Why 't they predict the fall—the 9/11 attack?  There are a number of things we could ask.

The fact is, the problem is in the intelligence community.  Porter Goss is trying to make the change.  And I ask the American people to help Porter do that job. 

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