Several agents in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had uncovered suspicious behavior by suspected Muslim radicals prior to 9/11 but their reports to supervisors were ignored. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) warned the White House six weeks before 9/11 that radical Muslims were planning to hijack aircraft in the US and use them as weapons. That warning was ignored.
The US unsuccessfully tried to condemn confessed alQaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui to death, claiming he could have prevented the 9/11 attacks by telling what he knew of the planning. But President George Bush just as easily might have prevented the attacks had he alerted airline and airport security of the 9/11 warnings he received as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, and had he required the FBI to reveal what it knew. He did nothing, and that wasn't an "intelligence failure".
We had an informant in Osama bin Laden's alQaeda network but he was "outed" by the Bush administration that wanted to make political points by bragging about its "successes."
Intelligence on Iraq was ignored and distorted. There were many agents and analysts in all intelligence agencies telling the administration that Iraq had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks and it had no forbidden weapons or that claims it did have such weapons were highly suspect and not trustworthy. They were ignored. We had a source in Saddam Hussein's inner circle appraising us of Iraq's weapons capabilities. He was ignored. Iraqi defectors had told us that Hussein had shed himself of forbidden weapons after the Gulf War of 1991. They were ignored even though they were Hussein's sons in law and had controlled his weapons programs.
As the Hussein regime was being toppled, not one US unit--nor even a single soldier--was detailed to secure the weapons sites US officials claimed were housing forbidden weapons. Such lack of action proves that administration planners knew there were no forbidden weapons which refutes any claim of "intelligence failure".
The United States had long had the best intelligence in the world. The Bush administration recently revealed what had long been classified; that 100,000 agents are employed in US intelligence and the nation spends $44 billion annually on operations. Add to that the spending and personnel in Air Force, Army and Navy intelligence operations and the spending and personnel in other departments outside the Defense Department. The US spends the most of any nation in the world on intelligence; has the most personnel; the best-trained and best-educated agents and analysts; the best equipment; most outposts in the best locations on foreign soil, on the oceans or in the air, and a rarely publicized assent few other nations could claim. The United States had long been the most-admired nation in the world which enabled it to recruit informants in other nations to provide information to the US while having few Americans giving information to our adversaries.
The CIA was monitoring Iran's nuclear-research program but that was destroyed after the Bush administration identified the CIA agent who headed the operation because it sought political revenge against the agent's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, because he told the truth about administration claims. Whatever happened to the Iranians who were cooperating with the US is unknown.
And the effect will last for years. Who in Iran, China, North Korea, Syria, Palestine, Cuba or any other hostile nation will dare cooperate with US intelligence if there is a chance the Bush administration would reveal their identities for political reasons as it did with the Iraqi and alQaeda insiders?
The recent "resignation" of Porter Goss as director of the CIA has revealed that US intelligence capabilities have been severely damaged almost to the point of being in shambles by an administration that has purged or forced the departure of veteran agents and analysts who told Bush what he didn't want to hear. Blaming "intelligence failures" and establishing the Homeland Security Department, a monument of ineptitude and inability, are ruses to cover up the incompetence and worthlessness of Bush and his administration as protectors of the nation.
A recent story in the New York Times reported that lower-level agents at the CIA had begun referring to Vice President Dick Cheney as "Edgar", alluding to famed ventiloquist Edgar Bergen, and equating President George Bush to Bergen's puppet Charlie McCarthy. Such an equation is disparaging and insulting to a great American and unquestioned naional asset whose character and integrity is beyond reproach. Bush is nothing like Charley McCarthy, he's more a Mortimer Snerd.
I will repeat myself: There were no "intelligence failures" contributing to either the 9/11 attacks nor the war against Iraq. The mainstream media, which have seemingly anointed themselves the George Bush Mutual Protection Society, would do the nation well to cease repeating this falsehood.