(Article changed on September 17, 2012 at 07:13)
Bush Administrations Reactions To Pre-Warnings Of 9/11 Attacks Are Significantly More Negligent Than Previously Thought
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Contributing Vanity Fair editor and former New York Times Reporter Kurt Eichenwald
, wrote a stinging OP-ED
piece in the NY Times Monday, September 10, 2012 depicting how he was allowed to view excerpts from non-public documents and interview government officials that when all combined, led him to an inescapable conclusion: "The administration's reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed."
How seriously did some Federal agencies fear an impending attack on US soil? Eichenwald writes that two members of a government Counterterriorism Group actually told him that during a July 9th, 2001 meeting, one official told them that they should "put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place." The suggestion was batted down because they said there would be "no time to train anyone else."
The Infamous Briefing And Not Connecting The Dots
On August 6th 2001, then President George Bush, was presented with a classified document that detailed threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. Since 9/11, that one report has been used as the key piece of evidence that American's have had to accept as the only document that put the White House on notice of the impending terrorist attack on American soil. Who, bragged that it would be of catastrophic measure.
That morning's "presidential daily brief," on August 6th was prepared by America's intelligence agency featuring the now-infamous heading: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Administration officials dismissed the document's significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda's history, not a warning of the impending attack. It's also the report that the Bush Administration has used up until now to escape having any acceptance of responsibility for that attack.
Now, according to this recent OP-ED story by Kurt Eichenwald in the New York Times, it appears there is more information and "daily brief" documents that he examined along with interviews he conducted with officials that show the White House and other federal officials were, on numerous occasions, made aware of an impending attack as far back as May 1, 2001.
Yes, that August 6th 2001 document is important. But, in order to fully understand the significance of that one report, you have to go back to prior briefs. The ones the Bush Administration would not release. The ones that reporter Eichenwald claim he was allowed to view in part. The ones that he now reports show, "The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, 2001 the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that, "a group presently in the United States' was planning a terrorist operation."
Then on June 22, 2001 the daily brief reported that al Qaeda strikes could be "imminent," although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible. Eichenwald states how "An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon, were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled. According to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat."
His sources also told him how "Intelligence officials protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, was conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives' suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day."
So the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real. That June 29th, 2001 daily brief included a statement by the CIA that "The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Osama Bin Laden." The reiterated much of the prior evidence and a new CIA interview with a "Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya."
Eichenwald reports that a CIA brief on July 1, 2001 reportedly shows they continued to stress their fears of an impending attack. That brief also stated that the operation had been delayed, but "will occur soon." The briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.
"That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I (Eichenwald) reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.'s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn't sound."
On July 24, 2001 Eichenwald claims that Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied, but that it had been postponed, perhaps by a few months. "But the president did not feel the briefings on potential attacks were sufficient, one intelligence official told me, and instead asked for a broader analysis on Al Qaeda, its aspirations and its history."
In response, the CIA began preparing the Aug. 6, 2001 infamous brief that Bush claims he never acted on because officials never told of a time and place the attacks would happen.
Several weeks later, the attacks happened.
Our Governments History With Denial & Hindsight
History shows that we have considered America as being impregnable and we believed that no one in his or her right mind would attack us on our own soil. Liken to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, allegations surfaced blaming then President Franklin D. Roosevelt of ignoring intelligence reports months before the Japanese attacked.
In fact, on December 4th 1941, Roosevelt received a confidential report warning that the enemy was eyeing up Hawaii with a view to "open conflict." It described Japan's surveillance of Hawaii under a section headlined "Methods of Operation and Points of Attack." Describing it as being of a general nature but including records relating to the movement of US warships.
Three days after that warning was delivered to the White House, hundreds of Japanese aircraft operating from six aircraft carriers unleashed a surprise strike on the US Navy's base at Pearl Harbour, wiping out American battleships, destroyers and air installations. A total of 2,459 US personnel were killed and 1,282 injured.
Like the CIA warnings that were ignored by President Bush, who was in denial, historians also felt that Roosevelt and his administration were in denial as well. Author-Historian Craig Shirley examined the memo and wrote:
"This memo is further evidence that they believed the Japanese were contemplating a military action of some sort, but they were kind of in denial because they didn't think anybody would be as audacious enough to move an army thousands of miles across the Pacific, stop to refuel, then move on to Hawaii to make a strike like this."
I'm comparing 9/11 to Pearl Harbor insomuch as we now know, there were numerous documented pre-warnings before both attacks. All of the warnings were ignored, and both attacks occured on US soil by foreign enemy. God forbid there is ever another one.
End Of Story"