Wednesday, April 14, 2004

If you cannot take the Mountain to Usama, let Usama come to the Mountain A little play on words at to how the Preznit says repeatedly he would have acted had he known that Usama and Al Qaeda were up to something, matched with, of course, what actually happened. Of course, the unveiled secret of all this is that Bush knew far more than is revealed in the August 6, 2001 PDB. As the Washington Post shows in black and white. By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief headlined "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US," the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In April and May 2001, for example, the intelligence community headlined some of those reports "Bin Laden planning multiple operations," "Bin Laden network's plans advancing" and "Bin Laden threats are real." The intelligence included reports of a hostage plot against Americans. It noted that operatives might choose to hijack an aircraft or storm a U.S. embassy. Without knowing when, where or how the terrorists would strike, the CIA "consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil," according to one of two staff reports released by the panel yesterday. "Reports similar to these were made available to President Bush in the morning meetings with [Director of Central Intelligence George J.] Tenet," the commission staff said. By the way, the Commission also wishes to have the author of the August 6, 2001, PDB revealed so they can talk to them. Here is a declassified photograph of that individual. Meanwhile, going on in the Post article... In this context, Bush "had occasionally asked his briefers whether any of the threats pointed to the United States," the report said. Or, as one U.S. senior official more intimately involved in the summer reporting paraphrased the president's question to the CIA: "This guy going to strike here?" A partial answer was contained in the very first sentence of the Aug. 6 President's Daily Brief: "Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US." The document ended with two paragraphs of circumstantial evidence that al Qaeda operatives might already be in the United States preparing "for hijackings or other types of attacks" and said that the FBI and the CIA were investigating a call to the U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates in May "saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives." But Mr. Preznit, like you have repeatedly said...who could have envisioned an attack using airplanes. Good of the Administration to alert the airlines too huh? To be fair to the Bush Administration, the article does point out that the CIA did completely drop the ball vis-a-vis the FBI when it came to notifying them of the presence of two Al Qaeda operatives in the United States. Of course, this just further buttreses Dick Clarke's argument that if the "trees had been shaken" 9/11 MIGHT have been prevented.
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