:: 11.13.2003 ::
Quote of the Day
I really think there's nothing more despicable … for someone to insinuate that the president of the United States knew there was an attack on our country that was imminent and didn't do anything about it. - Senate Minority (at the time) Leader Trent Lott, who expressed outrage at attacks on President Bush in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Well, I can easily think of something more despicable: the President doing exactly what has been suggested. I think it's more likely that he in fact had no idea, but I wouldn't put that kind of thing past some members of his administration. Sad, isn't it?
For an overview of what was going on in the press around this issue on May 17th, 2002, read this ABCNews article and follow the accompanying links.
Here are some snippets from a piece titled "Bush administration Responsibility for the September 11 Terrorism Attacks":
Also, during May 2002, a Phoenix Arizona
You can read the whole thing yourself here.
FBI memo from summer 2001 was released that warned of the dangers of Middle Eastern men going to flight school and gaining skills to hijack planes, and the dangers of the al Qaeda network carrying out such hijackings. Moreover, the arrest of Zacarias Moussaouri, the alleged 20th al Qaeda hijacker, in Minnesota in late August 2001, who had been taking flying lessons and acting suspiciously, should have raised warning signals.
Philippine police subsequently warned the U.S. that Ramzi Yousef, who had helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, had schemes to hijack and blow up a dozen U.S. airliners and was contemplating taking over and crashing a plane into the CIA headquarters himself.
Furthermore, there had been a whole series of U.S. government reports on the dangers of terrorism and need for a coordinated response. A 1996 report of a White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security headed by Al Gore developed a report that was never acted on (see http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/212fin~1.html). A 1999 National Intelligence Council report on Terrorism specifically warned that bin Laden's al Qaeda network might undertake suicide hijackings against U.S. targets; the report noted that members of the al Qaeda network had threatened to do this before and that the U.S. should be alert to such attacks (see "1999 Report Warned of Suicide Hijack," Associated Press, May 17, 2001). And reports by former U.S. Senators Gary Hart and Howard Rodman, and by the Bremer National Commission, recommended consolidating U.S. intelligence on terrorism and organizing federal responses to prevent and fight domestic terrorist attacks on the U.S. (On the Hart-Rudman report, see http://www.nssg.gov/News/news.htm; for the Bremer National Commission on Terrorism report, see http://w3.access.gpo.gov/nct/).
Greg Palast had published an FBI memo that confirmed that the FBI was given orders to lay off the bin Laden family during the early months of George W. Bush's rule [See Greg Palast, "FBI and U.S. Spy Agents Say Bush Spiked bin Laden Probes Before September 11." The Guardian (Nov. 7, 2001). Palast's article is collected on his home page that has a lot of other interesting reports on Bush administration activities; see www.gregpalast.com.]
At the Treasury Department, Secretary Paul O'Neill's team wanted to roll back almost all forms of government intervention, including laws against money laundering and tax havens of the kind used by terror groups. At the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld wanted to revamp the military and push his pet project, NMD. Rumsfeld vetoed a request to divert $800 million from missile defense into counterterrorism.
:: Deb 12:53 PM :: permalink ::
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