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Old 04-10-2004, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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"historical" memo released

Well, the memo that figured so prominently in the Rice hearings has come out, and it doesn't look good for the Bush administration. Rice maintained that the document was "historical" in nature, but it directly refers to intel from three months prior that suspected both hijacking of airplanes, explosive attacks on USA soil, and recent surveillance of federal buildings in new york city.

The memo text. I took the liberty of bolding the section mentioned above.
Quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The following is the full text of an Aug. 6, 2001, intelligence briefing for President Bush that outlined al Qaeda plans to strike within the United States.

It was released on Saturday by the White House.

Declassified and Approved for Release, 10 April 2004

Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a ...(redacted portion) ... service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an ... (redacted portion) ... service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.
a reuters article about the memo:
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.j...5&section=news

I wonder if one of the papers already had the memo and was about to leak it? I can't imagine the white house would have released this memo voluntarily.

Personally, I think this makes Rice's testimony look like some really serious spin doctoring. With evidence like this out there, she should have taken more of a "we made some mistakes" tone.

Leaving my personal politics behind, I have to suspect that this is going to look really bad for the Bush administration.
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Old 04-10-2004, 06:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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she didn't really hide anything on it ya she said that it was historic and that may be questionable but i don't think she lied about anything in it all she said was that they gota memothat said bin laden wanted to attack in the US i don't think it would have been right at the time to realease it from a classified document so again i don't think she did anything wrong

i think the damage to the administration is going to come down to the presentation i think it could be swung either way personaly looking at it myself i don't think it attacks their credability
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Old 04-10-2004, 06:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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All I know is that we've known about that PDB for quite some time, I've read about that specific document from that specific day in both Michael Moore's and Al Franken's new books, and what the government did about it (or in this case, did not do). I think one of the problems was lack of able to do anything on the FBI's part, lack of funding, etc... I still don't think being that close to 9/11 we could have done much in terms of prevention, but, I do think it'll make the Republican's case hard to stand by, and their lack of action and apparent lies throughout the campaign harder to continue on with. I think our trust for them is finally beginning to change.
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Old 04-10-2004, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The problem is not within the Bush Administration. Part of it is of course, but that is because of the historical ignoring of terrorists since the Carter Administration. Yet the main problem is from the competition and silence between the CIA and FBI.

Most of this stuff is historical. In actuality, we should have all known that bin Laden wanted to attack within the United States from day one of his connection in the Aden Harbor Bombings in December of 1992. Having a title like this, to me at least, is sort of a "Well No Shit Sherlock" statement.

Yes, there were failures. Yet it wasn't a complete failure by a single administration, from Carter-Bush 43, there were problems that needed to be fixed and they came to the forefront on that Tuesday Morning. I hate all of this political bullshit that is entailing with the 9/11 Commission, I really do, it's just a show-boat with the Government trying to look like it is doing something when it really isn't. The liberals that are solely pointing the finger at Bush and laying all of the blame on Bush are just flat out wrong. Does some blame lie with the Bush Administration, sure, I'll admit that, because Dubya didn't really have a clear agenda once he was sworn into office and he wasn't really focusing on any one thing. Then 9/11 happened, which was a result of the failures of previous administrations, Republican and Democrat alike. However, the single sole blame for 9/11 lies with one man. Osama bin Laden. And when we get him, he will pay for what he has done.
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Old 04-11-2004, 06:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It will be intersting to see how long it takes before Clinton is blamed for this one too. I would have so much more respect for the administration if they simply accepted "ANY" fault for the lack of direction in preventing this tragedy. There is of course little chance anyone could have prevented 9/11, but at least have the balls to admit you may have been unprepared, and had information issues.
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tecoyah
There is of course little chance anyone could have prevented 9/11, but at least have the balls to admit you may have been unprepared, and had information issues.
After reading that memo, I don't agree with that assessment any longer. The memo mentions:
- Airplane hijacking
- Bin Laden operatives scouting New York City
- Bin Laden operatives planning an attack with explosives

Granted, hindsight is 20/20, but this memo and Clarke's testimony makes me think that it was quite possible to prevent the 9/11 events. Remember, Zacharaias Mussaoui was arrested long before 9/11. It seems perfectly plausible that the Bush administration should have at least suspected a plane hijacking and taken some serious steps to increase security.
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Old 04-11-2004, 11:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The memo provides no specific actionable information. It implies hijacking as a means to free other terrorists, not flying them into buildings. It cites scouting of federal buildings in NYC and it doesn't even detail which buildings those might be. Further, it provides no time frames, no specific information on the operatives involved, no information on the cities where the hijackings might occur, etc, etc, etc.

At the time of the hijackings it was perfectly acceptable to bring box cutters, pen knives, and countless other things onto the plane and airport security could do nothing about it.

Please fill me in on what exactly you all would have done to prevent the attacks based on this memo. Increasing security? Well, since 9/11 hasn't that been done? Has it stopped people from carrying guns, knives, screwdrivers, and half a million other things on board? Scrambled jets to patrol the skies of Manhattan and shoot down hijacked planes? Well, the predominant thinking at the time was that a hijacking would reroute planes and passengers would be taken hostage and used as bargaining chips, so that doesn't quite work. And it leaves out Washington DC as a target.
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Last edited by onetime2; 04-11-2004 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 04-11-2004, 11:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree that there is certainly enough blame to go around.
But the reason many people, including myself, are so hard on Bush is that he has tried to take credit for his supposedly strong leadership leading up to, during, and ever since the attacks on 9-11. He's made the attacks the centerpiece of his re-election campaign, putting images from that day in his campaign ads and even holding the Republican Convention in NYC around the anniversary of the attacks.
Now, in my opinion, if he wants to try to take credit for his "accomplishments", then he should be willing to take the blame for his "mistakes" as well.

One such mistake is the one that Richard Clarke highlighted from the beginning: the Bush administration's preoccupation with the ideological goals of Iraqi regime change and missile defense kept them from reacting to and dealing with the threat of terrorism here in the US.
Contrary to what Dr. Rice said under oath, the briefing clearly provides new information about possible attacks inside the United States. This was in addition to the 40 or so other briefings the President received from Tenet warning him of a major imminent Al Qaeda attack. President Bush should have dealt with this threat immediately. Instead, he played some golf.

Most likely, 9-11 could not have been prevented, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't evaluate Bush's performance in protecting this nation. That's his job and if he's not up to it, we need to get someone else to do it.
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Old 04-11-2004, 11:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by maximusveritas
I agree that there is certainly enough blame to go around.
But the reason many people, including myself, are so hard on Bush is that he has tried to take credit for his supposedly strong leadership leading up to, during, and ever since the attacks on 9-11. He's made the attacks the centerpiece of his re-election campaign, putting images from that day in his campaign ads and even holding the Republican Convention in NYC around the anniversary of the attacks.
Now, in my opinion, if he wants to try to take credit for his "accomplishments", then he should be willing to take the blame for his "mistakes" as well.

One such mistake is the one that Richard Clarke highlighted from the beginning: the Bush administration's preoccupation with the ideological goals of Iraqi regime change and missile defense kept them from reacting to and dealing with the threat of terrorism here in the US.
Contrary to what Dr. Rice said under oath, the briefing clearly provides new information about possible attacks inside the United States. This was in addition to the 40 or so other briefings the President received from Tenet warning him of a major imminent Al Qaeda attack. President Bush should have dealt with this threat immediately. Instead, he played some golf.

Most likely, 9-11 could not have been prevented, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't evaluate Bush's performance in protecting this nation. That's his job and if he's not up to it, we need to get someone else to do it.
I don't seem to recall much touting of his first eight months in office at all. He's defended his actions during those eight months because he's been attacked about them.

Of course he's going to play up his leadership since 9/11 it was probably the single biggest event in the last 30 years for our country.

Quote:
"President Bush should have dealt with this threat immediately."
As I asked in my last post, please fill us in on what he should have done to deal with this imminent threat. What actions should he have taken to protect from it?
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Old 04-11-2004, 11:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This memo is nothing, and wouldn't have been made public if it was bad for the Bush administration. Nowhere in the memo is it suggested that airplanes would be hijacked to fly into buildings, just that they would be hijacked (perhaps for ransom.) There is no specific information that could be linked directly to the 9/11 attacks -- explosives were not used, and the WTC is not a "Federal Building."

The problem, as someone else said above, is the competition between Federal agencies. You see the same problem on a smaller scale between city and state police -- people in law enforcement/investigation need to put their egos aside and do what is right.
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
As I asked in my last post, please fill us in on what he should have done to deal with this imminent threat. What actions should he have taken to protect from it?
Ok, I can play that game. Based on that memo, Bush should have installed an armed federal marshal or uniformed soldier in the first class cabin of every flight into or out of new york city.

Based on that memo, Bush should have ordered an additional check on anyone currently visiting the usa from the arab nations. He should have also ordered a round-up of any current FBI, CIA, or INS leads. Had he done so, perhaps they would have found the August 16 note from the INS investigator who arrested Zacharias Moussaoui, saying he seemed like "the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center." Or, they might have found the memo from a Missouri FBI agent saying that "a 747 loaded with fuel could be used as a weapon".

Or, perhaps a search of the FBI and CIA database for Al Quaeda information would have shown the plot, thwarted by Clinton in 1996, for Al Quaeda to hijack a plane and fly it into CIA headquarters. Perhaps that would have started some wheels turning in peoples minds.

On February 15, 2001, the Hart-Rudman report said the possibility of "mass-casualty terrorism directed against the U.S. homeland was of serious and growing concern" and called for better information sharing among intelligence agencies. Perhaps had any action whatsoever been taken on that report, some of the evidence above would have been easily linked.

Instead, what was Bush doing in August? He was on his ranch in Texas, on the longest presidental vacation in over 30 years.
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by seretogis
There is no specific information that could be linked directly to the 9/11 attacks -- explosives were not used, and the WTC is not a "Federal Building."
Actually, just a clarification, the WTC housed 2,800 federal employees. So, the intelligence may very well have included surveillance of the WTC, we don't know at this point.
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
Actually, just a clarification, the WTC housed 2,800 federal employees. So, the intelligence may very well have included surveillance of the WTC, we don't know at this point.
My point is that 9/11 was not a conventional attack, and is not something that old methods of surveillance would have prevented. They were expecting car-bombs, not airplanes full of fuel. Even after the first plane hit the WTC it was thought of as a freak accident by most people, not an orchestrated terrorist attack.

Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
On February 15, 2001, the Hart-Rudman report said the possibility of "mass-casualty terrorism directed against the U.S. homeland was of serious and growing concern" and called for better information sharing among intelligence agencies. Perhaps had any action whatsoever been taken on that report, some of the evidence above would have been easily linked.
It's easy to say now, but I seriously doubt you had any "Bush has to take terrorism more seriously!" posts in the first eight months after Bush was elected. No one really took terrorism that seriously, and there were failures all over.

The blame for 9/11, along with the loss of jobs overseas, should be spread around.
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by seretogis
My point is that 9/11 was not a conventional attack, and is not something that old methods of surveillance would have prevented. They were expecting car-bombs, not airplanes full of fuel. Even after the first plane hit the WTC it was thought of as a freak accident by most people, not an orchestrated terrorist attack.
Actually, your point that I was responding to was that "the WTC is not a "Federal Building."". Don't try to wiggle out of this one.

Quote:
The blame for 9/11, along with the loss of jobs overseas, should be spread around.
I was responding to Onetime2's specific demand that I provide some actions that could have been taken. I agree, the blame should be spread around. But, I also think the Bush administration could have done much more than they did.
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Old 04-11-2004, 01:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Good Discussion.

I wish all "Politics" threads were this focused
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Remember, they've only released two pages of this memo so far. There is supposedly more.

You Republicans love to say... what could Bush have done after reading this memo... There was no actionable information... it was historical data...

I've heard enough of it.

The answer to what could he have done... ANYTHING. Because he was given this memo, probably didn't even read it, and then did NOTHING.

We knew from the Clinton administration that terror was going to be a problem. Read Thomas Friedman's book, 'The Lexus and the Olive Tree'. In it he talks about what a HUGE threat Osama Bin Laden is. If Friedman knew this, then why didn't the president? Why didn't they have a plan?

The Democrats had a plan. The Homeland Security bill, was already being kicked around by Senate Democrats well before Bush took office. Republicans in Congress ignored it, until 9/11 happened.

There is no spreading of blame. This falls squarely on the shoulders of Bush and his administration.

Maybe I could put forward this question to those of you who would argue me.
Can you imagine a situation where the Bush administration was wrong about something?
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
Actually, your point that I was responding to was that "the WTC is not a "Federal Building."". Don't try to wiggle out of this one.
I'm not wiggling. The WTC is not like any other Federal buildings that have been attacked. It's not an Embassy, or a "Federal Building" like the one targetted in OK City.
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by seretogis




It's easy to say now, but I seriously doubt you had any "Bush has to take terrorism more seriously!" posts in the first eight months after Bush was elected. No one really took terrorism that seriously, and there were failures all over.

The blame for 9/11, along with the loss of jobs overseas, should be spread around.
It was not, and is not my job to understand and prevent attacks on this country. It is and was his job to do so. No we did not have many posts about terrorism before 9/11, as we had no reason to post, due to the assumption that our leadership was doing its job. Obviously this was a poor assumption.
With the resources at the disposal of the administration, one would hope that some level of competence was inherent in the function of our protectors.What this document(and many others) as well as the general failure of U.S foriegn policy has shown, is a level of incompetence that I personally find unacceptable in the people I pay to keep me safe, and run my country.
The endless sidestepping of transparancy, combined with outright disinformation has forced me to take back any respect I once held for this administration. With that lack of respect comes a very small window for acceptable error, regardless of political party or affiliation.
In short, They will get no breaks in my view, if simply because they are undeserving.The boy who cried wolf, lives in my whitehouse.
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by seretogis
I'm not wiggling. The WTC is not like any other Federal buildings that have been attacked. It's not an Embassy, or a "Federal Building" like the one targetted in OK City.
There were enough offices in the WTC, Police, Fire, Transportation, that you couldn't argue that there was no government presence, federal or otherwise.
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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what about pearl habor it is rather convincingly believed that FDR new about the japanese attack and di nothing except save our carriers but he was embraced like a savior and bush is being criticized for doin possibly the exact same thing maybe both options were allowed to happen to get us into wars

anyone else think this is possable ask yourselves
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:45 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by fuzyfuzer
what about pearl habor it is rather convincingly believed that FDR new about the japanese attack and di nothing except save our carriers but he was embraced like a savior and bush is being criticized for doin possibly the exact same thing maybe both options were allowed to happen to get us into wars

anyone else think this is possable ask yourselves
I don't know if English is your native language (I apologize if it isn't) but punctuation is really helpful in getting your point across in a way that people can understand.
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Old 04-11-2004, 05:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skettios
There were enough offices in the WTC, Police, Fire, Transportation, that you couldn't argue that there was no government presence, federal or otherwise.

The WTC was privately built and owned.

If there were any Federal, State or City offices, they were leased.

Hence the WTC was not a "Federal" Building in the classical sense.

Let's move on.
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Old 04-11-2004, 05:37 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
The WTC was privately built and owned.

If there were any Federal, State or City offices, they were leased.

Hence the WTC was not a "Federal" Building in the classical sense.

Let's move on.
I fail to see the point.

The World Trade complex held Transportation offices, Bus Stations, Subway Stations, Police and Fire Offices. Leased or not, doesn't matter. There was a significant government presence.

That's the point.

If that government presence had been alerted, then things might have happened differently.
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Old 04-11-2004, 06:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by fuzyfuzer
what about pearl habor it is rather convincingly believed that FDR new about the japanese attack and di nothing except save our carriers but he was embraced like a savior and bush is being criticized for doin possibly the exact same thing maybe both options were allowed to happen to get us into wars

anyone else think this is possable ask yourselves
In the context of this thread....this really belongs in tilted paranoia.
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Old 04-11-2004, 06:30 PM   #25 (permalink)
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As far as the "historical document" excuse, everything must fall under this category. I have read the document, and tried to think of it as a pre 9/11 memo. I have no training in government intellegence, yet I found more than enough information within to at the very least, create a sense of urgency. It would seem the issue here is the lack of action those with the information were putting forth.
Hindsight may indeed be 20/20, but forsight was the missing element in this case. I have never been Dem/Rep but have always been independent. I still remember my disgust at Mr. Clinton and his sexual actions while in office. That was nothing compared to my current dismay with our administration.
Both partys are responsible for the failures that led to the tragedy of 9/11, but Clinton is not the president, and cannot be held accountable for the mistakes.
It is human nature to find blame for failure, and the larger the failure the more intense is the blame. In my opinion this is a very cut and dry example of failure to act, and there is only one logical place to set the blame.
The fact that this administration has pointedly attempted to impede this investigation, to me only solidifies that blame. Here is a little 20/20 hindsight for ya'.

If the information we will be privy to, over the next few months was made availible in 2002, and the administration had been honest about the obvious communication and intelligence failures, we would need no investigation and could be focused on the real issue. Preventing this from happening ever again.

Alas we are likely to see they cannot even do this much, be it ever so unfortunate for us all.
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Old 04-11-2004, 06:35 PM   #26 (permalink)
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It's immaterial to me whether you convince each other about the status of the WTC. I haven't seen anyone claim that the administration should have known an attack on that particular building was going to occur. Rather, the suggestion is that an investigation and contingency plan should have been done.

For example, I don't know Rice's exact job description--perhaps someone can explain it to me. I become irate at her contention that the memo didn't include a plan of action. My understanding is that she gets these periodic memos, then she starts to create a plan of action. Isn't that her job? I don't know why a Standford alum, arguebly in the highest security position, is being allowed for claiming "that's not my job" or "it didn't provide the complete picture."

They had less accurate information to act upon in the case of Iraq and the adminstration certainly didn't hedge their comments, then. Why should it be given a pass at this information's incompleteness. From the sections I've seen, it looks extremely suggestive--certainly enough to warrant follow up.
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:25 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The point is that the memo specifically suggests that a federal building may be in danger. The WTC is not a federal building. Bus, Subway, Fire, and Police forces are NOT federal services, but city or state government services.
I think you're tilting at windmills here. Maybe they thought the terrorists were observing the Federal Building across the street from the WTC towers, in the same complex:
http://photos.innersource.com/group/6176



The memo was a summary of intelligence distilled into two pages for the president. I think there was enough there to deduce that there was an imminent hijacking about to occur, from al quaeda operatives who were already in the USA, possibly involving a federal building in NYC.

Now, Condoleeza Rice can say all day that nothing could have been done with that data, but I disagree. The fact that the Bush Administration did absolutely nothing with the data, and with other reports given to them like th Hart report, is telling.
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:12 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I fail to see the point.

The World Trade complex held Transportation offices, Bus Stations, Subway Stations, Police and Fire Offices. Leased or not, doesn't matter. There was a significant government presence.

That's the point.

If that government presence had been alerted, then things might have happened differently.
The point is that the memo specifically suggests that a federal building may be in danger. The WTC is not a federal building. Bus, Subway, Fire, and Police forces are NOT federal services, but city or state government services.

In my opinion there wasn't nearly enough information in that memo to suggest that what occurred on 9/11 could have been prevented without widespread panic and completely shutting down the airline industry.
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:58 PM   #29 (permalink)
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seretogis - see Harmless Rabbit's point above. It's not the WTC, but it looks to be about 500 ft away.

Guess we can stop arguing about this now.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:42 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Ok, I can play that game. Based on that memo, Bush should have installed an armed federal marshal or uniformed soldier in the first class cabin of every flight into or out of new york city.

Based on that memo, Bush should have ordered an additional check on anyone currently visiting the usa from the arab nations. He should have also ordered a round-up of any current FBI, CIA, or INS leads. Had he done so, perhaps they would have found the August 16 note from the INS investigator who arrested Zacharias Moussaoui, saying he seemed like "the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center." Or, they might have found the memo from a Missouri FBI agent saying that "a 747 loaded with fuel could be used as a weapon".

Or, perhaps a search of the FBI and CIA database for Al Quaeda information would have shown the plot, thwarted by Clinton in 1996, for Al Quaeda to hijack a plane and fly it into CIA headquarters. Perhaps that would have started some wheels turning in peoples minds.

On February 15, 2001, the Hart-Rudman report said the possibility of "mass-casualty terrorism directed against the U.S. homeland was of serious and growing concern" and called for better information sharing among intelligence agencies. Perhaps had any action whatsoever been taken on that report, some of the evidence above would have been easily linked.

Instead, what was Bush doing in August? He was on his ranch in Texas, on the longest presidental vacation in over 30 years.
You're talking about a ridiculous amount of manpower and money that would never have been approved before 9/11. Hell, even now, post 9/11 there isn't enough manpower to check on every visitor from an "Arab" country.

Based on this memo he'd also have had to station people at every federal building and every airline terminal in the NY metropolitan area to even have a shot at doing anything. And even then there would be little they could have done about it since the rules in place at the time didn't cover most of what the hijackers did.
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:08 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Granted, the above actions are drastic and unlikely to be approved before 9/11. I think the issue is not what could have been done(although these questions must be asked), but what was actually done by the administration. My interpretation at this point is that little, if anything was done, and this would be unacceptable in light of the information coming to public awareness. Had those with the power and information acted in some way to minimize the obvious threats (at least obvious to me), perhaps some of the tragedy could have been avoided, perhaps not.
Obviously we will never know if this could have been avoided, but that is not even the point. There seems to have been a complete failure by the staff to follow up on what appears to be valid warnings of imminent threat. If the previous administration felt the threat to the point of monitoring, and thwarting several terrorist plots, perhaps a more aggressive attempt to verify the intellegence by the current admin. would have been in order.

At least have the fortitude to admit that this memo, or "historical document" is a warning that should have been given more consideration than it was.
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:10 AM   #32 (permalink)
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You're talking about a ridiculous amount of manpower and money that would never have been approved before 9/11. Hell, even now, post 9/11 there isn't enough manpower to check on every visitor from an "Arab" country.

Based on this memo he'd also have had to station people at every federal building and every airline terminal in the NY metropolitan area to even have a shot at doing anything. And even then there would be little they could have done about it since the rules in place at the time didn't cover most of what the hijackers did.
Nice job selectively responding. As I said, there was plenty of evidence out there. Had Bush followed the Hart-Rudman report, gotten the intelligence from the INS and FBI, and acted on it, there was enough data there to foil one or more of the hijackings.

Instead, he was clearing brush on his ranch during the longest presidential vacation in 30 year.

You asked "what could Bush have done?"
My answer: something, anything.
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Old 04-12-2004, 07:25 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally posted by tecoyah
It will be intersting to see how long it takes before Clinton is blamed for this one too. I would have so much more respect for the administration if they simply accepted "ANY" fault for the lack of direction in preventing this tragedy. There is of course little chance anyone could have prevented 9/11, but at least have the balls to admit you may have been unprepared, and had information issues.
Right on man... it's good to see that some people aren't becoming blinded by all these alligations against the Bush administration. These 9/11 hearings to me are a complete joke... just a bunch of Democrats who would like nothing more than to see Kerry elected.

Two points I'd like to make... the memo mentions 1998, during which time Clinton was president. Does anyone know that the Clinton administration was offered Osama bin Laden and had plenty of opportunity to catch him? Here's a link to an article explaining in further detail...Click Here. Some reports say that Clinton warned Bush about this threat, yet if he was so worried, why wasn't the problem taken care of?

And what do people think is better... Bush waging a war on terrorism, or Clinton selling weapon secrets to China (a well known adversary of ours)? Clinton's re-election was funded in part by illegal campain contributions made by the Chinese. Here's a link that supports part of what I said: Click Here .

I'm sure, however, that a great deal of this information can be found by those that seek it, and I hope that this comes out in the following months preceeding the election. Bush is not the enemy here that many Democrats are making him out to be.
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Old 04-12-2004, 07:41 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally posted by ^Ice_Bat^
Right on man... it's good to see that some people aren't becoming blinded by all these alligations against the Bush administration. These 9/11 hearings to me are a complete joke... just a bunch of Democrats who would like nothing more than to see Kerry elected.

Two points I'd like to make... the memo mentions 1998, during which time Clinton was president. Does anyone know that the Clinton administration was offered Osama bin Laden and had plenty of opportunity to catch him? Here's a link to an article explaining in further detail... http://www.infowars.com/saved%20page...in_laden.htm . Some reports say that Clinton warned Bush about this threat, yet if he was so worried, why wasn't the problem taken care of?

And what do people think is better... Bush waging a war on terrorism, or Clinton selling weapon secrets to China (a well known adversary of ours)? Clinton's re-election was funded in part by illegal campain contributions made by the Chinese. Here's a link that supports part of what I said: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/arti.../95433.shtml .

I'm sure, however, that a great deal of this information can be found by those that seek it, and I hope that this comes out in the following months preceeding the election. Bush is not the enemy here that many Democrats are making him out to be.
While I do appreciate the "right on man", and partial understanding of the post, you pretty much just became the first person in this thread to do as I had anticipated, Blame Clinton.

My point was not to pat the current administration on the back, but to criticize the lack of accountability they have shown. It would be extremely refreshing to hear from someone who supports Bush, but is willing to accept that Major mistakes were made in the last three years.
The Clinton administration did at least pay attention to the intellegence they had gathered, and acted to prevent a few terrorist actions, they were far from perfect but put in an effort.
The issues addressed here have little to do with Clinton however, and are focused(as they should be) on the failings of our current administration.
I dont care much for Clinton, Bush, Kerry, or any number of career politicians as they are pretty much sleeping in the same perverbial bed. I am though, very concerned by the complete lack of responsibility this administration is showing, and the blind worship of the Bush follower. There may be plenty of blame to go around, but at least accept your share of it while you dish it out to others.
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Old 04-12-2004, 07:47 AM   #35 (permalink)
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This thread is a good example of why I never visit the politics board.

No one can argue a single issue, you have to bring everything back to the official party line.

Not this time.

The question is: 'Did a document entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside U.S.' give Condi Rice and the Bush administration any warning that there would be an attack, and if so what did they do about it?

The answer is: Yes, It did. It said they were watching federal buildings in New York, and no, they did nothing about it.

This is what we're arguing.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:16 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Nice job selectively responding. As I said, there was plenty of evidence out there. Had Bush followed the Hart-Rudman report, gotten the intelligence from the INS and FBI, and acted on it, there was enough data there to foil one or more of the hijackings.

Instead, he was clearing brush on his ranch during the longest presidential vacation in 30 year.

You asked "what could Bush have done?"
My answer: something, anything.
You are connecting dots in hindsight using facts known now that were either completely impossible or damned difficult to connect at the time.

This memo does not give any specific actionable information. It would be like me saying "I know John Kerry wants to win the Presidency of the US. We believe he will do this by trying to convince voters that he's a better alternative than Bush using ads and speeches targeting the economy, the war in Iraq, and Bush's actions during his first eight months in office." Now go ahead and stop him. I can pretty much guarantee that after the election I'll be able to offer specific examples of how to do it, but right now you don't know how things will play out so you're shooting in the dark as far as what you should do.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:26 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skettios
This thread is a good example of why I never visit the politics board.



The question is: 'Did a document entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside U.S.' give Condi Rice and the Bush administration any warning that there would be an attack, and if so what did they do about it?

The answer is: Yes, It did. It said they were watching federal buildings in New York, and no, they did nothing about it.

This is what we're arguing.
Damn...how did you do that?
I just spent way too much time attempting to say that, in far too many words. Guess I just talk too much.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:51 AM   #38 (permalink)
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After reviewing the document, I would agree that it is a "historical document" that gives the President and his advisors a solid background briefing on what has previously transpired and what could "possibly" be planned in the future. These types of briefings are common in the White House. There are innumerable issues that the President and his staff must deal with and they need to be briefed on the issues prior to comming up with a plan of action.

My concern is why this particular threat was not even brought to the President until August 6th. This is where Clarke's concerns become most pursuasive. It is not that this administration totally ignored this issue, its just appears that there was little urgency. The fact that the Clinton administration (which did many things poorly on this issue) had identified Bin Ladin as an extreme threat and had made attempts on this life (not very effective ones, I'll admit) and apparently made this point to the Bush transition team and yet it was still almost seven months before Bush was even briefed on this issue.

Additionally, I think this memo should have had the effect of encouraging the administration to "shake the trees" and encourage all of the different agencies to review possible threats. Perhaps, this might have surfaced the infamous "Phoenix Memo" and we may have been able to track down some of the hijackers.

This is a lot of "what if's" and "maybe's", and in reality I think given the state of our intelligence community at that time the attack would have been exceedingly difficult to stop. For me the question is not whose fault, but how to prevent another attack. I personally do not hold Bush and his administration totally resonsible, the blame (as had been said by many) is widespread. I do hold the Bush administration responsible for poor follow-up and misguided action in the wake to 9-11(underfunding Homeland Security, not completing the Afganistan action before moving on to Iraq, the invasion of Iraq etc..) but that is another topic entirely.
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Old 04-12-2004, 10:17 AM   #39 (permalink)
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You are connecting dots in hindsight using facts known now that were either completely impossible or damned difficult to connect at the time.

This memo does not give any specific actionable information. It would be like me saying "I know John Kerry wants to win the Presidency of the US. We believe he will do this by trying to convince voters that he's a better alternative than Bush using ads and speeches targeting the economy, the war in Iraq, and Bush's actions during his first eight months in office." Now go ahead and stop him. I can pretty much guarantee that after the election I'll be able to offer specific examples of how to do it, but right now you don't know how things will play out so you're shooting in the dark as far as what you should do.
The memo said:
- bin laden had operatives in the USA
- they were planning an attack soon
- using explosives
- involving an airplane hijacking
- they were observing new york city federal buildings
- and recruiting muslim youth in NYC
- the FBI has 70 investigations going on
- and the CIA has a tip that an attack using explosives is imminent

All in just a two page memo. That looks pretty actionable to me. Especially since Clarke was also attempting to make Rice and others aware of the danger. You asked what could have been done. I answered. As I said, there were at least two tips, the one from Moussaoui's INS agent and the phoenix memo, that could have led to the stopping of the entire plot. All bush would have had to do was order a comprehensive review of intelligence, something that the Hart-Rudman report suggested back in february.

Instead, Bush was on his ranch in august, giving quotes to reporters about how his dogs like to chase each other.

What could Bush have done? Again, I say, anything.
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Old 04-12-2004, 10:28 AM   #40 (permalink)
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All bush would have had to do was order a comprehensive review of intelligence, something that the Hart-Rudman report suggested back in february.
Ahh yes, that's all he would have had to do. Go over millions or tens of millions scraps of paper, reports from the INS, NSA, CIA, local law enforcement, FBI, etc, etc, etc. and pick out half a dozen relevent points (while somehow dismissing the other millions) and link them. Yes, truly an easy thing to do.

And then, of course, make the leap from "hijacking planes" and "watching federal buildings" to crashing them into the WTC, the Pentagon, and perhaps the White House or Capitol Hill. Yep, that's all he had to do.
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