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(Daily Kos)   "Bin Laden determined to strike in the US"? Yeah, turns out that was about the least alarming of the series of PDB's Bush ignored before 9/11   (dailykos.com ) divider line
    More: Followup, George Bush, Osama bin Laden, United States, George Tenet, imminent threat, Health Care, International, Chechnya, Bush administration  
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3974 clicks; posted to Politics » on 11 Sep 2012 at 6:39 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-11 08:04:11 AM  
That is the thing about 9/11. We had the intelligence we didn't have effective ways of combining what we knew and drawing an effective conclusion. In 2000/2001 there was still debates going on whether terrorism of mass destruction was possible or whether it would be counterproductive to the terrorist organizations goals.

Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.
 
2012-09-11 08:07:08 AM  

Carth: That is the thing about 9/11. We had the intelligence we didn't have effective ways of combining what we knew and drawing an effective conclusion. In 2000/2001 there was still debates going on whether terrorism of mass destruction was possible or whether it would be counterproductive to the terrorist organizations goals.

Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.


Or they (the intelligence organizations) did, and it's classified: we'll never know.
 
2012-09-11 08:12:24 AM  

MartinD-35: Carth: That is the thing about 9/11. We had the intelligence we didn't have effective ways of combining what we knew and drawing an effective conclusion. In 2000/2001 there was still debates going on whether terrorism of mass destruction was possible or whether it would be counterproductive to the terrorist organizations goals.

Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.

Or they (the intelligence organizations) did, and it's classified: we'll never know.


That's true. Had there been a smoking gun about the attack I think the 9/11 commissions recommendations on intelligence reform wouldn't have been as dramatic. If the IC got it right the commission could have called it an administrative failure and not completely reorganized a working system.

The fact they screwed up Iraq WMD so sooner after also makes me think the intelligence about bin ladin's attack wasn't as much a slam dunk as some people want to think. It is easy to piece things together with hind sight. It is really hard to predict a paradigm shift before it happens.
 
2012-09-11 08:19:58 AM  

shotglasss: Gorelick


get="_blank">EnviroDude: Too bad Clinton forced federal agencies not to share information with each other and even worse, that he passed on the opportunity to takeOBL into custody.

/ Bushs fault? Sure, but throw Party boy Clinton in there too as he has blood on his hands.


You guys realize this is an article talking about how information from federal agencies were being shared with the White House, right?
 
2012-09-11 08:21:33 AM  

Carth: Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.


Question. Do you think Obama deserves any credit for the eventually successful plan to get Bin Laden?

/Conversely, does Mitt Romney now look like an ass in those "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." ads the Obama campaign is currently running with?
 
2012-09-11 08:21:43 AM  

cc_rider: Close2TheEdge: cman: Darth_Lukecash: We cannot say if anyone else was President things would have been better or different.

This.

It is pointless speculation based upon individual feelings of the speculators of former President Bush. Their minds are already made up regardless of any truth. Kind of like 9/11 truthers or birthers, these people have only one opinion, and they are gonna make every piece of evidence fit into whatever their damn crazy mind tells them because they want to believe that he was that bad of a President.

Considering that Romney has surrounded himself with many of the same neo-con characters involved, I'd say that this speculation is quite relevant and worthy of review. Today, there will be millions of "Never Forget" banners on Facebook. Maybe those words should actually mean something instead of just being empty slogans.

Yes. Does anyone really think it's a coincidence that Mitt's foreign policy slogan is "An American Century"?

[i28.photobucket.com image 800x390]

Link


Is that Bizzarro Obama he's shaking hands with?
 
2012-09-11 08:23:06 AM  
Was there something that could be acted on in these briefs, or was it all "OMG! Bin Laden is going to strike us ANYDAY!"

If there was some chatter about "hey, he's going to do something with the airplanes," then yeah, that's something you can act on -- meet with your FAA administrator, your national security team, etc., etc., and within a day or two, there's a bulletin to all airports saying "Hey guys, be on the lookout for hijackings, etc."

But in the absence of further info -- you can't just increase security EVERYWHERE.
 
2012-09-11 08:29:30 AM  

MartinD-35: Carth: That is the thing about 9/11. We had the intelligence we didn't have effective ways of combining what we knew and drawing an effective conclusion. In 2000/2001 there was still debates going on whether terrorism of mass destruction was possible or whether it would be counterproductive to the terrorist organizations goals.

Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.

Or they (the intelligence organizations) did, and it's classified: we'll never know.


Well, seeing as the premise of this article is that, yes, they did connect a lot of the dots, told the president and the president ignored them, I'm not so sure that this is unknowable territory.

Not saying that action by Bush would have changed anything, but it's not hard to imagine a situation where a little heightened attention from the Executive, spurring better coordination, or mobilizing more assets could have thwarted bin Laden.

The fact all this alarm was brushed away as chaff thrown up by bin Laden in the improbable scenario of coordination with Saddam means that the opportunity was lost. And lost because the Administration had a creationist-like fixation on Iraq (which coincidentally had under-exploited oil resources...) and fixed the data to the theory instead of the other way around.
 
2012-09-11 08:29:43 AM  

Rashnu: Catch-22. He could only have stopped the attacks if liberals had already been cowed enough by the post-9/11 climate to have previously passed or allowed the PATRIOT Act, indefinite detentions and warrantless wire-taps.

But seriously: the important thing to not lose sight of is how badly he, Rumsfield, Wolfowitz, et al botched Iraq and Afghanistan (among other things) and the serious and long-ranging effects of their incompetence, mismanagement and skewed ideology.


Funny story, Clinton was "obsessed" with al Qaeda (according to the incoming bush administration), guess who blocked his attempts to put through a softball patriot act? Congressional Republicans.
 
2012-09-11 08:35:57 AM  

Darth_Lukecash: We cannot say if anyone else was President things would have been better or different.


Uh, you know what? I'll be the bold one to say had the 2000 election been honestly decided and not stolen, things would have been better. Do you seriously believe that the president being the son of the man who sent initially US forces for an indefinite period in Saudi Arabia had no part in the decision to attack? Do you really think that Gore would have been too busy vacationing to pay attention to a briefing from security officials? It's bad enough we have these "only history can judge" apologists acting like the administration didn't go on a multi-year decline from incompetents to crooks to downright war criminals, but let's not build further on this artifice of bullshiat into an all-bullshiat recreation of the Twin Towers just to make sure your guy doesn't look bad. Bush farked the fark up, and there are countless dead because of it. I can understand not wanting to feel respnosible if you voted for a guy you wanted to have a beer with in 2000, but it's important to remember that very fact in the face of the "BOTH SIDES ARE THE SAME" crowd too lazy to do their goddam reading.
 
2012-09-11 08:37:05 AM  

quatchi: Carth: Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.

Question. Do you think Obama deserves any credit for the eventually successful plan to get Bin Laden?

/Conversely, does Mitt Romney now look like an ass in those "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." ads the Obama campaign is currently running with?


Definitely. He was presented with good intelligence and made a tough decision on whether to order an air strike or use SEALs. I think he deserves a lot of credit for choosing special forces which provided evidence of the kill and saved civilian lives during the raid. I also think had the raid gone bad, and the black hawk crash resulted in 14 deaths, he would share some of the blame.
 
2012-09-11 08:38:49 AM  
This really adds a new dimension when I think about Bush and his admin officials saying "we cannot forget the lessons of 9/11."
 
2012-09-11 08:42:17 AM  

Carth: That's true. Had there been a smoking gun about the attack I think the 9/11 commissions recommendations on intelligence reform wouldn't have been as dramatic. If the IC got it right the commission could have called it an administrative failure and not completely reorganized a working system.


There's every reason to believe that if such information existed, it would have been twisted around to justify attacking Iraq. And, of course, part of the reason there wasn't a smoking gun was that Bush ignored all of the gun smoke that was filling up his intelligence so he could focus on Iraq.

The fact they screwed up Iraq WMD so sooner after also makes me think the intelligence about bin ladin's attack wasn't as much a slam dunk as some people want to think. It is easy to piece things together with hind sight. It is really hard to predict a paradigm shift before it happens.


The screwed up the Iraq WMD intel so badly because they were trying to get the intel to match with their pre-concieved policy goals, and not let the best intel shape their policy goals. That was why Cheney was spending so much time at the CIA--to ensure that the "right" intel got funneled to the right people.

Remember, this is the administration that denigrated the "reality-based community" as hopelessly quaint.

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.


/This goes to my pet theory that the problem with the GOP today is that they took the lessons learned in PR/Advertising and have seen them as the solutions in all realms of human activity.
 
2012-09-11 08:43:13 AM  

cman: If there is one thing in Government that is always a constant it is the complete incompetence of federal employees and elected officials.


No, sorry CMAN.

You may want to remember that the Clinton administration got warnings of a potential bombing plan (Millinium Bomb Plot) and broke it up, capturing numerous terrorists around the world, while working with our allies in stopping about a dozen or so planned acts of terrorism

Stop projecting! Just because Republicans claim that government "doesn't work" and when obtaining office do everything they can to make that claim true, doesn't mean that others can't competently run the thing.

Sorry, this one is on the Bush Administration and it's neocon policy makers, who wanted to take out Saddam to the exclusion of actually protecting the US from "real" threats.
 
2012-09-11 08:43:53 AM  

hinten: vygramul: Look, I'm not the type to sit around defending Bush - Lord knows there's plenty of reasons not to. But the administration did not want to get hit, would love to have done things differently, and there are an unbelievable number of warnings almost every day.

Yes, on top of that, my favorite excuse: "Nobody could have thought of something as crazy as flying planes into buildings."
No, thousands and thousands of professionals who have no other job than to protect this country, gather intelligence, come up with all kinds of crazy scenarios, and warn the right people, could have never thought of this. Everyone is a professional with deep knowledge on every subject and the so called "experts" no nothing that you couldn't do better.


Google who said, "the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center."
 
2012-09-11 08:44:20 AM  

Darth_Lukecash: We cannot say if anyone else was President things would have been better or different.


Clinton was given an similar warning of a possible terrorist threat to airlines, and immediately called the FAA and spoke with the FBI. The FAA started cracking down on Airport security in 1996.

So yeah, we know what other presidents would do.
 
2012-09-11 08:48:04 AM  

hinten: Yes, on top of that, my favorite excuse: "Nobody could have thought of something as crazy as flying planes into buildings."


Hell, Hollywood writers came up with that scenario in The Lone Gunman TV show.
 
2012-09-11 08:53:56 AM  

Carth: That is the thing about 9/11. We had the intelligence we didn't have effective ways of combining what we knew and drawing an effective conclusion. In 2000/2001 there was still debates going on whether terrorism of mass destruction was possible or whether it would be counterproductive to the terrorist organizations goals.

Bush screwed up a lot of things during his presidency we don't need to blame him for not connecting the dots our billion dollar intelligence organizations couldn't point out.


That was the farking problem...they did point it out! It's not like there are shades about this, people were begging his staff to see reason. How much more pointing out could have been done? He didn't need to do anything that any mediocre leader wouldnt have done. To this day we thwart attacks because the people that need to react to these reports do so. People before the bush did, bush's people did after 9/11. It's important that history gets this right or the same kind of mistake is more likely in the future! Don't sugar coat responsibility because it was such a traumatizing event.
 
2012-09-11 08:55:59 AM  
It's like Hurricane Katrina. How could anybody have possibly prepared for that and acted on it? It's weather, it's not like they get reports in advance, and sometimes it's bad info, so what can you do?
 
2012-09-11 08:56:39 AM  

stpickrell: If there was some chatter about "hey, he's going to do something with the airplanes," then yeah, that's something you can act on -- meet with your FAA administrator, your national security team, etc., etc., and within a day or two, there's a bulletin to all airports saying "Hey guys, be on the lookout for hijackings, etc."

But in the absence of further info -- you can't just increase security EVERYWHERE.


You know what you could do? You could actually pay attention instead of focusing instead on Iraq.

From the article:

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.


A reminder on who Zacarious Moussauoui was:

On August 16, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested by Harry Samit of the FBI and INS agents in Minnesota and charged with an immigration violation.[21] Materials itemized when he was arrested included a laptop computer, two knives, flight manuals pertaining to Boeing's 747 aircraft, a flight simulator computer program, fighting gloves and shin guards, and a computer disk with information about crop dusting.[21]

Some agents worried that his flight training had violent intentions, so the Minnesota bureau tried to get permission (sending over 70 emails in a week) to search his laptop, but they were turned down.[22] FBI agent Coleen Rowley made an explicit request for permission to search Moussaoui's personal rooms. This request was first denied by her superior, Deputy General Counsel Marion "Spike" Bowman, and later rejected based upon FISA regulations (amended after 9/11 by the USA Patriot Act). Several further search attempts similarly failed.

Ahmed Ressam, the captured al-Qaeda Millennium Bomber, was at the time sharing information with the U.S. authorities, in an effort to gain leniency in his sentencing. One person whom he was not asked about until after 9/11, but whom he was able to identify when asked as having trained with him at al-Qaeda's Khalden Camp in Afghanistan, was Moussaoui.[23] The 9/11 Commission Report opined that had Ressam been asked about Moussaoui, he would have broken the FBI's logjam.[23] Had that happened, the Report opined, the U.S. might conceivably have disrupted or derailed the September 11 attacks altogether.[23]


Sure, it's a little 20/20 hindsighting to say that this should have been the smoking gun, but the fact of the matter is that 1. Intelligence agencies were screaming that something BIG was going down, and 2. We had, in custody, the guy who could spill the beans, but we weren't even asking the right questions. Sure there were some regulatory hurdles that had to be overcome to access his evidence, and I suppose there are many who will point to those and say "See!! Clinton! Gorelick!!!", but I find it hard to believe that if the Executive was heeding the warnings, instead of focusing on their policy goals, that probably cause couldn't have been determined to allow access.
 
2012-09-11 08:56:43 AM  

EnviroDude: Too bad Clinton forced federal agencies not to share information with each other and even worse, that he passed on the opportunity to takeOBL into custody.

/ Bushs fault? Sure, but throw Party boy Clinton in there too as he has blood on his hands.


Good thing Obama took care of their fark ups right?
 
2012-09-11 08:59:22 AM  

KiplingKat872: hinten: Yes, on top of that, my favorite excuse: "Nobody could have thought of something as crazy as flying planes into buildings."

Hell, Hollywood writers came up with that scenario in The Lone Gunman TV show.


It was the central plot of a bestselling Tom Clancy novel as well.

I just about tossed my teevee out the window when I heard "nobody could have imagined".

Nobody could imagine what precisely?

Terrorists hijacking planes?

Terrorists attacking the World Trade Centers?

Suicide bombing?

Yeah, Al Qaeda invented all three concepts on the morning of 9/10 and went with it.
 
2012-09-11 09:00:20 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-09-11 09:00:29 AM  
All these warnings are old news, it's just a guy selling a book, heard him on NPR today... here's an old list of warnings, most with cites...

January 25, 2001: Clarke Warns Rice Al-Qaeda Cells Are Inside US and Are 'Major Threat'

May 30, 2001: FBI Is Warned of Major Al-Qaeda Operation in the US Involving Hijackings, Explosives, and/or New York City

Summer 2001: Bin Laden Speech Mentions 20 Martyrs in Upcoming Attack; Other Hints of Attack Spread Widely [9/11 Commission, 6/16/2004]

June 2001: Germans Warn of Plan to Use Aircraft as Missiles on US and Israeli Symbols [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt), 9/11/2001; Washington Post, 9/14/2001; Fox News, 5/17/2002]

June 4, 2001: Illegal Afghans Overheard Discussing New York City Hijacking Attack [Miami Herald, 9/20/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001]

June 13, 2001: Bin Laden Wants to Assassinate Bush with an Explosives-Filled Airplane [New York Times, 6/4/2002]

Late Summer 2001: Jordan Warns US That Aircraft Will Be Used in Major Attack Inside the US

July 2001: India Warns US of Possible Terror Attacks [Fox News, 5/17/2002]

July 8, 2001: Prominent Prisoner Publicly Warns of Al-Qaeda Intent to Export Violence to US Soil

July 16, 2001: British Spy Agencies Warn Al-Qaeda Is in The Final Stages of Attack in the West [London Times, 6/14/2002]

Late July 2001: Argentina Relays Warning to the US [Forward, 5/31/2002]

Late July 2001: Taliban Foreign Minister Tries to Warn US and UN of Huge Attack Inside the US [Independent, 9/7/2002; Reuters, 9/7/2002]

Late July 2001: Egypt Warns CIA of 20 Al-Qaeda Operatives in US; Four Training to Fly [CBS News, 10/9/2002]

August 2001: Moroccan Informant Warns US of Large Scale, Imminent Attack in New York [Agence France-Presse, 11/22/2001; International Herald Tribune, 5/21/2002; London Times, 6/12/2002]

August 2001: Russia Warns US of Suicide Pilots [Fox News, 5/17/2002]

August 2001: Persian Gulf Informant Gives Ex-CIA Agent Information About 'Spectacular Terrorist Operation' [Baer, 2002, pp. 55-58; Financial Times, 1/12/2002]

Early August 2001: Britain Warns US Again; Specifies Multiple Airplane Hijackings [Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 5/19/2002]

August 8-15, 2001: Israel Reportedly Warns of Major Assault on the US [Daily Telegraph, 9/16/2001; Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001]

August 23, 2001: Mossad Reportedly Gives CIA List of Terrorist Living in US; at Least Four 9/11 Hijackers Named [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 10/1/2002]

August 24, 2001: Foreign Intelligence Reminds US of Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack within US

August 29, 2001: Cayman Islands Letter Warns of 'Major Terrorist Act Against US via an Airline or Airlines' [Miami Herald, 9/20/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001; MSNBC, 9/23/2001]

August 30, 2001-September 4, 2001: Egypt Warns Al-Qaeda Is in Advanced Stages of Planning Significant Attack on US [New York Times, 6/4/2002]

Late August 2001: French Warning to US Echoes Earlier Israeli Warning [Fox News, 5/17/2002]

September 4, 2001: Mossad Gives Another Warning of Major, Imminent Attack [Sunday Mail, 9/16/2001]

September 7, 2001: French Give 'Very Specific Information' about Possible Attack on US Soil [Le Figaro (Paris), 10/31/2001]
 
2012-09-11 09:06:24 AM  

Headso: All these warnings are old news, it's just a guy selling a book, heard him on NPR today... here's an old list of warnings, most with cites...


And yet here we are, eleven years to the day after the disaster, and people still don't want to accept that there was any way possible to foresee the event.
 
2012-09-11 09:10:35 AM  

Skleenar: stpickrell: If there was some chatter about "hey, he's going to do something with the airplanes," then yeah, that's something you can act on -- meet with your FAA administrator, your national security team, etc., etc., and within a day or two, there's a bulletin to all airports saying "Hey guys, be on the lookout for hijackings, etc."

But in the absence of further info -- you can't just increase security EVERYWHERE.

You know what you could do? You could actually pay attention instead of focusing instead on Iraq.

From the article:

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.

A reminder on who Zacarious Moussauoui was:

On August 16, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested by Harry Samit of the FBI and INS agents in Minnesota and charged with an immigration violation.[21] Materials itemized when he was arrested included a laptop computer, two knives, flight manuals pertaining to Boeing's 747 aircraft, a flight simulator computer program, fighting gloves and shin guards, and a computer disk with information about crop dusting.[21]

Some agents worried that his flight training had violent intentions, so the Minnesota bureau tried to get permission (sending over 70 emails in a week) to search his laptop, but they were turned down.[22] FBI agent Coleen Rowley made an explicit request for permission to search Moussaoui's personal rooms. This request was first denied by her superior, Deputy General Counsel Marion "Spike" Bowman, and later rejected based upon FISA regulations (amended after 9/11 by the USA Patriot Act). Several further search attempts similarly failed.

Ahmed Ressam, the captured al-Qaeda Millennium Bomber, was at the time sharing information with the U.S. authorities, in an effort to gain leniency in his sentencing. One person whom he was not asked about until after 9/11, but whom he was able to identify when asked as having trained with him at al-Qaeda's Khalden Camp in Afghanistan, was Moussaoui.[23] The 9/11 Commission Report opined that had Ressam been asked about Moussaoui, he would have broken the FBI's logjam.[23] Had that happened, the Report opined, the U.S. might conceivably have disrupted or derailed the September 11 attacks altogether.[23]

Sure, it's a little 20/20 hindsighting to say that this should have been the smoking gun, but the fact of the matter is that 1. Intelligence agencies were screaming that something BIG was going down, and 2. We had, in custody, the guy who could spill the beans, but we weren't even asking the right questions. Sure there were some regulatory hurdles that had to be overcome to access his evidence, and I suppose there are many who will point to those and say "See!! Clinton! Gorelick!!!", but I find it hard to believe that if the Executive was heeding the warnings, instead of focusing on their policy goals, that probably cause couldn't have been determined to allow access.


Ding-ding! It was the arresting agent for Zacharias Moussaoui that wrote in his report, "[he's] the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center."
 
2012-09-11 09:13:32 AM  
I hesitated to click on the NYT link. I half feared seeing some quoted blah, blah, blah about UFOs, alleging that steel can't melt, that there was no plane at the Pentagon, and cr@p of that nature. I was wrong. I'm glad I clicked the link. I'm also glad I clicked this link and read this thread.

My kids are studying 9/11 at school. I've printed the NYT article. I may have them read this thread as well. It's a little salty, but I know that they've heard all before now. (They began public school and riding the bus for the first time this year and my son joyfully shared that, on the bus, he has heard more bad words than he ever knew existed. He was so excited.)
 
2012-09-11 09:13:46 AM  
Well. This won't make me hate George W. Bush and his friends anymore, but I have some confirmation bias.
 
2012-09-11 09:16:13 AM  
Ari Fleischer is upset; anyone who questions the Bush administration national security failings is a truther. Link
 
2012-09-11 09:17:02 AM  

More_Like_A_Stain: And yet here we are, eleven years to the day after the disaster, and people still don't want to accept that there was any way possible to foresee the event.


While I don't believe Bush actually knew in advance and let it happen, I sure as hell wouldn't say the same about other snakes like Wolfowitz or Cheney or Rumsfeld. Moreso a Wolfowitz or Cheney (throw in Rove), since the political/reptilian side of their brain would probably say, "We can turn this to our advantage and enact war-time measures".

I could definitely see Cheney weighing the political consequences of doing nothing and losing 3000+ U.S. citizens, half of whom are probably Democrats anyway, vs the opportunity to crank up the US military to full capacity against another semi-defenseless 3rd world country.

They just totally farked up on the aftermath, the disastrous occupation. Probably because they're chickenhawks with massive egos who aren't going to listen to some goddamn leftist 3 star general.
 
2012-09-11 09:17:49 AM  
oldnewsissoexciting.jpg

Anyone who thinks the 'bin Laden determined to strike US' report is significant (or worse, the smoking gun) either hasn't read it or doesn't understand it. And it's missing the point: the intelligence failure was vast, on many levels and across many fronts.

hinten: Yes, on top of that, my favorite excuse: "Nobody could have thought of something as crazy as flying planes into buildings."
No, thousands and thousands of professionals who have no other job than to protect this country, gather intelligence, come up with all kinds of crazy scenarios, and warn the right people, could have never thought of this. Everyone is a professional with deep knowledge on every subject and the so called "experts" no nothing that you couldn't do better.


Thinking up plans and having contingencies is very different than actively defending against such a scenario. Assuming some guy in the basement of the Pentagon thought up this exact scenario and wrote out how to react, when the fark would it ever come into play? Nobody expected it, and without solid intel that such an attack vector was imminent, the scenario wouldn't have been useful at all.
 
2012-09-11 09:19:21 AM  

jakomo002: While I don't believe Bush actually knew in advance and let it happen, I sure as hell wouldn't say the same about other snakes like Wolfowitz or Cheney or Rumsfeld. Moreso a Wolfowitz or Cheney (throw in Rove), since the political/reptilian side of their brain would probably say, "We can turn this to our advantage and enact war-time measures".

I could definitely see Cheney weighing the political consequences of doing nothing and losing 3000+ U.S. citizens, half of whom are probably Democrats anyway, vs the opportunity to crank up the US military to full capacity against another semi-defenseless 3rd world country.


Well, at least we got rid of one of the bastards responsible for this anniversary.
 
2012-09-11 09:20:17 AM  

stpickrell: Was there something that could be acted on in these briefs, or was it all "OMG! Bin Laden is going to strike us ANYDAY!"

If there was some chatter about "hey, he's going to do something with the airplanes," then yeah, that's something you can act on -- meet with your FAA administrator, your national security team, etc., etc., and within a day or two, there's a bulletin to all airports saying "Hey guys, be on the lookout for hijackings, etc."

But in the absence of further info -- you can't just increase security EVERYWHERE.


I think as has been mentioned, it is always easy to lay blame for missing things that seem obvious in hindsight - especially as you note when there is no obvious action to pursue from the information being found. It isn't like a root and branch replacement of the CIA had been undertaken, so the information coming in and who was being watched, and the methods in place, were all unchanged. It is certainly possible a different administration could have seen things differently about the warning signs and assigned it higher priority, but that is speculation - after all how many other threats through the years have been raised to a PDB but then been resolved or come to nothing, and even if more resources were assigned, would they have achieved anything? In hindsight it will always look like the threat that turned out to be a real issue was ignored or not prioritized enough, but that discounts the various other threats that looked equally or more credible at the time competing for attention and resources. Things like the PNAC statement can be discarded out of hand with minimal consideration: so you are so sneaky and evil you will help/allow a major terrorist attack on US soil, but so stupid you will publish your intent to do so publicly on the internet - reading it as a hypothetical aside of the author makes far more sense than reading it as a declaration of intent.

One thing that is a bit disturbing is the lack of communication between NORAD and the FAA - it seems surprising that interception (discreetly) by fighter aircraft wouldn't be standard for any hijacking in US airspace even before 9/11 - it is not as if the idea of using a plane as a weapon is an obscure thing that nobody before these terrorists had thought of (plenty of movies and books have had plots based on it before, like Tom Clancy's excuse to make his Mary Sue President in his books), so you would think in the various military "war games" it would be something that the "bad guys" should have tried and lessons learned from it before it happened for real, but there is a tendency with those sorts of things to only prepare them for the sort of event that the system is already designed to protect against, allowing refinement of current processes, and not be so good at working out flaws in the system

Obviously the thing the Bush Administration can really be crucified on is using 9/11 to "justify" the Iraq war, and by stretching their resources (and not planning for the occupation virtually at all, or even actively discouraging such planning), screwing up both Afghanistan and Iraq. And the horrendous experiments in counter insurgency/counter terrorism - not just torture, but also things like the bounty systems for locals killing "Al Qaeda" operatives while having no way of knowing if they really were or just more civilian victims of local feuds and rivalries, or just the full bore anti-Sunni genocide they effectively funded in Iraq. Given how cynical they abused the power the 9/11 attacks gave them, I can see why people assume the worst about their other actions, and they barely deserve any defense - the problem being the same with Hitler/Nazism - if you turn an actual event/group/people into some caricature of evil (or incompetence) you make similar events more likely in future as it makes it more difficult to spot similar traits or events happening again.
 
2012-09-11 09:20:47 AM  

MartinD-35: I may be outing my previous alt here, but my brother was quite involved in all that stuff at the time. He was named ambassador to Tajikistan by Bush right after 9/11 (career diplomat, not a republicon). He assured me that there were weapons of mass destruction right after we invaded Iraq. He said "I've seen the intelligence, it was incontrovertible." He's pretty sorry he made that statement today. "We all got fooled by photoshopped evidence."


Goddamn did we have some dumbfark people in government at the time.

No offense to your brother.
 
2012-09-11 09:21:34 AM  

sprawl15: Anyone who thinks the 'bin Laden determined to strike US' report is significant (or worse, the smoking gun) either hasn't read it or doesn't understand it. And it's missing the point: the intelligence failure was vast, on many levels and across many fronts.

January 25, 2001: Clarke Warns Rice Al-Qaeda Cells Are Inside US and Are 'Major Threat'

May 30, 2001: FBI Is Warned of Major Al-Qaeda Operation in the US Involving Hijackings, Explosives, and/or New York City

Summer 2001: Bin Laden Speech Mentions 20 Martyrs in Upcoming Attack; Other Hints of Attack Spread Widely [9/11 Commission, 6/16/2004]

June 2001: Germans Warn of Plan to Use Aircraft as Missiles on US and Israeli Symbols [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt), 9/11/2001; Washington Post, 9/14/2001; Fox News, 5/17/2002]

June 4, 2001: Illegal Afghans Overheard Discussing New York City Hijacking Attack [Miami Herald, 9/20/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001]

June 13, 2001: Bin Laden Wants to Assassinate Bush with an Explosives-Filled Airplane [New York Times, 6/4/2002]

Late Summer 2001: Jordan Warns US That Aircraft Will Be Used in Major Attack Inside the US

July 2001: India Warns US of Possible Terror Attacks [Fox News, 5/17/2002]

July 8, 2001: Prominent Prisoner Publicly Warns of Al-Qaeda Intent to Export Violence to US Soil

July 16, 2001: British Spy Agencies Warn Al-Qaeda Is in The Final Stages of Attack in the West [London Times, 6/14/2002]

Late July 2001: Argentina Relays Warning to the US [Forward, 5/31/2002]

Late July 2001: Taliban Foreign Minister Tries to Warn US and UN of Huge Attack Inside the US [Independent, 9/7/2002; Reuters, 9/7/2002]

Late July 2001: Egypt Warns CIA of 20 Al-Qaeda Operatives in US; Four Training to Fly [CBS News, 10/9/2002]

August 2001: Moroccan Informant Warns US of Large Scale, Imminent Attack in New York [Agence France-Presse, 11/22/2001; International Herald Tribune, 5/21/2002; London Times, 6/12/2002]

August 2001: Russia Warns US of Suicide Pilots [Fox News, 5/17/2002]

August 2001: Persian Gulf Informant Gives Ex-CIA Agent Information About 'Spectacular Terrorist Operation' [Baer, 2002, pp. 55-58; Financial Times, 1/12/2002]

Early August 2001: Britain Warns US Again; Specifies Multiple Airplane Hijackings [Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 5/19/2002]

August 8-15, 2001: Israel Reportedly Warns of Major Assault on the US [Daily Telegraph, 9/16/2001; Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001]

August 23, 2001: Mossad Reportedly Gives CIA List of Terrorist Living in US; at Least Four 9/11 Hijackers Named [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 10/1/2002]

August 24, 2001: Foreign Intelligence Reminds US of Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack within US

August 29, 2001: Cayman Islands Letter Warns of 'Major Terrorist Act Against US via an Airline or Airlines' [Miami Herald, 9/20/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001; MSNBC, 9/23/2001]

August 30, 2001-September 4, 2001: Egypt Warns Al-Qaeda Is in Advanced Stages of Planning Significant Attack on US [New York Times, 6/4/2002]

Late August 2001: French Warning to US Echoes Earlier Israeli Warning [Fox News, 5/17/2002]

September 4, 2001: Mossad Gives Another Warning of Major, Imminent Attack [Sunday Mail, 9/16/2001]

September 7, 2001: French Give 'Very Specific Information' about Possible Attack on US Soil [Le Figaro (Paris), 10/31/2001]


I'll say. That a pretty vast list of ignored intelligence, across many fronts.
 
2012-09-11 09:21:46 AM  

EyeballKid: It's like Hurricane Katrina. How could anybody have possibly prepared for that and acted on it? It's weather, it's not like they get reports in advance, and sometimes it's bad info, so what can you do?


What is really sad? Two years previously they had run computer models and the engineers told them the dikes were not sufficient.
 
2012-09-11 09:22:09 AM  
Sure this one warning he ignored resulted in an attack.

Where's all the articles about the warnings he ignored that didn't result in terrorist attacks? Its always about the blame game, never any credit for ignoring warnings that result in attacks.
 
2012-09-11 09:22:16 AM  
I would be surprised if no one didn't know about this already. It's old news to me. Consider also how he called off the attacks on bin Laden that Clinton had been doing and how Saddam "tried to kill my daddy". Bush wanted the attacks to happen. Much like how Pearl Harbor is now known to have been allowed to happen in order to bring the United States into war. The United States wanted to stay at peace both during World War II and prior to 9/11. Hard to justify an attack on Iraq if you have no real excuse.
 
2012-09-11 09:22:17 AM  

sprawl15: oldnewsissoexciting.jpg

Anyone who thinks the 'bin Laden determined to strike US' report is significant (or worse, the smoking gun) either hasn't read it or doesn't understand it. And it's missing the point: the intelligence failure was vast, on many levels and across many fronts.

hinten: Yes, on top of that, my favorite excuse: "Nobody could have thought of something as crazy as flying planes into buildings."
No, thousands and thousands of professionals who have no other job than to protect this country, gather intelligence, come up with all kinds of crazy scenarios, and warn the right people, could have never thought of this. Everyone is a professional with deep knowledge on every subject and the so called "experts" no nothing that you couldn't do better.

Thinking up plans and having contingencies is very different than actively defending against such a scenario. Assuming some guy in the basement of the Pentagon thought up this exact scenario and wrote out how to react, when the fark would it ever come into play? Nobody expected it, and without solid intel that such an attack vector was imminent, the scenario wouldn't have been useful at all.


If you are concerned about hijacked airplanes, and more to the point hijacked airplanes being used as weapons, there was a simple , low cost. obvious fix. Put farking locks on the cockpit doors. One simple regulation was all that was required to act on that scenario.
 
2012-09-11 09:22:21 AM  

Free Radical: EnviroDude: Too bad Clinton forced federal agencies not to share information with each other and even worse, that he passed on the opportunity to takeOBL into custody.

/ Bushs fault? Sure, but throw Party boy Clinton in there too as he has blood on his hands.

Good thing Obama took care of their fark ups right?


Too bad after neither of those things are true.

Clinton initiated the integration of a homeland security-like information-sharing program, albeit late enough in his presidency to not get off the ground. Seems unlikely he would oppose and then personally initiate that concept. Do you have sources?

The Sudanese government never had bin laden. End of story. The "intermediary" who made the offer was a known liar and self-aggrandizing fake power broker by the name of Mansoor Ijaz. Look him up.

Clinton had an unprecedented focus on terrorism and bin laden, the incoming bush administration thought he was obsessed. We've been over this a hundred times, wake up.
 
2012-09-11 09:24:08 AM  

jakomo002: They just totally farked up on the aftermath, the disastrous occupation.


A lot of money changed hands over that "disaster". I'm not so sure it was farked up. I'm not saying that 9/11 was a government conspiracy, but it was one hell of an opportunity for some to make a pile of cash.
 
2012-09-11 09:28:25 AM  

Philip Francis Queeg: If you are concerned about hijacked airplanes, and more to the point hijacked airplanes being used as weapons, there was a simple , low cost. obvious fix. Put farking locks on the cockpit doors. One simple regulation was all that was required to act on that scenario.


The country was on a Clinton contact high and the average American is a crybaby who whines about anything they can. I mean, the problem was that they didn't even bother putting the pieces together to realize there was a problem, but if we assume they figured that out then people would have just cried 'fearmonger'. People were still incredibly pissed about Bush v Gore and it wouldn't have been totally unreasonable to see Bush suddenly putting locks on cockpit doors and increasing airport security as simply trying to prop up a boogeyman.

The Bush administration's ultimate point of failure was laziness and a dismissive attitude - nobody actually put in enough work at the higher levels to recognize an imminent threat despite the evidence being all around them.
 
2012-09-11 09:28:42 AM  

xria: I think as has been mentioned, it is always easy to lay blame for missing things that seem obvious in hindsight


But here's the thing: It's not like this information existed in a vacuum. I mean, if GWB just happened to pop into office and then all sorts of information started coming at him, sure, it would be really tough to prioritize.

But in order to claim that he shouldn't have known better, you have to believe that he wasn't specifically warned by his predecessor to pay attention to bin Laden, and that their own Counter-terrorism Czar wasn't screaming at them to pay attention.

And the only believable reason I can find that they ignored these warnings (or, pre-prioritization, if you prefer) is that they didn't fit with their desired policy goals.and/or were "tainted" by domestic partisan politics.
 
2012-09-11 09:29:24 AM  

js34603: Sure this one warning he ignored resulted in an attack.


you miscounted.
 
2012-09-11 09:29:55 AM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Ari Fleischer is upset; anyone who questions the Bush administration national security failings is a truther. Link


Ari Fleischer has the rare status of being someone who steeped in the exegetical and hermeneutical reasoning in the Talmud, yet can always be relied upon to reach the wrong conclusion after applying approximately zero brain power to it.
 
2012-09-11 09:30:24 AM  

deadcrickets: . Much like how Pearl Harbor is now knowntheorized, by some, to have been allowed to happen in order to bring the United States into war.

 
2012-09-11 09:30:30 AM  

cman: Darth_Lukecash: We cannot say if anyone else was President things would have been better or different.

This.

It is pointless speculation based upon individual feelings of the speculators of former President Bush. Their minds are already made up regardless of any truth. Kind of like 9/11 truthers or birthers, these people have only one opinion, and they are gonna make every piece of evidence fit into whatever their damn crazy mind tells them because they want to believe that he was that bad of a President.


On the other hand, 30 pct of the population appears to believe that the attacks actually occurred in 2000.
 
2012-09-11 09:31:13 AM  
FTFA[T]he 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.

The Iraq War was set in stone from the moment Bush took office. 9/11 was first a distraction, then an excuse to go into Iraq and start handing out no-bid contracts to cronies with zero accountability, while simultaneously siphoning oil and raising gas prices to astronomical levels. The Iraqi invasion and occupation was corporate fraud concealed by a war.

Neocons are the absolute scum of the Earth, and if Romney wins, they'll be in power again.
 
2012-09-11 09:32:31 AM  

sprawl15: People were still incredibly pissed about Bush v Gore and it wouldn't have been totally unreasonable to see Bush suddenly putting locks on cockpit doors and increasing airport security as simply trying to prop up a boogeyman.


That's a kind of bizarre contra-factual scenario.
 
2012-09-11 09:32:54 AM  

sprawl15: but if we assume they figured that out then people would have just cried 'fearmonger'.


People were well aware of terrorism at the time, the wtc was already bombed once along with our embassies. It wasn't like it was after 9/11 but people understood that a terrorists could attack America.
 
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