New York Times Reports More Bush 9/11 Negligence

This is only the tip of the iceberg. From a NYT exclusive:

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real. […]

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.

Suddenly the Richard Clarke, Michael Moore and Al Franken writings of that era don’t seem so far fetched, do they?

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  • Ned F

    I can’t help think that if 9/11 had happened on Clinton’s watch, the shame and derision against him and Democrats in general would last a generation. We wouldn’t even consider putting the whole team back in office 10 years later.

    • ninjaf

      But hey…Bush kept us safe the rest of his presidency so that makes him tough on National Security!

      WTH?

      • KXA

        Sure! Especially if you discount an anthrax attack, a drowned city and an epic economic meltdown. From 9-11 on, the only choice for the Bush/Cheney administration was between incompetence and complicity. This clearly explains why neither Bush nor Cheney would agree to tell the truth to the 9-11 commission.

    • JWheels

      I honestly believe the attacks would not have happened under Clinton or any other national security/foreign policy team Republican or Democrat. It took willfull ignorance and manipulation by the neocons in order for Bush and his administration to take literally no action despite the CIA warnings of an imminent attack. Ultimately 9/11 happened and the neocons got their war with Iraq on top of it. I’m not one of the conspiracy theorists that call it an “inside job” but I don’t think those two facts are unrelated.

      • D_C_Wilson

        I’ve always said: If a democrat, any democrat, had been in the White House on 9/11, the republicans in the House would have voted to impeach him on 9/12.

        Bush was granted an unprecedented feeling of national unity, one that hadn’t been seen since Pearl Harbor. But there is no way in Hell the GOP would have reciprocated those feelings if a democrat had been president.

        • nathkatun7

          “I’ve always said: If a democrat, any democrat, had been in the White House on 9/11, the republicans in the House would have voted to impeach him on 9/12.”

          You are absolutely right D_C_Wilson! I suspect that is why Right wingers insist on blaming Bill Clinton for 9/11. At the same time they blame Obama for the economic and finical melt down that took place while Bush was still in office. Guess what? The corporate (a.k.a mainstream) media lets the Right wing Republicans get away with this BS!

  • gescove

    The entire Bush administration dismissed the warnings. Cond0leezza Rice (and other) lied to Congress about what they knew and when. They villified truth-sayers like Richard Clarke. They destroyed the careers of people like Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame who dared to oppose the insane run up to a neocon war on Iraq. The despicable Bush crowd has a special place in hell reserved just for them… and they can’t move in fast enough for my liking.

  • JMAshby

    Romney would populate his administration with the same crop of incompetent, negligent neocons who have a hard-on for bombing Iran.

    • Chachizel

      Fucking INSANE that any rational American would even consider giving these clowns the keys to this car again. BUT….it is still going to be a close election. What a country we live in. Sigh…

    • bphoon

      “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” – President George W. Bush, September 17, 2002, Nashville, TN

    • bphoon

      In the immediate aftermath of “active combat operations” in Iraq, while virtually all of that country, save the Oil Ministry building, was being looted as US soldiers sat at Baghdad Airport awaiting further orders, I remember Tim Russert asking Donald Rumsfeld on Meet the Press why the Defense Department didn’t do better post war planning. Rumsfeld answered that they’d indeed planned for lots of things but that the things that happened were the things they hadn’t planned for. I stopped and thought, ‘So, Mr. Secretary, instead of actually committing malfeasance in office, you’re simply incompetent.’ No other choice…

      • nathkatun7

        bphoon, you left out something else that Rumsfeld said about the ongoing looting in Baghdad that included precious antiquity artifacts. Rumsfeld blamed the looting on a “messy democracy.” That was enough for me. Here was my government that plunged our country in an ill-conceived war but had absolutely no plan about how to manage the war’s aftermath.

        The incompetence following the fall of Baghdad was repeated two years later in dealing with the Aftermath of a hurricane in New Orleans. The fact that Romney is relying on many of the people responsible for the disasters in Baghdad and New Orleans is quite telling. If we had a competent media there is no way Romney would get away with re-hiring Bush cronies who almost destroyed this country.

    • nathkatun7

      Yet the corporate media fails to inform the American people that Romney is relying on the same Bush team that led us into a war in Iraq based on lies. To be honest, I think the greatest threat to American democracy is our current corporate media that are so obsessed with trivia, polls, sensationalism, and parroting right wing talking points.

  • http://twitter.com/Sweetey15 Janet ODell

    I used to get very upset with those “conspiracy theories” about Bush’s “inside job on 9/11.” Not any longer. I have done much research and reading these past 3 years on this subject and I am finding it much more difficult to completely deny it. There are just too many things that don’t add up.

  • bphoon

    “I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum where I can apologize to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11. To them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television, your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you, and I failed you. We tried hard but that doesn’t matter because we failed. And for that failure I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.” – Richard Clarke during his opening statement in testimony before the 9/11 Commission, June 8, 2004.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=608473n

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I would never think that 9/11 was an inside conspiracy planned by the Bush administration to get the country into war with Iraq – I believe what Richard Clarke said about them being dumbfounded the day it happened. They can’t be THAT evil.

    But stories, like the one in today’s NYT, just give the 9/11 truthers more ammunition to sell.

  • D_C_Wilson

    If nothing else, it shows how myopically focused the Bush administration was on Saddam Hussein to the exclusive of anything else. Prior to 9/11, they were convinced that Saddam was behind everything. On 9/11, Rumsfeld even argued for bombing Iraq because there were “no targets” in Afghanistan. They bent over backwards to find and then insinuate a connection between Iraq and 9/11.

    And of course, they ultimately used 9/11 to bully their way into a blank check to invade Iraq.

    Not much has change in this crew since then, either. All they’ve done is transfer their focus from Saddam to Ahmenajadd. If they get back in power, it will only be a matter of time until they found a pretext to take us to war against Iran.

    • nathkatun7

      Actually the administration was already planning to invade Iraq. I think they knew fully well that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. They just used 9/11 to justify the invasion because they knew that the vast majority of Americans had no direct knowledge and would easily embrace their propaganda; especially in the aftermath of a horrific attacks that took the lives of innocent people.