“I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.
I find it interesting when people look at history how few actually blame the Bush administration for failing to keep the country safe. After 9/11 – we all wrapped ourselves with the flag and rallied around the President and his policies. And frankly – President Bush’s decision to use the CIA in Afghanistan with a plan they developed under the Clinton administration was a very sound, smart decision. We put in place Hamid Karzai who is essentially a U.S. asset and paid off lots of tribal leaders. We even had help from the Iranians to negotiate the deal with Afghan warlords (true story – Iran helped America after 9/11).
But the pre 9/11 and the post Afghanistan takedown were complete failures for the Bush administration. The Bush administration failed to keep the country safe. Think about this – the guy was on vacation for an entire MONTH just 8 months into being in office. He hadn’t even been in place an entire year and Bush was on vacation for an entire month on his ranch. Now – if Bush were in TX or D.C. or Pakistan … he should hypothetically be able to have access to the same information really. His location shouldn’t matter at the end of the day. Unfortunately – he wasn’t just in a different location – he was OFF THE GRID for the CIA. He didn’t even talk to the CIA director once that month. All of this despite 7 different warnings from the CIA that an attack was imminent.
Our country’s first terrorist attack and biggest shock to our system since Pearl Harbor happened on Bush’s watch. But he wasn’t watching. Not only that – 10 years later … President Obama oversaw the operation to get Bin Laden and they got him. Immediately afterwards … the first thing former Bush administration officials did was claim that we got Bin Laden because of information gained from torturing Guantanamo detainees. This of course has been proven to be false and completely bogus. We received information courtesy of a CIA operation in Pakistan posing as a vaccine program where they swiped people’s DNA to look for Bin Laden and his informants.
Salon has the story HERE:
Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency. One from June called “Bin-Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats” writes that “[redacted] expects Usama Bin Laden to launch multiple attacks over the coming days.” The famous August brief called “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US” is included. “Al-Qai’da members, including some US citizens, have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure here,” it says.
During the entire month of August, President Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Texas — which tied with one of Richard Nixon’s as the longest vacation ever taken by a president. CIA Director George Tenet has said he didn’t speak to Bush once that month, describing the president as being “on leave.” Bush did not hold a Principals’ meeting on terrorism until September 4, 2001, having downgraded the meetings to a deputies’ meeting, which then-counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has repeatedly said slowed down anti-Bin Laden efforts “enormously, by months.”
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