Bush and Cheney were warned. Bush and Cheney yawned. And then 9/11 happened
Bombshell new interviews with CIA officials make clear what we’ve always suspected: Their negligence is horrifying
salon.com | Friday, Nov 13, 2015 05:30 PM EST
Documentarian Chris Whipple has some new bombshell revelations about how the Bush administration ignored the advance warnings of 9/11 in story for Politico, “‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular,’” a spin-off of his documentary, “The Spymasters,” set to air this month on Showtime, in which he interviews all 12 living former CIA directors.
Whipple’s most stunning revelations revolve around a July 10 meeting that’s been mentioned by others in books before—Bob Woodward, George Tenet, Condi Rice—but always in a manner that drastically underplays the urgency of CIA’s warnings, and how much they had to go on, according to Whipple’s new information:
By May of 2001, says Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, “it was very evident that we were going to be struck, we were gonna be struck hard and lots of Americans were going to die.” “There were real plots being manifested,” Cofer’s former boss, George Tenet, told me in his first interview in eight years. “The world felt like it was on the edge of eruption. In this time period of June and July, the threat continues to rise. Terrorists were disappearing [as if in hiding, in preparation for an attack]. Camps were closing. Threat reportings on the rise.”
Finally, things boiled over:
That morning of July 10, the head of the agency’s Al Qaeda unit, Richard Blee, burst into Black’s office. “And he says, ‘Chief, this is it. Roof’s fallen in,’” recounts Black. “The information that we had compiled was absolutely compelling. It was multiple-sourced. And it was sort of the last straw.”
Tenet called Rice for an immediate meeting with her and her team—Bush was out of town:
“Rich [Blee] started by saying, ‘There will be significant terrorist attacks against the United States in the coming weeks or months. The attacks will be spectacular. They may be multiple. Al Qaeda’s intention is the destruction of the United States.’” [Condi said:] ‘What do you think we need to do?’ Black responded by slamming his fist on the table, and saying, ‘We need to go on a wartime footing now!’”
But nothing happened. “To me it remains incomprehensible still,” Black told Whipple. “I mean, how is it that you could warn senior people so many times and nothing actually happened? It’s kind of like The Twilight Zone.”
Tellingly, Condi Rice has no clear recollection of the meeting. For her, it was all a blur. As Whipple quotes from her memoir, “My recollection of the meeting is not very crisp because we were discussing the threat every day.” But no one could have foreseen it?
It was not just a failure to respond to warnings, however. There was a broader refusal to even consider thinking proactively. Along these lines, Whipple writes more broadly about Tenet and Black’s plan to “end the al Qaeda threat” with a combined military/CIA campaign “getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.” They pitched the plan in spring of 2001, according to Whipple, “‘And the word back,’ says Tenet, ‘was “we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.”’ (Translation: they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.)”
Black chalks this up to the Bush team being stuck in the past, thinking of terrorists as “Euro-lefties,” but there was a deeper story, with more to the state of denial than Whipple discusses, since the Bush team was also actively fending off dealing with the recommendations of bipartisan Hart-Rudman Commission (officially the “U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century”). It had warned that “Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.”
Hart-Rudman released a series of three reports, first an overview of the challenges, “New World Coming: American Security in the 21st Century,” released in September 1999, then a strategy report, “Seeking a National Strategy: A Concert for Preserving Security and Promoting Freedom,” released in April 2000, and finally, a recommendation report, “Roadmap for National Security: Imperative for Change,” released at the end of January 2001, just after Bush took office. Not only did Hart-Rudman see terrorist attacks as a possibility, it highlighted five key areas for reform, the first of which was “ensuring the security of the American homeland.” It regarded a 9/11-style attack as so likely that defending against it should be a top priority in rethinking our entire approach to national security.
Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulHRosenberg. More Paul Rosenberg.
Amechi’s Brief Comment:
Also read the following two chapters in my award winning books, The State of the American Mind: Stupor and Pathetic Docility, Vols. 1 & 2.
— Chapter 24, “Dr. Condoleezza Rice, W. Bush and Bin Laden PDB of August 6, 2001: Was it Ignorance and Incompetence or Were They Osama’s Moles?”
— Chapter 40, “Bush, Cheney and Their Joint Appearance at the 9/11 Commission: A Deception and Concealment Strategy!”
When you read the above chapters you will know why 9/11 was an “inside job” and why the Bush gang should be arrested and tried for crimes against the state, for mass murder and for treason.
Further do you realize that US has never investigated the cause of 9/11? Yes, there has never been a judicial or credible Congressional investigation to find out who did 9/11 that killed about 3,000 Americans and other citizens on our soil. This means that the worst terrorist attack on our soil was never and has never been investigated by our government to find out who did it.
So far the two “evidences” we have are:
- The bombastic pronouncement of President Bush that Osama bin Laden did it, and
- the purported video claim of Osama that he did it. None of the above would pass the smell test or would be acceptable in any sane society after such horrible tragedy as 9/11but that is what Americans have accepted from W. Bush as evidence that Osama did 9/11. What a shame on Americans that we would not care to find out who killed 3,000 of our fellow citizens and yet have been waging a global war on terror that has killed tens of thousands of Americans and others since then. It makes us to be more barbaric than any barbarian who ever plied the face ot this earth. It obviously makes us to be worse than ISIS. It certainly makes us to be shameless hypocrites if we do not know or pretend not to know that it is US that called ISIS into being. If we have preferred to bury our heads under the sand and pretend that we do not know that it was W. Bush’s unnecessary and arrogant invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq that started the uncontrolled rise of terror in the middle east and the rise of ISIS.Without W. Bush’s “arrogant swagger” as his father called it, the world would not have been under fire as we are today. The terror attack on France on Friday, November 13, 2015 might not have occurred. The worst tragedy is that all the wars, mayhem, deaths, etc, started without any evidence of who did 9/11. W. Bush vehemently refused to investigate 9/11, and we all happily elected Obama because of his opposition to “Bush’s war” which he called “war of choice”, only for him to refuse to investigate 9/11 just as Bush did. So till date no one can say he knows wh did 9/11. Oh yes, US conducted two official 9/11 investigations — one reluctantly setup by President W. Bush and the other by US Senate — both of which amounted to nothing because they were both eventually sabotaged by W. Bush administration.
- Yet these same American bosses were making so much noise about 4 Americans that were killed in Benghazi as if they like the 4 Americans so much. The truth is that our government should vigorously investigate why about 3,000 citizens died in 9/11, and equally vigorously investigate why our 4 citizens died in Benghazi. Anything short of that is hypocrisy and criminal.
- So from the above, it is clear that American governments of W. Bush and Obama have something to hide from the American people about 9/11 even as they are sending us to die for 9/11. It is a phony democracy for a government to declare itself democratic and still vigorously guide/conceal information about a national tragedy for which they keep sending innocent Americans to die and kill other innocent foreign citizens.
- There could have been absolutely no doubt in the minds of anyone at the CIA — or at the White House — in the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of the videotapes of detainee interrogations[iii].
- They continued:
- More than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 Commission. The goal was to provide the American people the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001”– and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission. The commission’s mandate was sweeping, and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the CIA destroyed video tape interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.[ii]
- However, the Republican chair and the Democratic vice-chair, on January 2, 2008, jointly published a biting critique of the Bush administration in a New York Times publication titled, “CIA Stonewalled 9/11 Commission.”[i] Kean and Hamilton wrote:
- Then again in 2004, after Bush’s reluctance to setup a commission to investigate 9/11, and after multiple pressures, he reluctantly agreed to setup one. First, he announced and presented Henry Kissinger as the chairman for the commission. But when many of us cried foul because we knew that Henry Kissinger would never do a clean job given his dubious, criminal record, Kissinger, himself took himself off the job. Bush was then forced to name Thomas Kean, a Republican and Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, as chair and vice-chair for the commission.
- The senate setup a commission in 2002 to investigate 9/11, but when it released its report, the government redacted 28 pages and has refused to let the public see them. The Bush administration redacted the 28 pages and President Obama has continued to reject releasing the 28 pages in spite of multiple Congressional pressures to let Americans see the full report.
[i] See, Appendix H of my book, “CIA Stonewalled 9/11 Commission”, in State of the American Mind, pp1049-1050.