According to information released just yesterday, we now know that President George W. Bush ignored multiple warnings from the CIA that an attack by Al Qaeda was imminent.
An article in yesterday’s New York Times details exactly when and where Bush was briefed by the CIA over and over again that Al Qaeda was planning a devastating attack on the United States.
The infamous Aug. 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing even bore the heading, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”
But Bush and his closest advisors were convinced, “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.”
But Bush was dead wrong.
In The Deafness Before the Storm, Kurt Eichenwald tells how in 2004 the Bush Administration released the top-secret briefing from Aug. 6, 2001. But they didn’t declassify any of the other Presidential Daily Briefings They kept them classified top-secret.
But Eichenwald has read many of the recently declassified Presidential Briefings, and found that Bush received many, many warnings from the CIA prior to Aug. 6, 2001. But Bush turned a deaf ear to the warnings.
Instead, Bush chose to listen to his neoconservative advisors, such as Dick Cheney, rather than listening to the professional intelligence experts at the CIA.
Eichenwald came, “to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.
“In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.”
The CIA gave Bush an unending series of direct warnings about an al-Qaeda attack starting in the spring of 2001.
On May 1, the CIA told Bush that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation.
On June 22, the CIA told Bush during the daily briefing that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent.”
But the Bush administration considered the warnings to be just bluster.
Never forgive, never forget
The CIA protested that the idea that it was ridiculous to think that Osama bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, would conspire with an Iraqi secularist like Saddam Hussein.
The CIA said that it was inconceivable that bin Laden would ever work with Hussein. But George W. Bush ignored the CIA and listened instead to his the neoconservative advisors who were suspicions of the CIA.
On June 29, 2001, the CIA web out of its way to tell President Bush that “The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden” (as his name was written at the time).
The document included, among other things, “an interview with a Middle Eastern journalist in which bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack.”
In the June 29, 2001 daily briefing, the CIA told Bush point-blank that the planned near-term attacks would have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties.
On July 1, the CIA told President Bush that the terrorist attack “will occur soon.”
Eichenwald writes; “Yet, the White House failed to take significant action.”
He ends his article with these damning words.
“Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.”
Never forgive, never forget.
Never forgive George W. Bush and his neoconservative Republican advisors for ignoring the continuous stream of warnings from the CIA.
Never forget that Bush invaded the wrong country and let Osama bin Laden get away with it.