9/11: “The Deafness Before the Storm” and the Storms Now Brewing
By Dennis Loo (9/11/12)
Part 2 of this article is here.
In yesterday’s New York Times, Kurt Eichenwald has an OpEd entitled “The Deafness Before the Storm.” Based on his access to excerpts of other Presidential Daily Bulletins that are still classified and which preceded the well-known August 6, 2001 PDB entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the U.S.,” Eichenwald uncovers the fact that Bush et al had numerous other dire and concrete warnings from the CIA, beginning in the Spring of 2001, of an imminent and devastating attack on the U.S.
The evidence leads Eichenwald to state,
[T]he administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous [August 6. 2001] 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 Bush regime was convinced, despite the CIA’s best efforts to get them to listen to the evidence, that Bin Laden was only pretending to plan an attack on the U.S. and that the real activity was collusion between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The CIA was dumbfounded by this theory, as they knew that it was absurd. But Bush et al and the neocons were utterly convinced that their fabricated link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda was true.
As Eichenwald describes it,
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.
Eichenwald does not mention here, in addition, that Al-Qaeda was so not colluding with Saddam Hussein that Hussein ordered that any Wahhabist found in Iraq should be killed and that Al-Qaeda, for its part, had a fatwa on Hussein’s head.
We have a White House that claimed – and a party that claims – to be the most vigilant defenders of the U.S. homeland of all, and that anyone else, Democrats or, god forbid, some other nefarious political party, are at best careless in the defense of the homeland and at worst, treasonous co-conspirators with America’s enemies.
This same White House continually rebuffed its own intelligence agencies’ persistent and very best efforts to warn the U.S. leadership that a dramatic and devastating attack was imminent on these shores.
Who’s the biggest friend of the CIA? Apparently not the Bush White House. The CIA was so convinced that an attack was coming that members of the Counter-Terrorism group considered resigning so that they would not be blamed for a terrorist attack happening on their watch:
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.
We thus have a party, that - despite having been given numerous, explicit, detailed, and urgent warnings from not only the CIA, but also the intelligence agencies of numerous countries (see below) - refused to take the evidence of the pending attacks seriously and thereby exposed the nation, its people, its two tallest buildings, and its financial nerve center to a spectacular terrorist attack. That attack and its immediate ramifications has cost not only the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that day in 9/11 but the more than a million Iraqis killed since our invasion and occupation of their country, more than fifty thousand U.S. soldiers killed in battle or by suicide since the invasion of Iraq, thousands of others killed in Afghanistan and other theatres of war, such as Pakistan, in this “war on terror,” trillions of dollars lost in direct war expenditures, the institutionalization and outrageous rationalization for torture, assassination by presidential fiat, pre-emptive (read: aggressive) wars, the increasing militarization of domestic life, and the progressive undoing of core civil liberties such a habeas corpus. These occurred in part under Bush and have continued further and more egregiously under Obama.
This is rather like, in a miniature equivalent, someone who is told by the bartender, his friends, and his family that if he must not drive himself and family after drinking because he’s staggeringly drunk, and that disaster will surely unfold if he does, and then he nonetheless does in fact insist on driving himself and his family, and gets almost immediately into a fiery car accident, killing everyone in his family in gruesome fashion and the occupants of two other cars who are also burned alive, and a major intersection is rendered inoperable due to the crashes, thereby causing a massive traffic jam that has the city in gridlock for hours, then walking away unscathed himself and being awarded after this vehicular multiple manslaughter with the keys to the city, a city tickertape parade in his honor, and an invitation from all of the bars in the city to drink as much as he wants for free forever.
In addition to what Eichenwald reveals, see this excerpt from my book with co-author Peter Phillips, Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, published by Seven Stories Press in 2006:
Afghanistan, Argentina, Britain, the Cayman Islands, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Russia, and the U.S. the intelligence community all warned the U.S. of imminent terrorist attacks.
Some of the 9/11 prewarnings include:
Federal authorities knew that suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden received flight training at schools in the U.S. and abroad. An Oklahoma City FBI agent sent a memo warning that “large numbers of Middle Eastern males” were getting flight training and could have been planning terrorist attacks. (CBS, May 30, 2002.) One convicted terrorist confessed that his planned role in a terror attack was to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. (Washington Post, September 23, 2001.)
German intelligence warned the CIA, Britain’s intelligence agency, and Israel’s Mossad that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack the global dominance group 269 commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols which stand out.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 11, 2001; Washington Post, September 14, 2001; Fox News, May 17, 2002.)
June 28, 2001
George Tenet wrote an intelligence summary to Condoleezza Rice stating, “It is highly likely that a significant al-Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks.” (Washington Post, February 17, 2002.)
President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and national security aides were given briefs with headlines such as “Bin Laden Threats Are Real” and “Bin Laden Planning High Profile Attacks.” The exact contents of these briefings remain classified, but according to the 9/11 Commission, they consistently predicted upcoming attacks that would occur “on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil, consisting of possible multiple—but not necessarily simultaneous— attacks.” (9/11 Commission Report, April 13, 2004.)
July 26, 2001
Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines because of a threat assessment. (CBS, July 26, 2001.) The report of this warning was omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report. (Griffin, May 22, 2005.)
August 6, 2001
President Bush received a classified intelligence briefing at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, warning that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners; this briefing was entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States.” The entire memo focused on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the U.S. and specifically mentioned the World Trade Center. (Newsweek, May 27, 2002; New York Times, May 15, 2002; Washington Post, April 11, 2004; White House, April 11, 2004; Intelligence Briefing, August 6, 2001.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the U.S. that suicide pilots were training for attacks on U.S. targets. (Fox News, May 17, 2002.) The head of Russian intelligence also later stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” (Agence France-Presse, September 16, 2001.)
September 10, 2001
A group of top Pentagon officials received an urgent warning that prompted them to cancel their flight plans for the following morning. (Newsweek, September 17, 2001.) (Pp. 377-379)
Part 2 of this article is here.