Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amsterdam terror arrests a painful reminder of Bush 911 failures

Authorities arrested two men in Amsterdam on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack by blowing up a US airliner. Dutch police and the FBI believe the men were carrying out a "walk through" to see if their plan would work.

They were arrested after taking a Chicago to Amsterdam flight carrying what Amsterdam police and FBI say were two mock bombs in their suitcases.

The reason the men were detected, followed and then arrested however, was because the FBI, acting on intelligence, was on high alert for a possible hijacking involving all US air carriers. And the high alert paid off.

But it also recalls the intelligence George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice received for 8 months warning of a terrorist attack on the United States by Al-Qaeda, but even more specifically the information given to Bush on August 6,2001 when, the Presidential Daily Briefing,informed Bush that there was intelligence that Al-Qaeda was going to strike within the United States, that there were 40 active Al-Qaeda cells already in the United States, and specifically that Al-Qaeda planned on hijacking US airliners as part of their plan and that they had buildings in New York under surveillance.

All this information came at the same time Richard Clarke and George Tennant were, in the sworn testimony of Clarke, "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire" in August of 2001 because of CIA intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter that indicated the US was about to be hit with a massive terrorist attack, an attack that the intercepts showed was immient, and that was, in the words of the CIA translator, "going to be spectacular".

Bush nevertheless refused to see Clarke and Tenant while on vacation in Crawford and completely ignored the intelligence and warnings in the August 6 PDB.

Had Bush taken it seriously and had he issued a heightened alert through the FAA to all US carries to be on alert for potential hijackings by middle eastern men, 911 never would have happened. It would have been stopped. Of this there is no doubt even though the press have turned a blind eye to this reality for the last 9 years.

On the morning of Sept 11,2001, the 911 hijackers, all middle eastern men, all bought one way tickets on transatlantic flights to the West Coast from Logan and Dulles airports. None had reservations so all were paying the most expensive fare possible. All of them paid cash. None of them had luggage.

What do you think ticket takers or sellers or other officials at Logan and Dulles airports, on high alert for possible hijackings by middle eastern men would have done with that information? Think there is any chance any of the hijackers would have been allowed to get on those planes?

Two of them, including Mohammad Atta, actually started their connection from the Maine Airport buying two one way tickets to San Francisco with a connection made at Logan. The ticket taker at the Maine airport was suspicious since they too paid cash at $2500 a ticket because they werent bought in advance, and had no luggage. And that kind of a transaction at the Maine airport was highly unusual. But no one alerted him to the danger that Bush was told in advance was possible.

The arrests in Amsterdam because of a high alert for a potential hijacking is just a reminder that 911 was really all Bush's fault, a result of his and Condoleeza Rice's incompetence and ideology having dismissed terrorism as a real threat from the beginning. It led to them both being guilty of the worst case of gross negligence in the case of national security in American history for ignoring intelligence reports and warnings that would have prevented 911 and the worst attack on the United States in history. Bush and Rice, looking for scapegoats and to avoid the fury they both deserved, blamed a lack of intelligence on being unable to stop 911. But the only real intelligence failures occurred at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The 911 hijackers were actually quite sloppy and dumb. Bush was dumber. And when Rice said "we couldn't connect the dots" she was absolutely right. Neither she nor Bush was able to do what a child could do -- draw a line from one numbered dot to the other consecutively, dots and numbers which were right in front of their faces for months, and then see the whole picture. The country has been paying for it ever since.

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