Saturday, September 11, 2010

Media still ignores Bush gross negligence in 911 attacks

Not too long ago on MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell tried to point out the real truth about the 911 attacks, the truth that the press and Republicans have been running from for 8 years but a truth that has been there for all to see all along; the same truth that has been pointed out here before a number of times. It is a truth that is irrefutable and not a matter of opinion or interpretation. Yet the news media, Republicans and Democrats too, have run from it the way a vampire runs from a crucifix. No one has wanted to deal with it. Perhaps because it is too painful.

And that truth is that anyone with half a brain given the information and intelligence Bush and Condoleeza Rice had could have prevented the 911 attacks and that they succeeded because of the ineptitude, incompetence and gross negligence bordering on the criminal, of Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney. It was their dismissal of Al-Qaeda and terrorism as a real threat against the United States that allowed the attack to succeed.

The 911 attackers were not that shrewd. In fact they were as bumbling as they were lethal. They left obvious and blatant clues for months wherever they went. Bush and Rice blamed intelligence failures for the success of the 911 attack. That was the political spin they hoped people and the news media would swallow.And most did. But the only real intelligence failure occurred at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It was their catastrophic lack of judgement and incompetence and conservative ideology that dismissed terrorism as a threat in the face of clear and convincing intelligence that a massive terrorist attack was imminent that resulted in 3000 deaths and the event that changed the course of the country.

Joe Scarborough didn't let O'Donnell continue his diatribe against a former member of the Bush Administration over 911 who was also a guest. People just dont want to face it. And the press, more interested in pandering to popular opinion than in reporting the truth also buried it.
They say that in war the first casualty is truth and nowhere was the more true than with 911.
On the anniversary of the attack there have been more documentaries and rememberances but not one focusing on the failures of George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice, their ignoring of constant warnings of an imminent attack, the flimsy excuse of Condoleeza Rice that the August 6 2001 PDB which warned them that Al-Qaeda planned on hijacking US airliners as part of a terror plot was a "historical overview" when everyone knows the PDB is based on actionable intelligence. The problem was they took no action.

The irrefutable evidence, as revealed by testimony under oath and official documents presented to the 911 Commission is that Bush Rice and Cheney had been warned repeatedly of an impending terrorist attack against the United States. They had been told during the transition period in January of 2001 that Al Qaeda was the single biggest threat to US national security in the world. They were told this by Bill Clinton, outgoing national security advisor Sandy Berger, Bob Mueller of the FBI and George Tenant of the CIA. Bush, Rice and Cheney chose to ignore them. Bush ignored them all.

Proof that Bush ignored them is the fact that one of Bush's first acts as president was to demote Richard Clarke, the anti-terrorism czar under four presidents from the cabinet level position he had under President Clinton to a sub cabinet position with no real authority.

More proof is that despite Clarke's constant pleas and those of CIA director George Tenant, Bush refused to have a single meeting with Clarke or Tenant to discuss Al-Qaeda in the 8 months that led up to the 911 attacks.

On August 6, 2001, Bush and Rice were given a Presidential Daily Briefing that said that Al-Qaeda was determined to strike within the United States. The brefing said that there were 40 active Al-Qaeda cells within the United States, It also said on page 2 that Al-Qaeda planned on hijacking US airliners. The August 6,2001 PDB also said that buildings in New York city were under surveillance by Al-Qaeda. Clarke testified that he and Tenant told Rice in August of 2001 that the intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter were the highest Clarke had seen in 20 years an indication something big was up. And the translations of the chatter indicated that a "spectacular" terrorist attack against the US was "imminent". Bush and Rice did nothing.

Clarke testified that in August of 2001 the warnings were so ominous that he and Tenant were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire", trying to get Bush's attention. They told Rice they had to have a meeting with Bush to inform him of the impending terror attack. Bush refused to see them while he was vacationing in Crawford.

Bush had also disbanded the Principles Meeting on terrorism which Clarke chaired where the cabinet heads of all the agencies met daily to discuss the latest terrorists threats, and then, in Clarke's words, everyone went back and would "shake the trees" to get the latest intelligence on terrorist activities to bring to the meeting the following day. This overcame the problem during the Clinton Administration of agencies sharing intelligence, a failure cited by the 911 Commission during the Bush Administration and a failure caused by Bush and his decision to disband the Principles Meeting.

Had Bush not disbanded that meeting the memo from the Phoenix office of the FBI that contained the information that two middle eastern men were taking flying lessons at a Phoenix flying school, wanting to learn how to fly jumbo jets but not wanting to learn how to take off or land, would have made it to the Principles Meeting. One of those two men was Mohammad Atta.
Given all the other information available what do you think Clarke, Tenant, the FBI and the Justice Department would have done with that little peice of information? But to Bush and the Republicans, terrorism was not a major threat.

Instead Bush decided the biggest national security threat was China. Bush focused his administration on trying to get out of the 1972 ABM treaty with Russia so they could restart Reagan's Star Wars program and ignored 8 months of warnings about Al-Qaeda including the warning of an imminent attack against the United States. This is why you see that dumb deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on his face at the Florida school when Andy Card tells him about planes crashing into the twin towers. At that moment he knew that everyone trying to warn him about an attack was right and he was wrong.

But as the 911 Commission hearings showed, even without the FBI memos 911 could have been prevented. Had Bush heeded the warnings that an attack was imminent and that part of Al-Qaeda's plan of attack was to hijack US airliners, he could have ordered the FAA to issue a high level alert to all US air carriers and airports to be on alert for possible hijackings by middle eastern men. If had done only that 911 would have been prevented.

How? The morning of 911, 9 middle eastern men all bought one way transcontinental tickets at Logan and Dulles airports. None of the men had luggage. Some of the tickets were bought with cash, others with the same Visa card. Almost the same modus operandi Republicans were screaming should have been enough to have stopped the Christmas bomber from ever getting on a plane.

Multiply that by 9 on the morning of Sept 11,2001. It wouldn't have been difficult to pay special attention to middle eastern passengers for suspicious activity had an alert been issued. And there was a lot of suspicious activity. The ticket taker at Maine airport was suspicious of the two middle eastern men buying two one way tickets to San Francisco connecting at Logan for $2500, the top price without buying tickets in advance. He was also suspicious that the men had no luggage. But no one ever gave him a reason to be suspicious about anything.

Bush Rice and Cheney were never held accountable for ignoring those warnings, not even authorizing an FAA alert against possible hijackings which alone would have stopped 911. The closest thing to an admission was Rice's own admission that went over the heads of everyone in the press, an admission made more by her subconscious mind. And that was her admission that the Bush Administration "couldn't connect the dots". Rice is a highly educated woman with a sophisticated vocabulary. That she chose say they "couldnt connect the dots" was telling because of how true it was. But the press never got it. Connecting the dots is a child's game. Anyone can do it. A collection of dots consecutively numbered is in front of you and all you have to do is draw a line from one to the other in consecutive order and you get to see the whole picture. The dots were all there for Bush and Rice to see. They were right in front of them. The problem was Bush, Rice and Cheney chose to ignore the dots and that's why they couldnt do what a child could have done.

The press thought and thinks to this day, that the expression was just some cute, clever, esoteric analogy and they repeat the phrase " not able to connect the dots" without having a clue as to the true meaning of those words. A tacit admission that the Bush Administration failed to do what just about anyone could have done and which would have prevented 911. It's no wonder that Bush at first refused to cooperate with the 911 Commission and only did so after he extracted a promise that the final Commission report wouldnt point fingers or lay blame for the attacks. The Commission agreed since it was the only way Bush would allow Rice to testify.

The big lie the press has swallowed for 9 years is that 911 couldn't have been prevented. It could have easily been prevented. And shoul have.

Bush's catastrophic mistakes were a result of incompetence,. bd judgement and Republican ideoology, characteristics that would rear its head again in Iraq, Katrina, and the economic crisis,all caused by Bush.

The country is in the position its in now largely because of the press' willful refusal, even now to hold Bush, Rice and Cheney accountable for the bad judgment that allowed for 911. Instead they swallowed Bush's explanations like a collection of trained seals.

The failure of the press in holding Bush accountable is directly responsible for the debacle in Iraq, Bush's failures in Afghanistan and all the economic problems the country has been facing. Because had the press been as focused on Bush's irresponsibility and negligence regarding 911 as they were with Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, Bush, Rice and Cheney would have had to resign after 911.

And the failures of the press, along with the failures of Bush Rice and Cheney and their accountability in the 911 attacks, is the real 911 truth. A truth that has been there for all to see in the 911 Commission Report. It's the 911 truth the press is still afraid to tell while their ratings, circulation and credibility continue to collapse just like the twin towers did. And they actually wonder why.
The fact that the worst atrocity committed against the United States on American soil by a foreign enemy, with the biggest loss of life could not only have been prevented but easily prevented by responsible, competent leadership in the White House is probably too much for many people to face. And if they cant face it, certainly the media wont.

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