January 22, 2004
Terror Threats, Month Long Vacations and Consequences
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
I have been doing a little reading of some books I received for Christmas. Fortunately Santa is a independent-minded fellow so his selections were pretty right on. I am currently about midway through David Corn's The Lies of George W. Bush. Corn, you may know, is the Washington editor for The Nation and a Fox News Channel commentator. He also has written for The Washington Post, NY Times, The New Republic, Slate, and Salon, among others.
I think we have all heard or read about various intelligence reports G.W. Bush and his administration may or may not have received prior to 9/11. Corn espouses on this topic in his book and it called into question President Bush and his administration's actions in the weeks leading up to 9/11.
According to his book a congressional intelligence committee released a preliminary report from their 9/11 inquiry in September of 2002. Corn quotes from the report:
Corn then quotes another portion of the preliminary report, taken from page 23:
Corn then writes "But who were the 'senior government officials' who had received this warning? And what had they done in response? The report did not say".
Corn answers his question, claiming that the Bush administration "wanted to block the public from finding out. Prior to the report's release," Corn writes, "CIA Director George Tenet instructed the congressional intelligence committees not to reveal whether the warning had been presented to Bush".
Corn again quotes directly from the committee's report:
"That is," Corn summarizes, "the administration was willing to declassify intelligence reports for the committees, but it insisted on keeping classified whether this material had (or had not) been shared with Bush or anyone else at the White House".
"This was an absurd stance," Corn writes, continuing:
Corn logically concludes that:
So, according to the congressional intelligence committee, in a July, 2001 briefing "senior government officials" were made aware, in blatant terms, that a terrorist attack is expected in "coming weeks" and that "mass casualties" were the objective. As Corn writes, it is hard to imagine that President Bush would not have been made aware of this briefing and thus considered one of the "senior government officials" mentioned in the report. Even if the intelligence briefing had been buried on, lets say, Condoleeza Rice's desk, wouldn't the administration jump at the opportunity to have a scapegoat instead of letting speculation make its way to door of the Oval Office?
If Bush was in fact oblivious to the briefing Tenet could have told the congressional intelligence committee just that. This would have at least disqualified the President as someone being "in the loop" while still refraining from pointing fingers or laying blame. Refusing to discount Bush's knowledge of the briefing goes miles in convincing me, and I'm sure others, that he did in fact know about it.
In summary, lets establish a simple time line of events as they occurred leading up to 9/11:
The sequence of events are easy to follow and the facts are indisputable. There are no dots to connect or wild assumptions that need to be made in order to draw a conclusion. The President was allowed to -- or decided himself to -- be on vacation when a terrorist attack of significant consequence was likely to occur against the United States.
Is it not so plainly obvious? Are there reasons the mainstream media has not presented this story in plain, simple terms to the American people? Maybe they are waiting for the release of the final report by the independent 9/11 commission before reporting on what seems obvious at the moment.
Will the summary of the commission headed by former New Jersey Republican Governor Thomas Kean account for these events? He had recently hinted that names of people to be held accountable will be revealed in the report, but since making those statements he has, as President Bush is fond of saying, "crawfished" a bit.
Apparently, the commission wants to hear testimony from both the administrations of both G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. There have been reports that the Bush administration is against allowing an extension of the investigation, as requested by the committee, past the May deadline. Any extension, in their view, may lead to the report being released closer to the November elections. Irregardless, the contents contained in the final report should have enough weight to carry with it its own consequences come November, 2004.
A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
Articles in the BuzzFlash Contributor section are posted as-is. Given the timeliness of some Contributor articles, BuzzFlash cannot verify or guarantee the accuracy of every word. We strive to correct inaccuracies when they are brought to our attention.
otherwise noted, all original