April 16, 2004
Confidential Pre-9/11 Presidential Memo Released
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Washington -- Today the White House released the August 6th 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States." The memo is at the center of controversy surrounding Bush’s pre-9/11 counter-terrorism preparations. The first section of the document contains historical information about Al-Qaida, because, as George Tenet noted, "President Bush often confused the name with El-Kabong."
The briefing includes a specific warning that "Al-Qaida operatives were in the U.S. preparing for a Hijacking and other types of attacks." However, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett defended the President, stating that the briefing did not contain "flight numbers or seat assignments for the terrorists." Bartlett added, if it had, there is a "darn good chance" President Bush would have done something "as soon as he got back from vacation."
Condoleezza Rice testified that because of this terrorist threat, "President Bush raised the White House alert level to battle stations," and that this was "only two alert levels short of having to do something."
Further more, Rice stated that terrorism was "a top priority" for the White House. Rice stated that dealing with Al-Qaida "often" made her National Security top 100 to-do lists. She pointed to a May 2001 memo where combating Al-Qaida "moved all the way up" to 78th just after "developing international standards for carbon paper."
In fact, Rice stated that there "was no silver bullet" to stop the Al-Qaida threat. "It would have taken someone to call a meeting, look at all the information, and develop a plan," and that "no one would have predicted" that President Bush was capable of that.
From his vacation home in Crawford Texas, President Bush announced that he was "glad to see the memo released to the press," so that "at least someone would read it." Bush was confident that the controversy would "blow over," and stated that both he and Rice were "satisfied with pre-9/11 U.S. security preparations." In a response from Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden announced that he too was "satisfied with pre-9/11 U.S. security preparations."
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