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Thread: Bush Officials May Have Covered Up Rice-Tenet Meeting From 9/11 Commission

  1. #11
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Condi got owned by this thread.

  2. #12
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    Memo contradicts Rice on 9/11 claim from Woodward

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...387256,00.html

    From Tom Baldwin in Washington
    10/3/2006

    Condoleezza Rice was today at the heart of the US Administration’s escalating battle with a former CIA head and Washington’s most revered journalist over who should shoulder the blame for failing to anticipate the 9/11 attacks.

    The State Department has admitted that a review of records has shown that George Tenet, the then CIA director, did brief Dr Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from al-Qaeda.

    This appears to undermine comments made by Dr Rice to reporters this week when she claimed not to remember any such meeting. She added that it was “incomprehensible” that she ignored terrorist threats two months before the September 11 attacks.

    Dr Rice’s aides have fought back, saying that records show she told Mr Tenet to take his concerns to, among others, John Ashcroft, the then Attorney-General.

    Mr Ashcroft said: “Frankly, I’m disappointed that I didn’t get that kind of briefing. I’m surprised he didn’t think it was important enough to come by and tell me.”

    The meeting was first disclosed by Bob Woodward in his book, State of Denial, who said Dr Rice - who was then President Bush’s national security adviser - had given Mr Tenet the “brush off”.

    Woodward’s account appears to have forced the Administration on to the back foot over the issue of national security which Mr Bush had previously hoped would be the Republicans’ trump card in November’s Congressional mid-term elections.

    But Woodward, the investigative journalist who helped break the Watergate scandal, has had to defend himself against concerted White House criticism of his reporting methods.

    Dan Bartlett, the president’s adviser, has implied that the journalist had an agenda, saying it was clear he “approached this book different” than he had with two earlier volumes which were attacked by liberals for being too supportive of the Administration.

    For instance, in his book, Bush at War, Woodward describes Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, as “handsome, intense, well-educated with an intellectual bent”. In State of Denial, Mr Rumsfeld is described as an “arrogant control freak whose micromanaging is almost comic”.

    Woodward told CNN’s Larry King programme that both views were accurate at different times.

    He compared writing the three books to reporting three baseball games involving the same team but which each had a different result. “This is a book about the people who made the decisions. These people aren’t Democrats - these are insiders,” he said.

    State of Denial suggests Mr Tenet developed a particular dislike for Ms Rice over time, and that the former CIA director was furious when she publicly blamed the agency for allowing President Bush to make false claims about Iraq’s WMD.

    He resigned from the CIA in 2004 and was honoured with a Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony, even though he has since been heavily criticised for providing faulty intelligence on Iraq’s WMD.

    He is now completing work on his memoirs in which he is expected to claim the CIA has been made the scapegoat for the war. In his book The One Percent Doctrine, Ron Suskind claims Mr Tenet saying he wished he “could give that damn medal back”.

    Indeed, Woodward’s book is only the latest in a string of new literature documenting the Bush Administration’s alleged use of bad intelligence and flawed planning, as well as an apparent disregard for dissenting opinions.

    Others include:
    Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell by Karen DeYoung, which details the former Secretary of State’s doubts about the 2003 Iraq invasion, and describes the infighting between himself, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in developing a strategy for the war on terror.

    The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of its Enemies Since 9/11 by Ron Suskind which claims that in August 2001, Mr Bush ignored CIA warnings of an impending al-Qaeda attack, telling an intelligence analyst: “All right, you’ve covered your ass now.”

    Imperial Life in the Emerald City, by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a first-hand account on Americans in Iraq which shows how inept bureaucrats, appointed for their Republican loyalty rather than administrative ability, grotesquely mismanaged post-invasion rebuilding.

    Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq by James Fallows, a collection of prescient essays which unpick many of the arguments for war, the faulty intelligence used to justify the invasion and the Administration’s failure to anticipate the difficulties of occupation.

    Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E Ricks, which castigates Mr Rumsfeld for ignoring expert advice by invading Iraq with a “lean” force or coherent plan for rebuilding the country afterwards, arguing that dissolving the Iraqi army, as well as overly-aggressive tactics by the US military, enflamed the insurgency.

    Hubris, The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, which quotes David Kay, chief weapons inspector, describing Mr Bush on being told that no WMDs had been found in Iraq: “I’m not sure I’ve spoken to anyone at that level who seemed less inquisitive.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilosophyGenius
    Condi got owned by this thread.
    Condi, and every corrupt prick in D.C. got owned by this site.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #14
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Mainstream media got pwned by this website.

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    The Real Cover-Up

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061016/truthdig

    Robert Scheer
    10/4/2006

    They are such liars. And no, I am not speaking only of the dissembling GOP House leaders led by Speaker Dennis Hastert who, out of naked political calculation, covered up for one of their own in the sordid teen stalking case of Rep. Mark Foley.

    Call me old school, but I am still more concerned with the Republicans molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security, an assignment which they have totally botched. The news about the Foley coverup, while important as yet another example of extreme hypocrisy on the part of the Republican virtues police, should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence of Administration deceit as to its egregious ineptness in protecting the nation.

    On Monday, a State Department spokesman conceded that then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had indeed been briefed in July 2001 by George Tenet, then-director of the CIA, about the alarming potential for an Al Qaeda attack, as Bob Woodward has reported in his aptly named new book, State of Denial.

    "I don't remember a so-called emergency meeting," Rice had said only hours earlier, apparently still suffering from some sort of post-9/11 amnesia that seemed to afflict her during her forced testimony to the 9/11 Commission. The omission of this meeting from the final commission report is another example of how the Bush Administration undermined the bipartisan investigation that the President had tried to prevent. Surely lying under oath in what was arguably the most important official investigation in the nation's history should be treated more seriously than the evasiveness in the Paula Jones case that got President Bill Clinton impeached. Nor is it just Rice who should be challenged, for Tenet seems to have provided Woodward with details concerning the Administration's indifference to the terrorist threat that he did not share with the 9/11 Commission.

    In his book, Woodward described an encounter between Rice and Tenet, in a near panic about a rising flood of intelligence warnings just presented to him by top aide Cofer Black. Tenet forced an unscheduled meeting with Rice on July 10, 2001, because he wanted the Bush Administration to take action immediately against Al Qaeda to disrupt a possible domestic attack.

    "Tenet ... decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately. Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from the car and said he needed to see her right away," Woodward reports. "He and Black hoped to convey the depth of their anxiety and get Rice to kick-start the government into immediate action." A mountain of evidence proves that the Bush Administration did nothing of the sort.

    Now, if Rice truly does not remember that now-confirmed meeting--which was apparently first reported in the Aug. 4, 2002, Time magazine in an article titled "Could 9/11 Have Been Prevented?"--wouldn't that indicate she didn't take it that seriously? Not remembering confirms her inattention to terror reports at a time the Bush administration was already fixated on "regime change" in Iraq.

    Rice is famously sharp and has an awesome memory. Considering the trauma of 9/11 and its effects, it is inconceivable that Rice would not recall such an ominous and prescient briefing by Tenet and Black, especially after the 9/11 Commission forced her to document and review her actions in those crucial months.

    It is, however, as she stated Monday, "incomprehensible" that she, then the national security advisor to the president and the person most clearly charged with sounding the alarm, would have ignored the threat. But ignore it the administration did, and then later tried to lay the blame on the Clinton Administration, which, Rice claimed at the 9/11 Commission hearings, lied when it said it had given the incoming White House team an action plan for fighting Al Qaeda.

    "We were not presented with a plan," Rice infamously argued under questioning from then-Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), but instead were given a memo with "a series of actionable items" describing how to tackle al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    Such weaseling would be funny if the topic were not so serious. But there is no way Rice can squirm out of this one, despite her impressive track record of calculated distortion on everything from Iraq's nonexistent WMDs to the trumped-up ties between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Can there be any better case for turning over control of at least one branch of Congress to the opposition party so that we might finally have hearings to learn the truth of this matter, which is far more important, and sordid, than the Foley affair?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Ashcroft blasts 9-11 Commission

    http://news.monstersandcritics.com/n...-11_Commission

    By Shaun Waterman Oct 6, 2006, 0:43 GMT

    WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Former Attorney General John Ashcroft this week became the only Cabinet-level Bush official to attack the Sept. 11 Commission, writing in his memoirs it 'seemed obsessed with trying to lay the blame for the terrorist attacks at the feet of the Bush administration, while virtually absolving the previous administration of responsibility.'

    Ashcroft also writes that the commission`s hearings 'were not so much about discovering the truth as they were about assessing blame and grandstanding,' adding that they 'degenerated into show trials.'

    GOP Commissioner Slade Gorton, a former senator from Washington State, told United Press International Thursday that he found the charges 'extraordinary,' recalling that President Bush had personally repudiated Ashcroft`s tactics in his sparring with the commission.

    'Most of the criticism (the commission received) was the exact opposite: that we didn`t blame anyone,' he said. 'Our job was to write a factual account which readers could use to assess blame for themselves.'

    Ashcroft 'may very well have been the worst witness we interviewed,' he said, adding he was 'very unresponsive and unhelpful.'

    'I was particularly disappointed,' he added, 'because I liked him when we were in the Senate together.' Ashcroft served as GOP Senator for Missouri 1994-2000.

    Ashcroft, who was traveling in Europe Thursday, did not respond to a request for comment. The White House and the Justice Department also declined comment on the row, the latest round in a series of increasingly bitter pre-election exchanges about the respective responsibilities of the Clinton and Bush administrations for failing to stop the Sept. 11 attacks.

    In his memoir, 'Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice,' Ashcroft accuses the commission, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States, of trying to 'stimulate media interest' in their hearings by leaking 'juicy tidbits' beforehand. He writes that this was why he -- alone of all the serving and former senior officials who were witnesses for the commission -- did not provide them with advance copies of his testimony.

    Gorton dismissed that explanation, saying 'The reason, I`m convinced, is that he intended to -- and did -- use his testimony to launch a disingenuous and underhanded personal attack on a member of the commission.'

    At his April 14, 2003, appearance Ashcroft sprung on the commission a just-declassified top secret memo written by commission member and former Clinton administration Justice Department official Jamie Gorelick in 1995. The memo, Ashcroft said, was 'the basic architecture' for the so-called wall, which he said was 'the greatest structural cause for Sept. 11.'

    The wall -- in effect a hodge-podge of laws, court rulings and departmental regulations that had accreted over time -- had strictly separated intelligence from criminal investigations out of concern that prosecutors should not be allowed to use the much less restrictive rules about wiretapping and other kinds of surveillance that applied in intelligence operations to gather material for criminal cases, effectively end-running the Fourth Amendment.

    The commission`s report, however, concluded that the wall grew up during the 1980s, primarily as a response to a series of court rulings, and noted that a memo from Ashcroft`s deputy Larry Thompson in August 2001 had effectively ratified the policy laid out by Gorelick in 1995.

    The day prior to Ashcroft`s testimony, the man who had been acting FBI director throughout the summer of 2001, Thomas Pickard, told the commission that Ashcroft had told him during a briefing covering counter-terrorism that 'he did not want to hear about this anymore,' and had refused a request for additional funding for FBI counter-terrorist activities.

    Gorton believes that these facts account for Ashcroft`s behavior. 'He did have that (the Pickard allegations) and the Larry Thompson memo,' said Gorton. 'He had a great deal to answer for.'

    Nonetheless, in their recent account of their time on the commission, Chairman Thomas Kean and his deputy, Lee Hamilton, wrote that Ashcroft`s testimony represented 'the most aggressive challenge to the commission`s credibility,' noting that it set off a 'steady drumbeat of criticism,' including calls from senior House Republican leaders for Gorelick`s resignation, and left them with 'a huge political problem.'

    Two weeks later, on April 28, Ashcroft declassified more memos written by or commented upon by Gorelick, posting them on the Justice Department Web site, even though they had not previously been made available to the commission.

    Calling the move 'unprincipled,' Gorton recalled that when commissioners met the following day with President Bush, 'he personally told Gorelick he did not agree' with the decision to post the memos.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #17
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    States of Denial
    Bob Woodward's best-selling State of Denial dooms the official 9/11 narrative

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=9807

    by Justin Raimondo

    Bob Woodward's revelation that Condoleezza Rice was warned by George Tenet and two other top CIA officials, on July 10, 2001, that a terrorist attack on the U.S. was imminent continues to reverberate – auguring potentially devastating consequences for the Bush White House. While Rice initially denied it, her spokesman confirmed that a meeting took place on that date, although Rice continues to plead a memory lapse. And as the news that Rice wasn't the only one privy to this briefing leaks out, a veritable epidemic of amnesia seems to be breaking out in Washington.

    Less than two months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped taking commercial domestic flights, and started chartering government jets for all his travels. Now why was that? In the wake of the attacks, so-called "conspiracy theorists" immediately glommed on to this information and hailed it as evidence that 9/11 was "an inside job." Now we know that the conspiracy theorists were on to something, although not exactly what they imagined.

    According to a report in the McClatchy newspapers, within a week of Rice's brush-off of the CIA's alarum,

    "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Attorney General John Ashcroft received the same CIA briefing about an imminent al-Qaeda strike on an American target that was given to the White House two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

    Although Ashcroft is telling the media "that it was 'disappointing' that he never received the briefing, either," Rice's office, besides confirming she'd been briefed "on or around July 10," also confirmed passing it on to Ashcroft and Rumsfeld. Both were presented with an explicit warning – described by one CIA officer present as "a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10" – "by July 17." A week or so later, as CBS reported at the time, Ashcroft's office announced that he would henceforth abjure traveling on commercial airlines. A week earlier his office had leased a jet, and the authorities were explaining his decision in terms of a "threat" that went unspecified:

    "'There was a threat assessment and there are guidelines. He is acting under the guidelines,' an FBI spokesman said. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department, however, would identify what the threat was, when it was detected, or who made it."

    Ashcroft himself explicitly denied any knowledge of imminent danger:

    "'I don't do threat assessments myself and I rely on those whose responsibility it is in the law enforcement community, particularly the FBI. And I try to stay within the guidelines that they've suggested I should stay within for those purposes,' Ashcroft said.

    "Asked if he knew anything about the threat or who might have made it, the attorney general replied, 'Frankly, I don't. That's the answer.'"

    Ashcroft was lying then, and he's lying now when he denies receiving Tenet's warning. He knew everything about the threat and who had made it. The McClatchy report describes the Tenet briefing as a PowerPoint presentation that "connected the dots" and urgently predicted al-Qaeda would strike soon. Woodward writes that Tenet and Black tried to impress upon Rice that "al-Qaeda was going to attack American interests, possibly within the United States itself."

    Tenet and Black were given "the brush-off," as Woodward puts it, but as the CIA duo's dire premonition of what Tenet called "the big one" was communicated to Bush's inner circle, one doubts that only Ashcroft took precautions. While the rest of us peons went about our lives in ignorant bliss, the warlords of Washington ducked and covered.

    What is illuminating about this developing story is that it reveals the essential context in which 9/11 occurred, and how it contradicts the "it-came-out-of-the-sheer-blue-sky" explanation that frames the official narrative. The Tenet briefing, of course, never made it into the report of the 9/11 Commission. Both Richard Ben-Veniste, a top Democratic member of the bipartisan Commission, and Philip Zelikow, the author of the Commission's report, met with Tenet and saw the same PowerPoint presentation viewed by Rice, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld. According to the McClatchy report,

    "Tenet outlined to commission members Ben-Veniste and Zelikow in secret testimony at CIA headquarters. The State Department confirmed that the briefing materials were 'made available to the 9/11 Commission, and Director Tenet was asked about this meeting when interviewed by the 9/11 Commission.'"

    Tenet, however, tells a different story. Citing multiple sources within the intelligence community, the McClatchy piece avers that

    "Tenet raised the matter with the panel himself, displayed slides from the PowerPoint presentation, and offered to testify on the matter in public.

    "Ben-Veniste confirmed to McClatchy Newspapers that Tenet outlined for the 9/11 commission the July 10 briefing to Rice in secret testimony in January 2004. He referred questions about why the commission omitted any mention of the briefing in its report to Zelikow, the report's main author. Zelikow didn't respond to e-mail and telephone queries from McClatchy Newspapers."

    Surely Zelikow has some explaining to do, but this yawning gap in the official narrative isn't so inexplicable given his ideological background. A strong supporter of the neoconservative foreign policy agenda, Zelikow is very close to Rice, having co-authored a book with her. She had him rewrite the original National Security Strategy authored by Richard Haass, to emphasize the neocon commitment to the principle of brazen aggression, otherwise known as "preemption."

    Zelikow's closeness to the administration was immediately seized on by the families of 9/11 victims as a gigantic conflict of interest. A serious academic, he is also a bit of an odd duck who has been unusually candid about what he calls the real "unspoken" agenda behind the Bush's administration's rush to war with Iraq: the "defense" of Israel. Unlike others who have made this same observation, however, he has not been accused of hatching "conspiracy theories" or smeared as "anti-Semitic." In a piece he co-authored for Foreign Affairs in the winter of 1998, Zelikow wrote of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that, if it had succeeded on a larger scale,

    "The resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America's fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, the event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently."

    Having anticipated well in advance the judgment of negligence, incompetence, and worse pronounced on this administration, Zelikow did his best to cover up the evidence. It wasn't good enough, however, and the official story is rapidly unraveling. The question now is, what did they know, who knew, and when did they know it?

    The level of "chatter" picked up by our intelligence agencies prior to 9/11 kept Tenet up at night and energized him enough to go charging into Condi Rice's office, without notice, with a warning so urgent it couldn't wait a moment longer. Yet he and his fellow CIA officers ran up against a brick wall of, at best, indifference on the part of Condi, as well as Rumsfeld's outright obstructionism. Rumsfeld is said to have disdained the idea that a serious plot was afoot. Woodward writes:

    "Tenet has been having difficulty getting traction on an immediate bin Laden action plan, in part because Rumsfeld has questioned all the NSA intercepts and other intelligence. Could all this be a grand deception? Rumsfeld had asked. Perhaps it was a plan to measure U.S. reactions and defenses. Tenet had the NSA review all the intercepts. They concluded they were genuine al-Qaeda communications. On June 30 a TOP SECRET senior executive intelligence brief contained an article headlined, 'Bin Laden Threats Are Real.'"

    Incompetence on this scale is hard to imagine. Aside from the pigheadedness we have come to know and loathe in Rumsfeld and our commander in chief, and the tendency of government officials – and any sort of bureaucracy – to move slowly and uncertainly, preoccupied by questions of turf and intramural politics, there is perhaps another and more troubling explanation for why we didn't catch on to what was happening.

    Yes, the administration was indeed distracted from real threats, focused as they were on the nonexistent "threat" from Iraq. However, these factors alone do not fully explain how, with all the "noise" emanating from intelligence sources – relayed directly and urgently to the White House by Tenet and others – they managed to miss the rising flood tide of indications that something wicked this way comes. The long trail of "errors" and "intelligence failures" smacks just as much of willful blindness as it does of monumental incompetence. An element of deliberate obstruction, on some level, of Tenet's lonely crusade to get the administration to do something, makes a certain amount of sense: after all, the sheer mass of evidence that something was afoot suggests a considerable effort to downplay or suppress it. There were forces working against Tenet, Black, and the CIA – but who were they, and what were their motives?

    What all this suggests is that the U.S. government had been successfully infiltrated on some level. And it wasn't some obscure "conspiracy theorist" but New York Times columnist William Safire, who, two days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, first reported al-Qaeda's success in penetrating the most closely-guarded secrets of the U.S. government:

    "A threatening message received by the Secret Service was relayed to the agents with the president that 'Air Force One is next.' According to the high official, American code words were used showing a knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible.

    "(I have a second, on-the-record source about that: Karl Rove, the president's senior adviser, tells me: 'When the president said "I don't want some tinhorn terrorists keeping me out of Washington," the Secret Service informed him that the threat contained language that was evidence that the terrorists had knowledge of his procedures and whereabouts. In light of the specific and credible threat, it was decided to get airborne with a fighter escort.')"

    The White House later said that no such threat was made. But if al-Qaeda could gain access to super-secret code words and acquire specific knowledge of the security procedures attending the president as well as his exact whereabouts, then surely they had penetrated the U.S. government in some way, shape, or form – perhaps with the aid of a cooperative foreign intelligence agency. At any rate, in this context it is not unreasonable to posit a fifth column operating inside the U.S. government, feeding vital information to the terrorists – and fiercely obstructing Tenet and the CIA from gaining the favorable attention of our addled president and his inner circle.

    In this sense, then, it could be said that 9/11 was an "inside job," not because the WTC was felled by "controlled demolition," as the wackos assert, and not because we bombed ourselves on 9/11, but because the plot couldn't have succeeded without some form of outside assistance. Whether this was from a foreign intelligence agency, al-Qaeda spies placed deep inside the national security bureaucracy, or perhaps both, is a matter of pure speculation, but it seems to me that, when it comes to 9/11, the whole question of foreknowledge is now becoming a vitally important question.

    This opens up a fascinating investigative trail that leads directly to all sorts of interesting reports – in particular this four-part report from Carl Cameron of Fox News – just as credible as Woodward's journalism, that bear some looking into. Antiwar.com has been in the lead on this issue from Day One, and I have even written a short book on the subject of which intelligence agencies were likely to have stumbled across the 9/11 terrorist plot in the making – and might have been sympathetic to the conspirators' aims, if not their motives. This is the great unexplored aspect of the biggest terrorist attack in our history. When the report by the joint Senate and House Intelligence Committees on intelligence-gathering efforts was released in highly redacted form, Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Select Committee, told PBS' Gwen Ifill:

    "Yes, going back to your question about what was the greatest surprise. I agree with what Senator Shelby said the degree to which agencies were not communicating was certainly a surprise but also I was surprised at the evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States."

    Sure, the Bush administration was in a state of denial when it came to realistically assessing the terrorist threat, and they are in a similar state when it comes to the effect our foreign policy – specifically the Iraq war – has on our fight to eradicate that threat. The real problem, however, is that we are all enmeshed in multiple states of denial, blocked from going down certain paths of investigation by taboos against "conspiracism" and "revisionism" that preclude all but a highly sanitized – and unsatisfactory – version of the 9/11 story.

    Yet "revisionism" is inherent in the study of history, or, indeed, the study of anything: as we do not have perfect knowledge, we are constantly revising and updating our views in light of new information. Revisionism is the opposite of dogmatism, which carves the "accepted" version in stone even before all the facts are in.

    In any event, the cause of 9/11 revisionism, which I have touted in the past, has been given a major boost by Woodward's chronicle of the pre-attack struggle between the intelligence professionals who tried to prevent disaster and those politicians and apparatchiks who stood in their way. He has given us plenty of fresh clues as to where the bodies are buried, and the debunking of the "official" story proceeds apace.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Condi Rice: More Sordid Than Foley

    http://www.alternet.org/stories/42614/

    By Robert Scheer, AlterNet. Posted October 5, 2006.

    The Foley cover-up should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence of administration deceit: that Rice was briefed before 9/11. Tools

    They are such liars. And no, I am not speaking only of the dissembling GOP House leaders led by Speaker Dennis Hastert who, out of naked political calculation, covered up for one of their own in the sordid teen stalking case of Rep. Mark Foley.

    Call me old school, but I am still more concerned with the Republicans molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security, an assignment that they have totally botched. The news about the Foley cover-up, while important as yet another example of extreme hypocrisy on the part of the Republican virtues police, should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence of administration deceit as to its egregious ineptness in protecting the nation.

    On Monday, a State Department spokesman conceded that then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had indeed been briefed in July 2001 by George Tenet, then-director of the CIA, about the alarming potential for an al-Qaida attack, as Bob Woodward has reported in his aptly named new book, "State of Denial."

    "I don't remember a so-called emergency meeting," Rice had said only hours earlier, apparently still suffering from some sort of post-9/11 amnesia that seemed to afflict her during her forced testimony to the 9/11 commission. The omission of this meeting from the final commission report is another example of how the Bush administration undermined the bipartisan investigation that the president had tried to prevent.

    Surely lying under oath in what was arguably the most important official investigation in the nation's history should be treated more seriously than the evasiveness in the Paula Jones case that got President Bill Clinton impeached. Nor is it just Rice who should be challenged, for Tenet seems to have provided Woodward with details concerning the administration's indifference to the terrorist threat that he did not share with the 9/11 commission.

    In his book, Woodward described an encounter between Rice and Tenet, in a near panic about a rising flood of intelligence warnings just presented to him by top aide Cofer Black. Tenet forced an unscheduled meeting with Rice on July 10, 2001, because he wanted the Bush administration to take action immediately against al-Qaida to disrupt a possible domestic attack.

    "Tenet ... decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately. Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from the car and said he needed to see her right away," Woodward reports. "He and Black hoped to convey the depth of their anxiety and get Rice to kick-start the government into immediate action." A mountain of evidence proves that the Bush administration did nothing of the sort.

    Now, if Rice truly does not remember that now-confirmed meeting -- which was apparently first reported in the Aug. 4, 2002, issue of Time magazine in an article titled "Could 9/11 Have Been Prevented?" -- wouldn't that indicate she didn't take it that seriously? Not remembering confirms her inattention to terror reports at a time the Bush administration was already fixated on "regime change" in Iraq.

    Rice is famously sharp and has an awesome memory. Considering the trauma of 9/11 and its effects, it is inconceivable that Rice would not recall such an ominous and prescient briefing by Tenet and Black, especially after the 9/11 commission forced her to document and review her actions in those crucial months.

    It is, however, as she stated Monday, "incomprehensible" that she, then the national security advisor to the president and the person most clearly charged with sounding the alarm, would have ignored the threat. But ignore it the administration did, and then later tried to lay the blame on the Clinton administration, which, Rice claimed at the 9/11 commission hearings, lied when it said it had given the incoming White House team an action plan for fighting al-Qaida.

    "We were not presented with a plan," Rice infamously argued under questioning from former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., but instead were given a memo with "a series of actionable items" describing how to tackle al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

    Such weaseling would be funny if the topic were not so serious. But there is no way Rice can squirm out of this one, despite her impressive track record of calculated distortion on everything from Iraq's nonexistent WMDs to the trumped-up ties between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

    Can there be any better case for turning over control of at least one branch of Congress to the opposition party so that we might finally have hearings to learn the truth of this matter, which is far more important, and sordid, than the Foley affair?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    It Usually Starts with John Ashcroft
    The pre-9/11 timeline has never made less sense

    http://www.reason.com/links/links101006.shtml

    Jeff A. Taylor
    10/11/2006

    As the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui conclusively proved, amazing things happen when you ask people to tell the truth or go to jail. Testimony by FBI officials in a real criminal court revealed long-buried facts that show that federal officials had far more information about the 9/11 plot than anyone had suspected.

    Now, thanks to Bob Woodward's book State of Denial, we have learned that immediately prior to the Moussaoui-inspired August 2001 attempts by the Minneapolis FBI office to raise an alarm about terror attacks, the CIA was in Washington briefing top Bush administration officials like John Ashcroft and Condoleezza Rice about terror threats.

    What's more, at least one crucial July 10, 2001 CIA briefing given to Rice completely escaped the 9/11 Commission report. That would be the same 9/11 Commission that John Ashcroft stonewalled in 2004 and now rips in his new book Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice.

    As UPI reports:

    Former Attorney General John Ashcroft this week became the only Cabinet-level Bush official to attack the Sept. 11 Commission, writing in his memoirs it "seemed obsessed with trying to lay the blame for the terrorist attacks at the feet of the Bush administration, while virtually absolving the previous administration of responsibility."

    Ashcroft also writes that the commission's hearings "were not so much about discovering the truth as they were about assessing blame and grandstanding," adding that they "degenerated into show trials."

    GOP Commissioner Slade Gorton, a former senator from Washington State, told United Press International Thursday that he found the charges "extraordinary," recalling that President Bush had personally repudiated Ashcroft's tactics in his sparring with the commission.

    "Most of the criticism (the commission received) was the exact opposite: that we didn't blame anyone," he said. "Our job was to write a factual account which readers could use to assess blame for themselves."

    Ashcroft "may very well have been the worst witness we interviewed," he said, adding he was "very unresponsive and unhelpful."

    What alternate reality are we in where the 9/11 panel's perfunctory, at best, stenography of the 9/11 principals is some sort of partisan witch hunt? Welcome to the world of John Ashcroft, who is now emerging as the epicenter of the pre-9/11 "no warning" cover story.

    As Attorney General in 2001, Ashcroft was at the intersection of law enforcement and counter-terrorism. Contrary to the Ashcroft-constructed myth that a Clinton administration-built wall existed between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, info did pass back and forth between the two sides. Only believers in that myth would be surprised to learn that on or around July 17, 2001 Ashcroft was briefed by the CIA on terror threats. In keeping with the myth, Ashcroft denies ever getting such info.

    McClatchy Newspapers reported last week:

    One official who helped to prepare the briefing, which included a PowerPoint presentation, described it as a "10 on a scale of 1 to 10" that "connected the dots" in earlier intelligence reports to present a stark warning that al-Qaida, which had already killed Americans in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and East Africa, was poised to strike again.

    David Ayres, who was Ashcroft's chief of staff at the Justice Department, said that the former attorney general also has no recollection of a July 17, 2001, terrorist threat briefing. Later, Ayres said that Ashcroft could recall only a July 5 briefing on threats to U.S. interests abroad.

    He said Ashcroft doesn't remember any briefing that summer that indicated that al-Qaida was planning to attack within the United States.

    End Part I
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    30,709
    Ah, yes, the little wrinkle of there being no warning about a domestic attack. Ashcroft's Justice Department did have three FBI field offices—Minneapolis, Phoenix, and New York—all pursuing domestic terror investigations with varying degrees of connectedness to the 9/11 plot in the weeks before the attack. This, alone, seems to poke a rather large hole in the no-warning myth.

    There were, in fact, many pre-9/11 warnings. One involves the small matter of Ashcroft suddenly opting to ditch domestic commercial aircraft. As CBS News reported on July 26, 2001:

    In response to inquiries from CBS News over why Ashcroft was traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines, the Justice Department cited what it called a "threat assessment" by the FBI, and said Ashcroft has been advised to travel only by private jet for the remainder of his term.

    "There was a threat assessment and there are guidelines. He is acting under the guidelines," an FBI spokesman said. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department, however, would identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it.

    Give the same set of circumstantial facts to any U.S. Attorney looking for fore-knowledge of corporate malfeasance and that lawyer would jump into an investigation to ferret out the truth.

    And unease over further investigation into the pre-9/11 timeline apparently has troubled Ashcroft for some time. Certainly his new book has doubled back to blast the 9/11 Commission over just these very points and Ashcroft continues to press the notion that the government pre-9/11 had no hope of stopping terrorists and that only "toughness" can succeed.

    A book promo talk last week with right-wing bloggers is quite illuminating on that front. Among friends Ashcroft evidently felt comfortable enough to uncork a few doozies, including suggesting that anyone worrying about how America treats its prisoners should consider the alternative—killing prisoners outright. And when asked about criticisms of the PATRIOT Act, clearly what Ashcroft regards as his lasting legacy, the former Senator from the Show-Me State said, "Name one person who's been victimized by the PATRIOT Act."

    Alright, but it will take some setup:

    When you have a loose spark plug wire and the auto shop replaces the entire electrical system instead, you have a problem, perhaps a fraud. The real issue is missed and many, many expensive new fixes are attempted.

    It is becoming very clear that the 9/11 attacks were the result of a bad spark plug wire. The overall system basically worked. A threat was detected and that information was conveyed to the nation's leaders in a timely fashion. They opted to ignore it. That was the breakdown: not the laws, but the leaders.

    The PATRIOT Act and the across-the-board ramping up of government surveillance represent the unneeded new electrical system. A colossal waste of time and resources that does not fix the fundamental problem of a backward-looking and, frankly, Missouri-mule-stubborn ruling class that insists on seeing the world as it would like it to be rather than how it actually exists.

    Who has been victimized by the PATRIOT Act? Certainly every American who expects their government to act responsibly and accept blame when things go wrong.

    John Ashcroft now stands as the face of this peculiar mix of arrogance and cowardice. His criticism of the 9/11 Commission as a show trial projects his greatest fear: To swear before his God to tell the truth, with the tangible threat of going to prison to back that up.

    Anything less, it seems, will not recover reality.

    End
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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