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Get ready for distortions in the German media on that declassified August 6 memo.... [Read More]

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CNN.COM:
...Ben-Veniste said al Qaeda had a "history of using planes as weapons."

He said he would "be surprised if Dr. Rice didn't know" about a no-fly zone in place over Genoa, Italy, for the spring 2001 G8 meeting, spurred by fears terrorists could crash planes "into the buildings where the leaders were meeting."

...Former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado, who was co-chairman of an earlier bipartisan commission that studied national security, said Sunday that he met with Rice five days before the September 11 attacks because he was concerned that the Bush administration was not moving on his panel's call for action against al Qaeda.

The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, created by Clinton in 1998 with congressional approval, released its final report in January 2001 and predicted "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers."

"What this administration has done ... is to say that until someone tells us that 19 men are going to hijack four airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon at 9 a.m. on September 11, we are not accountable,"...

AI--Thought experiment

August 6th, 2001. President Bush announces that, because of a history of AQ attacking American interests around the globe, he (and the CIA) believe that AQ will attack inside America at the earliest opportunity, possibly by the end of year.

In order to prevent that, he has announced that:
--Several hundred Muslim immigrants had been detained and will likely be deported.
--An ultimatum has been delivered to the Taliban in Afghanistan to give up AQ elements or face destruction
--The FBI will be sharing domestic intelligence with the CIA (a la the Patriot Act)

What do you think the response would have been? you know what it is now, AFTER the attack actually happened.

Do you honestly think that Congress would have approved those 3 items? That the public would have?

If you do, given the protests, 50/50 split in America, etc, you're being willfully obtuse.

David

Note from David Kaspar: To avoid confusion: This is a different David. Though, I agree with him completely.

Why does it not surprise me that these would be the headlines in the European press. Actually anything less would be a disappointment given the attitudes of most Europeans and their media. Unfortunately, the conclusions drawn by either Ray or Gabi at the end of the article are equally probable.

The PDA contained nothing that was of use in preventing the attack of 9 11. This attack represented a huge failure by many agencies with the US government. I would suggest you read the article by the Director of the FBI, which appears in the 12 April 2004 issue of the Wall Street Journal and the testimony of the Director of the CIA. (Both of these men appointed to their positions by President Clinton) These will give at a much more accurate picture of the state of knowledge, intelligence and inter-agency cooperation at the time of 9 11.

If one wants to go back in history about warnings, there were some in the intelligence community who identified al Qaeda as a threat prior to 1996. Identifying a threat and being able to stop some form of terrorist activity of course are very different propositions.

Al Qaeda absent from final Clinton report


By James G. Lakely
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The final policy paper on national security that President Clinton submitted to Congress — 45,000 words long — makes no mention of al Qaeda and refers to Osama bin Laden by name just four times.
The scarce references to bin Laden and his terror network undercut claims by former White House terrorism analyst Richard A. Clarke that the Clinton administration considered al Qaeda an "urgent" threat, while President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, "ignored" it.

The Clinton document, titled "A National Security Strategy for a Global Age," is dated December 2000 and is the final official assessment of national security policy and strategy by the Clinton team. The document is publicly available, though no U.S. media outlets have examined it in the context of Mr. Clarke's testimony and new book.
…….

In Mr. Clarke's best-selling book "Against All Enemies," he writes that during a transitional briefing in January 2001, Miss Rice's "facial expression gave me the impression that she'd never heard the term [al Qaeda] before."
But the Clinton administration's final national security document, written while Mr. Clarke was a high-level national security adviser, never mentions al Qaeda.
"Clarke was on the job as terrorism czar at that point," said a senior Bush administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "He played a significant role. His concerns should have been well-known."

AI - does that mean we should've made the entire U.S. a no fly zone? When should it have started and for how long? What reason could have been given that anyone in the world would listen to? If they said today that someone was going to use a WMD in a major US city in the next year - what should be done? When? Do you close all major cities? Search everyone? Arrest all middle eastern men?

You have to remember that this is America you are talking about not a dictatorship - no matter what you might think to the contrary. Those in power have to have reasons for what they do - and then they can't always do what they want.

The G8 conference has nothing whatever to do with 9/11. It was a one time finite thing with variables that were known and could be controlled. You are trying to equate that with a wide open system that has 24/7 continual use, and no specifics about when, where or how any type of terrorist activity would take place.

As for a commission that was established in 1998 - the only thing I have to say about them is - why were they only concerned 5 days before 9/11? It took them 3 years to decide that AQ was a real threat? Why weren't they concerned about Clinton's lack of effort in that direction? And how is it they missed warning us about the pending attack on the USS Cole in October of 2000?

No need to apologize for the C&F cartoon. It's an obvious and predictable series of steps - at each of which any number of people will turn aside - I predict large numbers of Germans reaching the "BUSH PLANNED 9/11" stage - far more than here with the help of the Euro-press. Thanks for the headline round-up.

@AI

If you have in fact read the PBD and were able to come to some executable course of action, then I suggest you call 703-482-0623. That is one of the switchboard numbers at the CIA. Ask to speak to recruitment. I am sure they would love to have your analytical abilities. If you don’t think you would like Northern Virginia. I understand Madrid is a very nice city too.

The WTC was not a federal building.

Ramzi Yousef told the FBI agent accompanying him in the helicopter that, after the FBI agent pointed them out as they flew by them, they're still standing/here, Ramzi said they won't be.

93-94.

Thanks for the cartoon, David. The headlines you report are worthy of the old Soviet newspapers, Pravda and Isvestia. We'll be taking our leave of where we're not wanted and move on to Poland, Bulgaria and other places where anti-Americanism isn't so blatant. I'm sorry I couldn't care less about the economy of Kaiserslautern and other German cities. Conduct has its consequences.

More ridiculous off-the-cuff distortions from Malte Lehming in the Tagesspiegel today. He starts his article by describing Mubarak's Egypt in negative terms - autocratic, backwards, socialist - and then mentions that the U.S. gives Egypt 1.3 billion dollars a year in aid. Why this apparent discrepancy? Because Mubarak is a close friend of Bush's, of course! Never mind the Camp David Peace Accords of twenty-five years ago, signed by Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat, Lehming makes it sound like this money has only been coming because Mubarak shmused with Bush and made some secret deal with him.

Malte Lehming is not a journalist. He just makes things up as he goes along, explaining the world to us according to his fancy. The Tagesspiegel would do well to get a new U.S. correspondent.

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