Alarming new evidence of Dubya terror negligence
Eleven years yesterday since the murder of thousands of innocents in New York and Washington. Eleven years and 36 days since President Bush received a disturbing daily intelligence memo entitled: “BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S.”.
The world has known about that memo’s contents since August 2004, when the Bush Administration declassified the document for the 9/11 commission.
Yesterday, though, there were further revelations (and accusations) that the Bush White House’s treatment of the Al Qaeda threat before 9/11 was grossly negligent in an opinion piece in a major American newspaper.
Author and journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote in The New York Times:
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible [....]
An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.
A fixation on the Iraqi dictator instead of on the imminent threat at hand. Warning bells ringing in intelligence dispatches from far-flung nations. CIA apoplexy over the lack of action on their reports. And so on and so on.
It’s easy to look back in hindsight and join the dots of the terrorist plot - that’s true. But it’s not an adequate excuse for not being critical of the past. We deserve the full story behind the attacks.
September 11 was a defining moment for Australia’s national security too. It led to our own intelligence clampdown and the deployment of our troops in two Middle-Eastern theatres. One operation continues to this day in Afghanistan.
The Punch spoke to a prominent international affairs expert before he was to board a plane yesterday. Dr Michael McKinley, of the Australian National University, said the Times’s opinion piece was no smoking gun. A glance at the documents isn’t proof of negligence.
Like the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration has so far chosen to withhold the Bush briefings. “Until then it’s just speculation,” Dr McKinley said.
They should release them. We all deserve to hear the full story about 9/11.
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