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.”.

Don't hear much from him nowadays.Picture: AFP

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.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST.

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    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      07:03am | 12/09/12

      Why write about errors and mistakes in history by a US President.?

      Are our leaders in Australia negligent of what is happening in Asia and how the events can threaten our very survival as a nation?

      There are war clouds in the South China Sea. Events may be spinning out of control and it will affect Australia greatly if our two most important customers go to war, even a limited one, see latest report at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-09/12/content_15751324.htm

      The Chinese in China are ready for war against Japan because Japan has not done what the Germans have done on the holocaust. China has a popular cable TV with programs from many of its provinces. Every night you can see a TV series about Japanese atrocities in China in World War 2. Japan has not apologize to China for its WW2 atrocities and even deny the well documented massacre in Nanjing then capital of China in WW2.

      China has just announced it has sent warships to the Diaoyu Islands which are located very close to Taiwan.

      The Diaoyu Islands were stolen from China by Japan in 1895 at the time when Japan also conquered Taiwan. At the end of WW2 USA returned Taiwan to China but kept control of the Diaoyu Islands.

      In 1971 at the time when USA considered China as enemy No 1 the Diaoyu Islands were given to Japan by USA, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senkaku_Islands. Luckily USA did not also give Taiwan to Japan at that time.

      It is important that Australia impresses on USA that any military incident between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Island is not covered by the US-Japan Defense Treaty. We must avoid being sucked into war in the South China Sea.

    • acotrel says:

      09:09am | 12/09/12

      Is this another case of LIHOP ? - Let it happen on purpose ?  What purpose - oil and the main game ?

    • cedric says:

      12:07pm | 12/09/12

      Why write about “mistakes” then, in history about Sino-Nipponese events?

    • Kika says:

      04:25pm | 12/09/12

      How could the US afford another massive war? They can’t.

      Just blow the islands up. Nobody lives there. Problem solved.

    • M says:

      07:32am | 12/09/12

      They reckon the US knew that Pearl Harbour was going to be bombed as well.

    • wakeuppls says:

      07:53am | 12/09/12

      Gulf of Tonkin incident? Staged.

    • Trevor says:

      08:46am | 12/09/12

      Classic false flag operations. Leaders have known for a while that this is the only way to get a democratic populace behind a war of aggression.

      Hitler knew it too well too with his little staged polish incursion that led to the invasion of that country.

    • Winston Smith says:

      09:12am | 12/09/12

      The Gulf of Tonkin incident wasn’t staged.  The US failed to declare war when they had just cause, and declared war two days later by citing an attack against the USS Maddox that never happened.

    • marley says:

      09:25am | 12/09/12

      @Trevor - Pearl Harbour was a false flag operation?  Umm, I don’t think so.  I think it really was the Japanese in those Zeros bombing the hell out of the American fleet. 

      I believe there was some intelligence indicating a probable attack - but it either didn’t get to the right people,or it was dismissed as improbable. 

      Judging what intel is reliable and what isn’t is a dicey thing.  If you accept as gospel intel that says an attack is going to happen at point A, and shift your forces there, you leave point B very vulnerable.  You enemy knows that and may have created the false intel in the first place so that you will weaken your lines as his real point of attack.  Or, it could all be a double bluff….

    • acotrel says:

      09:38am | 12/09/12

      Prior to WW2 both Roosevelt and Churchill were insisted that Japan should fire the first shot.  Roosevelt provoked the situation with sanctions against Japan.  The attack was expected to take place in the Dutch East Indies.  Fortunately the aircraft carriers were not in Pearl Habour when the Japanese mounted their surprise (?)  attack, and we only lost 3000 lives. But good came out of it. - The US entered the war, there was something to spend the New Deal dollars on, the US economy was saved, and in the end the British empire was devolved leaving two major powers ruling the world - America and Russia. A balance of ideologies was reached and peace reigned, and all was lovely with the world.
      The system runs on bullshit !

    • acotrel says:

      09:42am | 12/09/12

      You knew who was behind Dubya getting elected, and now you are surprised that Iraq, Afghanistan and the GFC happened ? Whatever happened to the concept of risk management ?

    • TChong says:

      10:02am | 12/09/12

      Another “classic flag” though largely forgotten , was the US invasion of Grenada, in order to “rescue “some US uni stidents , who were not in any danger from anyone , and didnt even know they “needed” to be “rescued”.
      The “Cuban military ” were engineers constructing a new air terminal , as part of an aid deal for Grenada.
      Even Maggie Thatcher ( who was PM at the time), condemned the move as totally unwarranted, and an outright indefencable actionby the US.

    • SZF says:

      10:34am | 12/09/12

      M - this conspiracy theory has been around for years, but it’s not true. There’s plenty of evidence available to show that while the US and Japan were prepared for war, the Pearl Harbour attack caught the Americans napping.

      wakeuppls - as I understand it, Gulf of Tonkin wasn’t staged so much as deliberately misreported by the US government and military at the time. Think “Children Overboard” but with live ammunition.

      Trevor - you’re correct about the Germans using a false flag raid on a radio station as pretext for invading Poland in 1939 (there’s another well-known example during the Battle of the Bulge). However, false flag operations are covert (and therefore small scale) by nature, something that a Japanese fleet isn’t…

      To all those conspiracy theorists out there, most times an apple is just that and nothing more.

    • M says:

      10:39am | 12/09/12

      Considering the US’ recent track record with going to war on false pretences, I’m with trevor.

    • marley says:

      10:40am | 12/09/12

      @acotrel - “Roosevelt provoked the situation with sanctions against Japan.”  Umm, if memory serves, the Japanese invaded Manchuria, then China proper, then Indochina, before the Americans finally imposed sanctions.  And yet you see Roosevelt as the provocateur?  Interesting take on history you have.

    • acotrel says:

      12:16pm | 12/09/12

      ‘However, false flag operations are covert (and therefore small scale) by nature, something that a Japanese fleet isn’t…’

      Did you get that definition from Wikipedia ?

    • acotrel says:

      12:24pm | 12/09/12

      @marley
      Roosevelt made it very clear to Churchill that if Poland was invaded, and the English did not declare war, help would not be forthcoming later.  The British Productivity Commission was active in the US when Roosevelt was about to be elected for his second term, and the isolationist lobby was strong in Congess.  The BPC helped Roosevelt and also had their own candidate posing as a republican, so it was a win-win strategy.  The war was going to happen, and the US economy would be saved. It came to pass.

    • acotrel says:

      12:30pm | 12/09/12

      Marley, have you ever heard the saying ‘the ends justify the means’.  Read the book title ‘Friendly Fire’ about Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin.  My wife claims it is just another conspiracy theory.  However the explanations fit the facts, and there doesn’t appear to be an agenda.  I always keep in mind ‘qui bono’ when I read books about politics and biographies.

    • DJ says:

      02:08pm | 12/09/12

      actually Marley that is the official line from Japan at their war memorial in Tokyo - quite a read (spent a day there many years ago now). According to them they liberated Nanjing and the provocation went back to the 19th century. the last straw was the threat of cutting of oil supply, they figured an attack was imminent and got in first - their version anyway, truth is probably somewhere inbetween

    • Babylon says:

      02:40pm | 12/09/12

      Governments most times know of the possibilities of disasters.

      For example, Penny Wong told us that there would be no point in installing a carbon tax to reduce emissions, simply to drive that industry overseas where the emission loading would continue, but jobs would be lost in Australia.

      Penny Wong said you   “can’t have any environmental certainty with a carbon tax”.

    • colin says:

      07:34am | 12/09/12

      :“We all deserve to hear the full story about 9/11…”

      OK, here it is:

      A bunch of loony religious zealots hijack aeroplanes and fly them into some very large buildings occupied by people that they see as infidels. The end.

      All the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing and chest-beating about what could have been or if “Only we…” will not bring back the dead and serves no purpose other than to serve that questionable human trait of laying blame.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      08:07am | 12/09/12

      oh no colin, it was the CIA. I have the files photocpies in my head, via the Implant that the Thetans gave to me!

    • Tubesteak says:

      08:15am | 12/09/12

      No. It was a CIA plot along with the RAND Corporation, saucer people, reverse vampires and mortgage lenders to eliminate the meal of dinnertime!

      Watch all the whackjobs come out on this post. It will be the best entertainment you’ll get all day.

    • nihonin says:

      08:56am | 12/09/12

      Ah colin, you need a tin foil hat, if that’s what you think really happened.  wink

    • TC says:

      09:12am | 12/09/12

      That is a pathetic response. The Bush Adminstration was incompetent and downright negligent in delaing with a variety of warnings (inclusing from overseas intelligence agencies)of attacks and were downright criminally negligent in handling the attcaks themselves (reading stories to children, going AWOL etc) lied to the 9/11 Commission about the happenings of that day and waht warnings were received (Rice said nobody any idea hijackers could fly planes into buildings - despite there being a military drill taking place on 9/11 where that exact event was stimulated) After 9/11 the Bush Adminstration tried to blame Saddam Hussein for the attack despite there being no evidence he had anything to do with it. There has been lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie. Bush is now basically in hiding. If someone murdered your child would you just say “oh well, it doesn’t matter how it happened or who did it, or if the police stuffed the investigation up, can’t being the them back from the dead….? This is “lets bury our heads in heh sand” nonsense which stops us learning from mistakes, and punishing those who seek higher office and all its trappings but fundamentally fail their basic duties.

    • RJB says:

      09:16am | 12/09/12

      And who was that mystery woman in black?

    • colin says:

      09:35am | 12/09/12

      Yes, yes, I know it was really the alien CIA agents who infiltrated the RAND corporation on behalf of Comalco Tinfoil Hats inc.; I just thought such information had been classified rooooly, roooooly Top Top Secret by George Dubya before he was put into suspended animation and transported back to his home planet of Ultima Nong…

    • acotrel says:

      09:47am | 12/09/12

      Wikileaks has happened once and it can happen again !
      ‘Truth, justice and the American way’ ?  - bloody computers, they will ruin the world for us would-bees !

    • M says:

      10:42am | 12/09/12

      I had a brilliant crackpot reply typed out about explosives. Shame on whichever punch moderator blocked it.

    • colin says:

      10:43am | 12/09/12

      @TC 09:12am | 12/09/12

      Yes, yes; here we go blaming people for their failing to be omniscient, omnipresent, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…

      If, TC, I told you that there was an, “Imminent threat” to Australia from terrorists - but you didn’t know how or what - what would you do? Lock down all of the airports? Tell people to stay home and not work? Shut down the public transport system? Close down the power stations?

      Did anyone give them information that said, “Terrorists are going to hijack airliners and fly them into the sides of buildings”? No? Then how are the politicians complicit? How - without exacting information as to the precise threat - would they know what to do?

      I don’t like Dubya any more than anyone else, but - as I said - this is simply an unfair, irrational human reaction to things like this; laying blame to - somehow - absolve or ameliorate the horror of all those deaths.

      Do you take the blame and flagellate yourself if some dumb creature runs onto the road and you kill it? Do you blame yourself for knowing that - on an un-fenced stretch of road running through a national park - that an imminent danger of collision is possible but that you didn’t magically envision where that would occur and when? Why didn’t you not stop the car, get out and walk..? You can’t do EVERYTHING to stop something like this without completely stopping everything else and - without knowing exactly when and where it will occur - it is silly to do so.

      But PUNISH all those supposedly “responsible”? Good god, that is such a puritanical attitude. Sure, I agree, “Learn from our mistakes”, but punitive action on people who weren’t actually aware of the PRECISE threat is tantamount to nonsense.

    • Tubesteak says:

      11:43am | 12/09/12

      We know all this to be tru because there was a big long psot [sic] on http://www.interwebzconspiracytheoryrealtroof.blogspot.wordpress.org

      It was written by a guy in a basement so you know it’s true. It even has some pictures and a claim from a fireman that he saw a piece of debris that looked like it was sawn in half with a scalpel just like the scalpels used by CIA doctors in that totes real alien autopsy video.

    • P. Darvio says:

      11:46am | 12/09/12

      I was about to write more or less the same thing - yes that is the full story - religion was the cause of 911 and religion is almost always at the heart of terror and terrorism. Religion is the greatest threat to the Planet and the long term survivability of the human species.

    • sunny says:

      11:52am | 12/09/12

      What the hell is a reverse vampire? Is that a vampire that operates by day, or one that bites you then spits a load of blood into your veins?

    • colin says:

      11:58am | 12/09/12

      @M 10:42am | 12/09/12

      “I had a brilliant crackpot reply typed out about explosives. Shame on whichever punch moderator blocked it.”

      It was the CIA mole.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:58pm | 12/09/12

      Reverse vampires are ones that have to stay out during the day and be home by nightfall.

      It was actually due to Simpson & Son Revitalising Tonic.

    • subotic... citobus... subotic... citobus... says:

      01:08pm | 12/09/12

      Judas Priest records played backwards caused 9/11

    • Bear says:

      02:01pm | 12/09/12

      It was the reverse vampires AND the saucer people, dummies!

    • TChong says:

      07:36am | 12/09/12

      Less than 11years since a Coalition commenced killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis ( mainly), Afghans, Yemenis, Sudanese, in retaliation.
      Anyone who has read “Generation Kill” may be able to make a case that “murder” would be just as applicable to many of the deaths caused by US actions ( the author Evan Wright , although “embedded” with the Marines, most certainly raised doubt about many of the deaths he witnessed).
      No doubt people in the WTCs ( and elsewhere) were completely innocent, and totally undeserving of the mass murder that followed, just the same as many people in Baghdad and Fallujah were also completely innocent and totally undeserving of the mass killing that was dealt out by the US, in retaliation.

    • Mark says:

      12:03pm | 12/09/12

      Exactly, retaliation. That is the word that has been left out of every Western Media article for the last 10 years. They mention “national interests” and “pre-emptive stike” but never the plain and simple English term for what Iraq was- retaliation. Oil and strategic positioning were secondary motives developed to bolster the plans to rectify the bruised American ego.

    • wakeuppls says:

      07:38am | 12/09/12

      Releasing any and all information relevant to the 9/11 incident will no doubt indict many US Government officials both past and present. It will also indict many people not within the US Government. You really think they’d keep all these secrets simply to protect Bush?

    • Bear says:

      10:54am | 12/09/12

      But sorry no you can’t fault the Republican born to rule by providence. A president putting his willy into the wrong woman however is scandalous and a matter for a public inquisition. Killing 100,000s though, fine.

    • Bomb78 says:

      12:42pm | 12/09/12

      Bear: where Clinton pointed his appendage wasn’t the problem - the problem was he lied under oath.
      Does Bob Hawke win four elections had the public known the details behind his affairs?

    • Bear says:

      03:12pm | 12/09/12

      I knew someone would labor the point. He lied about matters that were nobodies business but he and his wife. Tough cookies. The whole thing was the Reps having a tanty over not winning so they had to try any dirty trick they could. That’s all!

    • Bear says:

      03:14pm | 12/09/12

      I knew someone would labor the point. He lied about matters that were nobodies business but he and his wife. Tough cookies. MPs lie every day in parliament. Should they be sacked too?  Hockey is the libs designated liar! The whole thing was the Reps having a tanty over not winning so they had to try any dirty trick they could. That’s all!

    • Mahhrat says:

      07:46am | 12/09/12

      All we have is speculation. 

      Do the United States have a glowing record of international relations?  Of course not, but then neither does an awful lot of countries.

      Did the Bush Administration screw up?  I can’t answer that question, that’s why I pay taxes, to fund the kind of people that can.

      The OP is right, we should get the full information.  Unfortunately, the only person who’s willing to share it is holed up in an Ecuadorian embassy.

    • marley says:

      08:40am | 12/09/12

      I seriously doubt he’s got that information.  He lucked out with a bunch of tapes of not very serious stuff stolen by a soldier.  None of it seems to have been all that highly classified - not much higher than Secret, which is not very high up the classification ladder. 

      The kind of thing we’re talking about, CIA intel, wouldn’t be accessible to a guy like Bradley Manning.

    • Mahhrat says:

      09:43am | 12/09/12

      @Marley, I get that and that is exactly the point.

      Look at the lengths they’ve gone to to get at Julian, and that’s for things that are a nuisance, not terribly destructive.

      Stuff like what the US Government knew prior to 9/11 about imminent threats to home base?  That is public interest if ever I’ve seen it, yet we can’t get anywhere near it.

      This stuff should be open source, we should know, exactly because they think we shouldn’t.

    • acotrel says:

      10:03am | 12/09/12

      ‘Do the United States have a glowing record of international relations?  Of course not, but then neither does an awful lot of countries.’

      There are not many countries which have the role of global policeman ! If you want to be boss cockie, you must ‘do it right, first time’ !

    • subotic is the new plague says:

      08:00am | 12/09/12

      All hail the Skull & Bones

    • Long thin sliver nihonin says:

      09:37am | 12/09/12

      Aaarrrr agree me hearty.

    • iansand says:

      08:13am | 12/09/12

      Once the impossible has happened it becomes easy to imagine.  Until that point it remains impossible.

    • acotrel says:

      10:08am | 12/09/12

      Crap, Iansand.  Risk management is about assessing likelihood and potential consequences in various scenarios, then acting.  Stuffing it up is the provence of small minded idiots like Dubya - elected by greedy fools with no imagination !

    • colin says:

      12:08pm | 12/09/12

      @acotrel 10:08am | 12/09/12

      “Risk management is about assessing likelihood and potential consequences in various scenarios, then acting…”

      Indeed, Acotrel, it is. But if you don’t know that a hijacked ‘plane will be flown into the Twin Trade Towers at precisely xx time on xx date, then how can you possibly say - straight-faced - that Dubya (or anyone else for that matter) could have possibly locked-down an entire country the size of the United States with a population of over 300-million on the report of an “Imminent threat”?

      it would be a completely different story if they knew precisely where, when, what, who and how, but they didn’t.  And really - if you have not a conspiratorial bone in your body - it only makes absolute common sense to see that anyone (even anyone as stupid as Dubya) would have   foiled such actions if they knew all these vital things.

      Or - god help us all - do you really believe that Bush actually LET this happen..?

    • Cynicised says:

      12:12pm | 12/09/12

      Acotrel, do you honestly believe half the stuff you type? Iansand is on the money here. The 9/11 attacks were unthinkable that’s why they were so shockingly successful. Only the most paranoid intelligence officer could have dreamt up the scenario of flying commercial planes into buildings as a realistic threat. They may have had warnings of imminent danger and perhaps even info somewhere re odd characters receiving pilots training, but putting it all together and coming up with an accurate prediction of the events which occurred would have been a feat worthy of miracle status. Risk management,  my arse!

    • the cynic says:

      02:34pm | 12/09/12

      acotrel .....with your warped logic on risk management and potential consequences we would have to condemn anyone who failed to identify a threat. Following your logic we all should be baying for Juliars head , what with all the threats and consequences she has missed in placing our country at economic and security peril. Makes her up there with the small minded idiot Dubya if we apply your criteria.

    • DJ says:

      08:15am | 12/09/12

      Just finished the Bush at War series by Bob Woodward he plays a fairly straiht bat and is fair but it does paint a poor picture of the Bush Administration. The “smoking gun” was the visit by George Tenet and one of his senior people to Rice (noted as the main gateway to Bush) to request funds to go after bin Laden in July of 2001 due to the overwhelming amount of information coming through.

      Her response was to basically fob them off and that the president had said he wasn’t interested in swatting at flies. The administration had Iraq on their minds from day one and as the world remembers Sept.11 it is time to remember the Iraqi lives lost - Woodward quotes Pentagonfigures of 200 lives a week in the first few years- on aper capita basis the equivalent of a 9/11 every week.

    • M says:

      08:20am | 12/09/12

      If only there was some sort of whisle blower organisation that the documents could be leaked to.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      08:26am | 12/09/12

      Hi Daniel,

      I feel that it is sad and disappointing to think that we have all thought that there was nothing anyone could do to prevent the attacks on Twin Towers in New York which to took place on Eleventh of September 2001!  Somehow it is also very disheartening to come to the realization that no measures were actually taken by authorities in charge of national security to stop such a catastrophic incident from happening in the first place!

      But enough of the blame game, I truly want to know with all that material at hand would it still be alright to go down the path of a costly war in Iraq just the same?  Are we really combating terrorism in the right way or just creating some nations around the world intent on punishing all Muslims for what happened 11 years ago?  And for many people involved, is it still a valid and just cause to keep on fighting the only way we know how?  Surely there has to be better ways such as sharing intelligence as and gathering information.

      Right now we could need a whole new strategy to combat terrorism!  Certainly not with constant messages of more hatred and violence but with helpful knowledge about our enemies which could ensure a safer Middle East and a safer world as well.  Instead of treating ordinary members of the public as terrorists guilty of a serious crime, we should really target the real criminals guilty of all those terrorism charges in the first place!

      And truly deciding to bomb a country for simply being suspected terrorists is not the way to deal with this very serious problem.  In my personal opinion this constant vicious cycle of aggression and talk of more violence isn’t helping this situation at all. Also the actual message of declaring all out war on everyday Muslims for just being believers in a particular faith is only making things worse by breeding more hatred and aggression in our community! 

      It is also high time to give all citizens no matter what their cultural and religious backgrounds happen to be, reasons to simply love and respect their country so that as a society we don’t have this constant urge to look over our shoulders.  Kind regards to your editors.

    • FINK says:

      08:28am | 12/09/12

      @colin
      “The end”,
      Not quite. Opens up opportunities for our governments to erode our basic freedoms and rights under the guise of stopping terrorism. Instilling fear into the citizens for more control over our lives. Detainment and disappearance without evidence and no recourse of justice of the courts if under suspicion, if you tell your family and friends. Forced paranoia of the masses through unjust propaganda and fear mongering by those who choose to run our lives. Censorship, monitoring or your every move, undignified searches of person no matter how frail, old or incapable. The best thing that happened to governments of the free world has 9/11. How much has been spent on the war against terror by governments instigated by the deaths of less than 3000 innocent civilians compared to the deaths of over 1 million innocent civilians by the boxing day tsunami? Me personally am more afraid of an unprovoked attack by an earthquake, tsunami or asteroid than that from a couple of free radicals.

    • colin says:

      11:18am | 12/09/12

      @FINK 08:28am | 12/09/12

      “...Opens up opportunities for our governments to erode our basic freedoms and rights under the guise of stopping terrorism…”

      And they would want to do that, why? What possible legitimate reason can you express that would justify such behaviour by a popularly-elected, Western government such as ours? What have they possibly to gain by yoking us with more draconian laws aimed at ameliorating our freedom? What possible benefit to a freely-elected parliament do you suppose such behaviour would elicit?

      Sure, I hate the screening and the interference in my life just as much as anyone else and - as far as airport scanning is concerned in particular - most of it is a waste of time.

      But have my basic “freedoms” been eroded? No. I still operate as a free agent, able to drive around at will, walk the streets, post sarcastic online comments…all without fear of being thrown in jail like I would be in some Stalinist-style regime…

      No, you’re talking through your hat. Your tinfoil-lined hat.

    • M says:

      12:18pm | 12/09/12

      Not sure if colin is a troll, or seriously misguided.

    • colin says:

      12:49pm | 12/09/12

      @M 12:18pm | 12/09/12

      “Not sure if colin is a troll, or seriously misguided…”

      Now you see, M, that is exactly the hypocritical behaviour I have spoken of before; if you agree with what I post, all well and good. But, if you don’t, I’m immediately relegated to the ranks of “Troll”.

      So if - as you so often have called for before - care to reply to my comments as to WHY you find them “Misguided” then, please, go ahead. Otherwise, go boil your head.

    • FINK says:

      01:17pm | 12/09/12

      @colin,
      Yeah, you’re right colin, I was have a paranoid delusion, one of those Dr. Haneef moments.
      I don’t have a tinfoil hat, but maybe I should just put my goggles back on!

    • M says:

      01:21pm | 12/09/12

      Ok.

      Why are you comfortable with a fascist government?

    • Tony Marphis says:

      01:31pm | 12/09/12

      “if you agree with what I post, all well and good. But, if you don’t, I’m immediately relegated to the ranks of “Troll””

      Well said Colin and I fully agree, I’ve noticed it happening on The Punch often lately, and it appears to come from the conservative side of the debate more often than not. Just because someone has a differing opinion does not make them a troll….M!

      It’s also a reason for myself and probably others not commenting on many articles, I read most but rarely comment.

    • TChong says:

      08:36am | 12/09/12

      First of all - no doubt ( to me ) about OBL and AQ were behind the mass murder and carnage at the WTCs and the plane in the field.
      But
      The Pentagon?
      leading up to Sept 11 2001, investigators discovered a huge deficit in Pentagon / military financial accountability, with billions of dollars missing.
      Sept 11 a jet manages to strike the exact office(s) that held all the investigation documentation etc, includinfg original docs, and copies, which were all surprisingly ( from an administrative POV)kept in one place .

      I’m no cospiracy theorist ( except for grassy knolls, roswells. yetis, ETs,  Lochness Monsters, Min Min Lights, Moon Landing etc wink ), so anyone who disagrees has to refute (ex) senator Jesse Ventura..

    • dancing4vangogh says:

      10:29am | 12/09/12

      @ TChong

      Re the Min Min Lights…..twenty years ago I was reporting on the opening of the Matilda Highway for a State funded travel corporation. They flew us into Mt Isa, we then drove via Cloncurry, McKinley Kynuna (all hail the Blue Heeler Hotel!!), Combo Waterhole (of Waltzing Matilda fame), Carisbrook Station. Winton, Longreach, Roma, etc, etc. 

      (Mind you, a we were also sent up to Townsville the same year, because some bright spark responded with “the roads up to Cairns” when the director of Experience Townsville (Tourism Board) cold-called and asked what the best thing about Townsville was?

      Sleeping on swags camped under the stars, there were some weird, interesting & unexplained things going on up in the night sky. No - we were not allowed to drink (or smoke).

      A few of us headed to Bedorie and Boulia…and three of us swear to this day that we saw the ‘Min Min’. The youngest of us was shaken and took off that night to head back to Brisbane.

      On mentioning it to locals the next morning, nobody was surprised. But when we got back to the city, everybody we told just laughed it off.

      We had no reason to bullsh*t anybody. I was fascinated by it, my coworker (who is very religious).....not so impressed - even though she did see it.

      Call me a nutter, but to this day our stories have not altered one bit. The three of us can describe it perfectly - of course there are those who have said “oh, it must have been this” or “it was probably such and such”. Problem is, those people were not there to see it so they don’t have the benefit of the experience.

      Just sayin’.

    • TChong says:

      10:48am | 12/09/12

      dancing
      My old dad, who used to live in the central/ north west NSW, reckoned he saw ” the Lights” in the Maquarie marshes .
      He wasnt one for exagerrating, and reckoned the Lights was caused by gasses from the rotting plants in the marsh. the lights would float around from a breeze.

    • Geronimo says:

      08:55am | 12/09/12

      Negligent or not, Dubya’s habitually lying Deputy Sheriff, quick to spot a sucker ripe for a Great Big Drop of Patronization, was equally quick to capitalize on the disaster.

    • Muggles says:

      10:06am | 12/09/12

      @Geronimo

      Really?  Do we need this kind of thing?

      Content-free, context-free, poisonous smearing.  Not even a case to make, just a string of barbs.

    • AdamC says:

      09:20am | 12/09/12

      This is all hindsight speculation. I remember reading some similar nonsense about Pearl Harbour a few years ago.

      Many things become obvious in hindsight. Think about those back-lit exit signs. Honestly ...

    • VJR says:

      09:25am | 12/09/12

      Well it’s easy now after 11 years of investigation and Government enquirers to say that the USA was a sleep at the wheel prior to the 9/11 attack and the simple fact it was.  George W wasn’t the smartest man at the top and of course the real puppert master was the VP who’s old company made billions out of the wars that followed.  9/11 is about 3000 ordinary decent people being killed by extremist who hated the US and I guess us as well for reasons I have never fully understood.  So 11 years later Bin Larden is dead the wars continue and people are still dying and I can’t still fully understand why.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      09:37am | 12/09/12

      That whole administration was corrupt and that’s why that theory’s keep flying around and will never stop. Majority of people know how incompetent Bush was, especially after the 9/11 commission which still didn’t tell the full story and left out certain bits.

      The fact these guys could blatantly lie and then invade a country and get away with it scott free still amazes me to this day.

      I remember reading Rumsfields autobiography and he is just so carefree about Iraq and confirms peoples main criticisms of him, that he never accepts blame and that’s why he was so hated within the military.

      The problem with the American system is the President has his little circle around who vet all info before getting to him, in Bush’s case it was Cheney and Libby, that’s why Libby took the fall for the CIA name leak.

    • Anna C says:

      09:39am | 12/09/12

      Everything looks better in hindsight and of course it’s easier to connect the dots.  But apart from the terrorists themselves nobody could have imagined the horrors that were about to unfold.  To accuse the Bush Administration (who I am no fan of by the way) of negligence is being a tad unfair.  How was anyone to know that the terrorists were going to fly planes into those buildings.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      10:29am | 12/09/12

      “How was anyone to know that the terrorists were going to fly planes into those buildings”

      It was in a briefing saying there was chatter that they were going to use planes.

    • Anna C says:

      11:06am | 12/09/12

      “It was in a briefing saying there was chatter that they were going to use planes.”

      If that is the case then okay I accept that.  But no one knew when, where or how this was going to unfold?  I’m sure that if the Bush Administration had known they would have stopped it.  Sure they were probably focused on other targets and threats.  But come on in all honesty who the hell would have thought that a bunch of radical Muslim extremists would be able to organise and execute such unbelievably frightening plan in the heart of America.  If the Bush Administration is guilty of anything when it comes to 9/11 it is of arrogance.  It just goes to show you should never underestimate your enemies.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      11:28am | 12/09/12

      So, stop every plane that was flying into the US indefinitely? You are a nong, simon.

    • GHamsandwich says:

      12:12pm | 12/09/12

      Well Andy, if they knew there was good intel that planes were going to be terrorist targets, they could have bumped up airport security and screenings?

      If they’d done that perhaps the terrorists may not have got on board with knives (box cutters) and fake bombs that allowed them to hijack the planes? 

      Even if they only stopped one or two of the four planes from being hijacked, there’d be alot more people alive today.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      01:14pm | 12/09/12

      Agree Anna C.

      No Andy, not my point. Anna/Ghamsandwich put it fairly well.

      Calling a person a nong doesn’t really make you come across as too smart.

    • Kika says:

      04:31pm | 12/09/12

      Hmmm… no. They knew about the planes. They were even watching a few of them and were about to arrest one of them, I think, but they got away. They later turned up in those planes. They had the intelligence but for one reason or the other, nobody was listening.

    • chuck says:

      09:53am | 12/09/12

      Why do Yanks always put the month before the day? Does it reflect their long term planning window (sorry for the pun).

    • marley says:

      10:01am | 12/09/12

      On the subject of intelligence, and “who knew what, when” I was reading an interesting little article in the Canadian press today.

      Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran last week, for no apparent reason.  While relations between Canada and Iran have never been great, there didn’t seem to be anything in particular which would spark the sudden closure of the Canadian Embassy in Tehran or the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Canada. 

      The article I read speculates that Canadian intelligence officials had come to believe the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa was lining up sleeper cells and preparing them to commit terrorist attacks on Canada.  And the Canadian government believed the intelligence it got, and acted on it by shutting down relations.

      Whether that’s true or not, whether the decision was right or wrong, only time will tell.  But it does give a hint of how problematic it is to properly weigh and assess intelligence, and how hard it can be to figure out what the right response ought to be even if you think the intel is likely to be correct..

    • Muggles says:

      10:03am | 12/09/12

      Trying to pin this on Bush is just pathetic. And a rewriting of history.

      Firstly, put the blame where it lies:  militant, criminal, murderous Islamic groups and their sponsors, who use terror as matter of policy. People who deliberately target innocent people as a way to spread an ideology.

      Secondly, getting advice of threats is not the same thing as being able to act on specific intelligence advice. It’s no secret that the US had some intelligence of Al Qaeda’s activities, amongst many other groups.  But saying that the US had specific, actionable intelligence is another thing entirely.

      Thirdly, the reaction to the development of such terrorist organisations was a problem for the US government well before Bush ever showed up.  In office, Clinton was extremely reluctant to go after emerging organisations and cells, for reasons of diplomacy.  Al Qaeda (and others) were emboldened, and their support grew while the US (and Europe, and most everyone else) chose to ignore the growing threats.

      Many analysts and advisors warned of the threat, and advocated going after Al Qaeda over many years, but the problem was generally thrown in to the “too hard” basket by governments all over the world.

      If you want someone to blame—and it sounds like you do—how about you start with the people who did the killing? And their sponsors, the oppressive regimes and theocracies that allowed the to develop in the first place?

      Or is that too hard?  Is it simply easier to bash on the victim of the crime instead?

      Bashing the US is easy and fashionable.  Any fool can do it. And it can be profitable, particularly if you’re a John Pilger or Michael Moore or even a Sean Penn.  But that doesn’t make such thoughtless bashing enlightening or useful.

      Do better. Think harder.

    • DJ says:

      10:52am | 12/09/12

      I don’t blame Bush for 9/11 or Afghanistan - however the blame for Iraq is squarely on him and the coalition partners that went along with it

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      11:13am | 12/09/12

      Where is there a rewriting of history?

      So a brief saying planes were to be flown into buildings wasn’t specific intelligence? why have CIA or department of homeland security at all?

      You would have to be stupid to not blame radicals within Islam, not sure why the author would have to point out the obvious.

      “And their sponsors, the oppressive regimes and theocracies that allowed the to develop in the first place”

      You mean Saudi Arabia? No chance doing anything there.

      “Bashing the US is easy and fashionable”

      They make themselves very easy targets.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      12:12pm | 12/09/12

      Simon:

      Which planes? There are thousands of planes flying around the US at any given one time. Which ones?

      Which buildings? There are thousands of cities in the US, and hundreds with major targets.

      Bashing the US is easy if you are an ignorant but arrogant twat who thinks all ills come from the successful.

    • Muggles says:

      12:16pm | 12/09/12

      @ DJ

      So you don’t blame Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath Party goons in any way?

      Not even for their disastrous war with Iran (and the many of hundreds of thousands of lives lost and ruined), or their war on Kuwait?

      Or the State-run torture chambers, systemic assassinations, and dictatorial rule?

      You’re going to blame Bush for that?  Really dude?

      You’re going to blame him for the Taliban too, are you?

    • Muggles says:

      12:39pm | 12/09/12

      @ simonfromlakemba

      “They make themselves very easy targets.”

      That’s because they’re an open, pluralist , successful, liberal democracy.

      You’ll note that those going for the easy punches don’t take on China. Or Syria. Or North Korea. Or Cuba.

      Far easier to bash the US.  Why take on the totalitarian states and gross injustices, when you can rabbit on about the nasty old US ad nauseam?

      People love to hear bad news about the US. It’s good sport; like attacks on billionaire miners or other corporate fat cats. It’s easy, makes you feel better about yourself, and if you whinge about the US hard enough you can almost absolve yourself of the responsibility to do something REAL and meaningful in the world.

      I mean, why do or say anything hard?  Why tackle real problems or highlight unpopular causes? Far, far easier to join the crowd, and hit the easy targets.

      But please, prove me wrong. Show me your posts where you’ve attacked Assad’s government (prior to this year), or called on Iran to democratise and remove support for Syria and Hezbollah. Or shown any kind of appreciation for the brutality of Chinese politics.

    • DJ says:

      01:19pm | 12/09/12

      Muggles - I do not blame Bush for the Iran Iraq war although the US did support Saddam during this period hen he was using chemical weapons thus I do not blame Iran for wanting nukes. I do not blame them for Iraq War 1. If yu honestly believe the Iraq War 2 was about freedm and liberating the Iraqi people I feel for you. I blame Bush for Iraq war 2 only. The losses to Iraqi civilians were the equivalent of a 9/11 every week.

      Saddam was a bad guy but it was up to Iraqi’s to dispose him not the US. If you don’t feel this is the case why aren’t the US in Syria now?

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      01:23pm | 12/09/12

      “Which planes? There are thousands of planes flying around the US at any given one time. Which ones?”

      Could of sent out a high alert notice to airports, pretty easily done. the chances of it being stopped were slim, but no harm in trying, especially since he was ‘the commander in chief’.

      “Bashing the US is easy if you are an ignorant but arrogant twat who thinks all ills come from the successful”

      Not sure what you were trying to accomplish with that sentence apart from coming across like a wank.

      “That’s because they’re an open, pluralist , successful, liberal democracy.”

      No, because they commit their share of heinous acts. Not exactly clean skins.

      “You’ll note that those going for the easy punches don’t take on China. Or Syria. Or North Korea. Or Cuba”

      Why should we have too? only the ignorant would try and defend them. Note none of those are 1st world countries.

      “People love to hear bad news about the US. It’s good sport; like attacks on billionaire miners or other corporate fat cats. It’s easy, makes you feel better about yourself, and if you whinge about the US hard enough you can almost absolve yourself of the responsibility to do something REAL and meaningful in the world”

      So let America, the worlds superpower get away with what they want with no accountability, gotcha.

      “I mean, why do or say anything hard?  Why tackle real problems or highlight unpopular causes? Far, far easier to join the crowd, and hit the easy targets”

      Like pointing out the fact we are at two wars which 1 was started using false evidence is an easy target? no much better to sweep it under the carpet.

      “But please, prove me wrong. Show me your posts where you’ve attacked Assad’s government (prior to this year), or called on Iran to democratise and remove support for Syria and Hezbollah. Or shown any kind of appreciation for the brutality of Chinese politics”

      Why should I have to? pretty self explanatory I wouldn’t agree with any of those countries/parties.

    • FINK says:

      01:28pm | 12/09/12

      “Firstly, put the blame where it lies:  militant, criminal, murderous Islamic groups and their sponsors, who use terror as matter of policy. People who deliberately target innocent people as a way to spread an ideology.”
      @Muggles

      I was unaware that the C.I.A practiced Islam. I have learnt something today.

    • Chris Crocker says:

      05:02pm | 12/09/12

      Leave Bush Alone!!!

    • Kerr Avon says:

      07:03pm | 12/09/12

      Simon there was no dept of homeland security prior to 9/11. It was established as a result of the attacks

    • Oliver says:

      10:12am | 12/09/12

      The most interesting/depressing aspect is that the Bush administration, despite being warned about the imminence of an Al-Queda attack, ignored CIA intel due to their obsession with Sadam, then used the 9/11 attacks as justification for the invasion of Iraq.

    • Fitter says:

      11:31am | 12/09/12

      And our government gleefully joined in, knowing it was completely flawed… a truly shameful period of foreign policy. The most depressing part being, we will continue to sacrifice good men for a dated US alliance, and always will…

    • JB says:

      02:07pm | 12/09/12

      Ok, Oliver. I’m going to attack you. That is all the information you have.
      Now you figure out wise guy how, when and where i am going to do it. It could be tomorrow or in 5 years and you must be on your guard 24/7 in every aspect of your life! Can you do it? No you can’t the same as even with the threat against the US they didn’t know how, when or where so really how could they even remotely protect themselves. This Arm chair quarter backing is quite unbecoming!!! It’s easy to make the call from hindsight.

    • Bear says:

      11:02am | 12/09/12

      Why did he sit there like a boob after they told him? It wasn’t just a matter of M Moore taking the piss because it was on a doco last night. They couldn’t explain why their appeared to be a shaved chimp either!

    • Anna C says:

      01:59pm | 12/09/12

      “Why did he sit there like a boob after they told him?”

      I heard it was because he didn’t want to freak out the little children at the school he was visiting at the time.  I think your comment is a bit unfair.  Many people have praised Bush’s behaviour during those first few days following the 9/11 attacks.

    • Bear says:

      03:19pm | 12/09/12

      That’s the bs explanation. All he had to say was ” excuse me” leave the room make apologies etc, not hard. I find the older i get that its adults that get freaked out anyway more so than kids. It’s ok, I don’t hate him for being a little slow . Even the wars were really all driven by Rummy and co more than Bush.

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      11:04am | 12/09/12

      Considering the much greater ease that the US had declared war against other countries in the past BEFORE 911 (the FIRST time America invaded Iraq, nobody made a big deal)-
      I CAN therefore, actually believe that the US simply shrugged this warning off out of sheer incompetence. With Bush in office, it is doubly believable.

      Of course, we can hardly point fingers as we took part in all of these conflicts on a whim ourselves.

    • Bobby says:

      11:05am | 12/09/12

      I am not into conspiracy theories but there is a part of the 9/11 scenario which intrigues me. The planes that flew into the towers were fairly large passenger jets. The pilots who flew them had perfect aim so they certainly knew how to fly these jets. Now when one goes to flying school to learn how to fly, do they get to learn in passenger jets? I always thought one learned in small planes unless they were employees of a large airline company. How did the terrorists learn how to fly these planes so well?

    • Bear says:

      11:11am | 12/09/12

      Why did he sit there like a boob after they told him? It wasn’t just a matter of M Moore taking the piss because it was on a doco last night. They couldn’t explain why their pres appeared to be a shaved chimp either!

    • JB says:

      01:58pm | 12/09/12

      What would you have done? You have just been told that the country has been attacked, you are in front of a class of primary school children.
      Do you jump up scaring the children and looking like a panicked leader or do you take a few minutes to gather yourself and rationally decide on a course of action? It wasn’t you, you have never been in that position so how can you even remotely have an opinion of any value. I don’t like Bush and Obama even less but until you have that mantle of responsibility don’t pretend to understand their burden!!!
      Mike Moore is good at overly simplifying things so people with an IQ of 60 can understand but in reality thing are a lot more complicated. It would be like told you have a tumor and a a friend says “hey just cut it out”. Do you really think it’s that simple. Mike More would have you believe it is! Well it’s not!

    • Bear says:

      05:30pm | 12/09/12

      Why would you panic? Don’t have to react or tell the kids anything. Surely a Pres has to be well trained in how to present himself? Just say “excuse me, matters of state,” make your apologies and off you go. The explanation of why he delayed was made up by his minders afterwards to explain away his bizarre response but the truth is just that he’s a bit of a dill.

    • Bear says:

      05:37pm | 12/09/12

      Btw I have an opinion of value from over a decade working with ppl in public life and seeing how you handle yourself. You would always cut off the unimportant function for a crisis.

    • Ian Matthews says:

      11:11am | 12/09/12

      Dubya unleashed the dogs of war. You, Daniel, have unleashed the trolls of conspiracy.

    • Notvelty says:

      11:19am | 12/09/12

      Obama not doing so well, Dan?  I wouldn’t worry too much, though. It’s not compulsory voting, and there are still plenty of kool-aid drinkers who’ll be sure to turn up. There’s more hopey-change to come - and certainly no need to break out the dubya monster quite yet.

      I do like the style though - accusing headline, followed by seven pars in the same vein, before finally getting to the opposite view - the opposite view that was literally and metaphorically getting onto a plane to be as far away as possible.

      We do need to know all about it, I agree.  But I hardly think that “finding out all about it” is the agenda of a piee that leads with “alarming new evidence…negligence”.  Do you?

      See what I did there?

    • Mark says:

      11:32am | 12/09/12

      There were reports and briefings going back to the mid 90’s that bin Laden was planning an attack on US soil. Why pin the blame on the President that had been there for 9 months when 9/11 happened, rather than the one who had been there for all those years in the 90’s? Oh wait, it’s more fashionable to bash Bush than it is to bash Clinton.

    • Gregg says:

      11:54am | 12/09/12

      ” Eleven years and 36 days since President Bush received a disturbing daily intelligence memo entitled: “BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S.”.

      I’d reckon claiming Dubya Terror Negligence is a bit over the top young Dan and just how many disturbing daily memos and references to Al Qaeda do you reckon night have been floating around from different US intelligent sources?

      Next step is no doubt the further prioritising and analysis and do you reckon Bush or any countries’ leader is going to have a detailed input into that other than the flick pass to a National Security Advisor who in turn will be flick passing to a variety of agencies and attempting to get some sense out of them all, a few with vested interests no doubt and hence the birth of the Homeland Security overview.

      Even with guys in the US doing some flying lessons, they no doubt were amongst tens of thousands and the hijacking of commercial aircraft to fly into buildings is just one possibility for terror attacks and so going from further analysis to nailing guys before an event would have been a hell of an ask.

    • P. Darvio says:

      12:01pm | 12/09/12

      Almost 3000 people were murdered by Religion on 911 - case closed.

    • FINK says:

      01:34pm | 12/09/12

      And millions more murdered in the name of Democracy. Laos, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea, Tasmania to name just a few.

    • vox says:

      12:10pm | 12/09/12

      Which Iraqis were responsible for 9/11? Bin Laden was a Saudi, as were the rest of his family with whom Bush was doing business. Personal business. No-one denies this and the oil company’s shares listings confirm it.
      Again, why Iraq?
      Certainly, Bush’s almost unplanned visit to Florida schools had him absent for the day, (first school visit ever!), and his recorded response to the news of the attack brought about no speedy reaction.
      And Muggles’ reply to Geronimo’s valid statement turned my stomach. Of course Howard siezed the moment as he did when then the infamous four spread their lies of WMD’s to attempt to legitimize Bush’s promise to his Saudi friends and business partners.
      Sometimes a conspiracy theory exists because there has been a conspiracy, but that doesn’t suit some people.
      Were I able, I would confront Bush and ask him to detail why he involved himself and the US in the slaughter of so many innocents, including those of his own Nation. And then I would ask John Winston Howard the same thing. A man can’t be fairer than that, can he?

    • Bigmouth republi-Tard says:

      12:43pm | 12/09/12

      You’re forgetting 9-11 and why we went to I rack! They really do say this crap.

    • Steph says:

      12:16pm | 12/09/12

      This is old news. We all know the US intelligence agencies had been told there were going to be terrorist attacks and possibly using planes. But - until that day ( I can only assume) they would never have thought that 4 cells from across the eastern seaboard would each commandeer commercial airlines and fly them into buildings.  There is footage of each of those terrorists being checked through security, some had their bags checked..because I am sure the assumption until that day,was if terrorists were going to use planes, they would be carrying bombs…just like in the “old days”
      @Bear - as much as I too dislike George Bush 2, when I see that footage of him being told what was happening, I feel sorry for him ! What would you have liked him to do ? He was in a room full of children, he knew there was a gaggle of press watching him. He took time to compose himself and as soon as there was opportunity to address the situation without alarming everyone in front of him, he took it, and btw, Michael Moore is a douche.
      There are plenty of documentarys on how ill-prepared NORAD and other govt departments were for this..because what was unfolding before them had never happened before.They couldnt get their shit together and didnt seem to grasp that a number of planes had been hijacked. The air traffic controllers knew something terrible was going to happen and knew 2 of them were heading to NYC, but for Gods sake..who would ever have imagined the end result ?  Hindsight is a great thing, but if you want someone to blame, its pretty clear where you should be looking.: No-one else other than those 16 men and the organisation they belonged to.

    • Aias says:

      01:52pm | 12/09/12

      Look, the Bush Administration may have not handled things well, but I fail to see that anything constructive will come out of continuing to review the actions of those officials in the hopes that someone can be blamed.

      I think that Bush Jr. was one of the worst presidents of the 20th century, but so long as the US keeps fixating on 9/11 it is going to keep allowing the attack to dictate policy and political discourse much to the detriment of us all.

    • andye says:

      02:00pm | 12/09/12

      They crashed those planes into those building in order to goad the United States into attacking the holy land so they could try to spark a worldwide Jihad.

      It didn’t really work, but I believe Bush did almost exactly what the terrorists wanted him to do. The decision to go to Afghanistan first was probably the last good decision the Bush administration made in that war, and they ruined it by going to Iraq. I have long suspected that Bin Laden expected the USA to attack Iraq in retaliation.

    • Babylon says:

      02:58pm | 12/09/12

      Another example of Governments knowing about disasters is Penny Wongs concerns about the Carbon tax price.

      Penny Wong warned Kevin Rudd that reviewing the carbon tax price after six months with a view to easing the $23-a-tonne starting price could blow a hole in the budget. Rudd and his supporters feared the price was too great a slug for business.

      ‘‘You’d have to be very careful that that didn’t have a very negative effect on the budget. Because if you move to a floating price, obviously household compensation quite rightly is fixed. There’s obviously budgetary risks there,’’ she said.

      Well now, the recent backflip by the Gillard Government to drop the carbon floor price,  a price upon which it planned its substantial borrowings and deficit handling, has introduced a threat to the Gillard Governments budget and delivery of promises.

    • Al says:

      03:21pm | 12/09/12

      Firstly here is some context for what will follow:
      1) I do not support the actions of terrorists.
      2) I have no religous affiliation.
      3) I have no reason to want the downfall of the USA or its allies.
      4) I support our troops (even if not the orders they are being given).

      OK, so here are my actual points:
      1) If you are a proponent of certain rights and honour (such as freedom, democracy, the geneva convention, basic human dignity) then it only holds any value so long as you stick to them, no matter what an adversary may do. Otherwise it simply becomes a case of ‘you can have these so long as you agree with us and do what we say’. They cease to have any value.
      2) I have yet to hear of a compelling reason for Australian troops to be engaged in the USAs war that is not a war to protect itself or its allies nor is it a war to reduce the overall risk the ordinary citizen faces.
      3) Why is the USA not being held accountable for not meeting the terms of the Geneva Convention? And please don’t give me some BS about them not being ‘enemy combatants’ or that it is not a ‘war’.
      4) If the USA and Australia believed in democracy that also means that they believe it is the people of a country who decide how it should be run. This includes what type of government it has and even whether to be a democracy. This has not occured in Afganistan or Iraq.
      5) Please stop trying to force one type of government and one set of values onto other nations who are not in a position to reject them when the alternative is extinction. Try convincing them, sure. But using military forces and taking advantage of their position to financialy screw them over is simply BS.

      Bring on the comments against me now.

 

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Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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