Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How The NYT Commemorates 9/11: 'It Was Bush's Fault'

I ordinarily wouldn't even take notice of something like this appearing in Pravda-on-the-Hudson, especially given their record of endangering our troops and our country by leaking classified information. But these shameless,brazen lies demand a response.

This is an op-ed entitled 'The Deafness Before the Storm', and its premise is fairly simple - that the Bush White House was deaf to 9/11 warnings and thus allowed it to happen.

The writer is one Kurt Eichenwald, and he has top grade, cutting edge knowledge and experience with national security , since his credentials include being an ex-New York Times reporter and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Oh wait, maybe he doesn't.

At any rate, Mr. Eichenwald writes about a classified August 6th 2001 briefing President Bush received the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. As Eichenwald himself admits, this briefing mainly consisted of a history and description of bin-Laden and al-Qaeda with zero specifics on any actual or imminent operation or threat.There were good reasons why that's true, which we'll examine in a moment.

But then we get to the meat of Mr. Eichenwald's attack. He writes that while this declassified briefing revealed nothing of much use, there were other briefings that haven't been declassified that reveal 'negligence' - even though he hasn't read them. He bases this premise on what he claims were 'excerpts' he read.

Let's look at what he cites.

According to Eichenwald:

On 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.{..}

“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

So, what we have here, en toto, is vague information of a possible attack with no specifics, no named target and no real details. Damn that George W. Bush and those evil Republicans for not possessing clairvoyance!

Some of you might recall the many threats and warnings of a major strike al-Qaeda issued after 9/11 that never came to pass.There was no way to do anything more in those cases but follow up leads and continue digging, something the New York Times severely impacted by releasing the details of our surveillance program for al-Qaeda to read. Yet because this one unimaginable attack succeeded a few months after President Bush took office, it was - say it with me - Bush's Fault.

Of course, what we really had in the months before 9/11 was an intelligence failure. Let's examine exactly why our intel on 9/11 was so faulty.

Ever since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the Clinton Administration regarded Islamist terrorism as a pesky law enforcement problem rather than a national security threat, and aside from lobbing a few cruise missiles at what turned about to be an aspirin factory, very little was done to take it seriously, even as the attacks increased in frequency and severity.

As part of this approach, Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick built what amounted to a wall that prevented different intelligence agencies from sharing information on the grounds it might affect the terrorist's legal rights.

So intel operations like Able Danger, who had actually tracked the hijackers from Afghanistan to Germany and identified Mohammed Atta and most of the other hijackers months before 9/11 were prevented by the Clinton Justice Department's official policy from sharing this intel with other agencies.

Had the FBI been alerted to what Able Danger knew, Atta's name could have been put on a list that would have tagged him as someone to be watched from the moment he stepped off a plane in Newark, New Jersey. Surveillance of Atta, who lived openly in Florida for over a year, and who acquired a driver's license and even an FAA pilot's license in his real name, might well have made it possible for the FBI to stop the Sept. 11 attacks before they occurred. Except thanks to Gorelick's wall, the FBI wasn't given access to that information.

Even more poignantly, Gorelick was exempted from having to testify under oath in front of the 9/11 commission, none of this was examined by the commission in any detail and the Democrats on the panel were happy to gloss over it.

At this point, we also don't know exactly the extent of what the Clinton Administration concealed about 9/11, thanks to the theft of classified documents by former Clinton National Security adviser Sandy Berger. We do know that the government of the Sudan offered us Osama bin-Laden on a platter but the Clinton Administration refused to accept him. And that there were at least two other times we could have taken out bin-Laden but the orders weren't forthcoming from Mr.Bill, who had other pressing matters in the Oval Office to attend to. On one famous occasion, our CIA had bin-Laden's location pinpointed in Afghanistan and a missile targeted, but they simply couldn't find the president.

You might remember the threats to attack their broadcast license that the ex-president and the Democratic leadership in congress made to ABC and its then owner Disney over the film `The Path to 9/11' , which resulted in certain changes being made to the version of the movie that was shown to downplay all that.

Of course, you won't read any of this in Mr. Eichenwald's piece.

After an op-ed filled with asides and innuendos, he covers himself by writing:

"Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know."

But one thing we do know is that if the Clinton Administration had taken Osama bin-Laden as the serious threat he was and had been more concerned with national security than some terrorist's potential legal rights, there was a definite chance that Osama bin-Laden would either be in U.S custody or have been halal hamburger courtesy of a tomahawk missile prior to 9/11. And that Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers might have been apprehended before 3,000 Americans were murdered.

There’s much you can say about George W. Bush's presidency, but accusing him of being responsible ignoring intel he never received and being responsible for not preventing 9/11 is a ridiculous premise and an obvious exercise in disinformation.

Glass houses, stones, Mr. Eichenwald.


Anonymous said...

You don't know what the documents said, so you can hardly say the NYT writer was distorting the truth, let alone lying. Your article claiming that the NYT writer lied could, in and of itself, be a "lie."

Lord knows no one should be allowed to slander the almighty Messiah-God George W. Bush. If anyone ever talks about him, then it's automatically, "Obama wants to blame Bush," and "Sarah Palin had the highest approval ratings of any governor. You can't criticize her, because she's a Republican just like Bush." Truly, both of them are the Republican's Gods, not Jesus.

William Teach said...

I couldn't even read the NY Times article when I took a look over there to see how the would mark the day this morning, as it just enraged me by the 3rd paragraph.

The Clinton admin had received many of the same imminent attack reports. The only thing the Bush admin could have really done was issue bulletins to the airports and airlines, which he did, and ask the governors to put the National Guard in the airports, because the president had no authority to put active duty troops in the airports, plus there was that Posse Commititus law.

Oh, and we would have had to profile Middle Eastern Muslim men. Neither that nor massively increased security would have been allowed by Democrats, liberals, and the ACLU and CAIR.

Tantric Logic said...

Hey Anonymous,

I read Rob's article and the NYT's slop. He directly quoted from it, including that this Eichenwald creep admitted himself he hadn't read the full documents himself. The quotes are what Eichenbach is citing, and they're BS, just as this article says.

You lack basic reading comprehension or something?

Of course, Clinton is the Democrat God, who can do no wrong, isn't he?

No wonder you read the NYT.

JB said...

I have no idea if it was Bush's fault, but I do know that, according to President Bush himself, his first reaction was "There's one terrible pilot."

My first reaction was "Bin Laden came back to finish the job."

I have a hard time grasping how that could be his first inclination.

Rob said...

I have to be honest JB, I find it difficult to credit what you're saying here.

For one thing, (and believe me, it bothers me no end to be put in the position of defending George W. Bush!) in the beginning, if you recall, there was no clue this was in fact a terrorist attack, it was originally thought to be a horrendous aviation accident and the media reported it as such. It was only when the second plane hit that people realized what was actually happening.As such, President Bush's initial remark was entirely natural, especially in an ex-pilot.

Second, your remark that "Bin Laden came back to finish the job."

Osama bin-Laden at that time was unknown to almost all Americans not involved in national security. He was not involved at all in the first WTC bombing, which was almost certainly an Iraqi intel operation planned by Ramzy Youseff, an Iraqi intelligence agent in conjunction with elements of The Muslim Brotherhood like the Blind Sheik.

No one even realized al-Qaeda was involved in 9/11 until he took credit for it via al-Jazeera, not even the CIA.

Forgive my skepticism, but I have difficulty believing your initial reaction was "Bin Laden came back to finish the job."


Unknown said...

No doubt the acts of war against the U.S in Libya and Egypt today can somehow be traced back to Bush as well. Nothing that a little Obama condemnation "in the strongest terms" won't take care of however.

And when Israel is forced to unilaterally attack Iran because Barack Obama is too busy at the upcoming U.N. meetings to speak with Netanyahu that will somehow be traced back to Bush as well.

When will the moronic lemmings (some of whom left comments here) finally understand that it is the weakness of the Left that Islamists thrive on.

Barack Obama is either one of these Leftists or perhaps what is happening in the Middle East is simply part of his "master plan".