Lack of Responsibility

In justifying the war in Iraq Bush stated “Since when do terrorists announce their intentions,” and that the US must attack preemptively despite no hard evidence.

Compare that with his administration’s handling of the August 6th PDB which stated that Al Qaeda “apparently maintains a support structure [in the United States] that could aid attacks” and the FBI has found “suspicious activity…consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks”. These warnings on the other hand were not judged to be cause for action.

See any glaring contradictions?

Is the PDB completely historical? Hardly.

What did Bush do after reading this August 6th report, in the context of high intelligence chatter and warnings from Tenet & Clarke of “something spectacular”?

He did precisely nothing and stayed in Texas on vacation. No meetings of principals to explore possibilities, no meetings with the FBI to follow up. Nothing.

Its no surprise then that the Bush administration has fought long and hard against all aspects of the 9-11 commission.

And why did the White House insist Cheney be there to hold Dubya’s hand during the upcoming commission session? Bush sure didn’t want to answer that.

Um, that’s August 6, 2001. The world changed a little over a month later. We’re playing by new rules.

Not too mention, pre 9/11 we’ve had threats every single day for decades. Why would this be any more severe. They were treated by SOP.


How many briefings were there before that that warned of some impending disaster that failed to develop into anything?

Why would it be a shock that AQ was operating or trying to operate in the US? We caught an AQ affiliated guy with explosives when he crossed from Canada to the US before 2000.

The main investigating body inside the US for this kind of thing is the FBI. The FBI was a mess at that time. Director Freeh was a technophobe, he didn’t even have or read E-mail. That attitude crippled any technological improvements that would have helped the FBI keep pace with all of the investigations and evidence they had. Interdepartmental bullshit didn’t help things either, it also hampered efforts to get the job done.

There were a lot of problems but I’ll bet if ask Ex-Director Freeh now, or if Bush asked him then, he’d say the FBI was in fine shape and on top of the situation.

I wonder what people would be saying if we’d had taken peremptive action against the AQ in Afghanistan and other places before they had the chance to pull off the attack. Probably the same line of shit we’re hearing now about Iraq.

The problem with stopping something that has yet to happen is that the horror and shock never happens. People never wake up to what the possiblities are. Yet if you hold back, relax, and don’t poke the hornet’s nest too much and they sneak one in on you you’re a fucking jerk who didn’t care about the public safety.

And people think women with PMS are unreasonable…

The information in that memo was a summary, and 3 years old.

Bob Graham (D) recently admitted that for 3 years, he saw the same memo recycled on the intelligence committee, (so did John Kerry). No one thought to sound any alarms, and I understand why. It’s common-sense stuff about Islamic militants (they would like to attack in the U.S.–duh), nothing that would indicate 9/11. Just the usual political crap.

Gregg Easterbrook on The New Republic online writes a creative “What if…?” scenario in which Bush is super proactive and stops 9-11. I’ll post it separately, it’s very creative.

The memo was not ONLY a summary but had details about ongoing and then current Al Qaeda activities in the US, as stated.

That nobody in the Bush administration reacted to that and briefings by Tenet and Clarke (when he had access), but now run on being tough on terror is disgusting.

The then-FBI director today stated that Aschcroft had denied budget requests for counterterrorism and told him not to brief him anymore on terrorism.

Of course Ashcroft denied it, just as every Bushie denies any responsibility.

I’m not saying they are %100 to blame, but they refusal to accept even a shred of responsibility.

I agree invading Afghanistan pre 9-11 would have been difficult if not impossible, but clearly Al Queda was not one of the top priorities.

The “details” to Kuri’s “on going and then current” al-Quaeda activities were allusion to 70 on-going FBI investigations.

Can’t comment yet on accusations about Ashcroft. Perhaps Kuri can post what Tenet and Clark told Bush that was actionable.

Remember this. Kuri believes in a preemptive strike, just like Iraq.

Does it matter that it also mentioned around 70 FBI investigations going on at the time? Who would have thought that the FBI wasn?t dealing with the threat at that time? Also what billion other pieces of information did he receive on that day?

With a report on practically every country in the world, and a variety of other threats foreign and domestic, who would have thought Al-Qaeada was the big threat? I doubt I could have figured it out.

Regarding claiming responsibility: Bush could not think of one mistake he has made since 9/11…all of his actions, especially now are politically driven, stop passing him off as a man of pure principle.

RSU and Kuri:

I suppose you think Bush should apologize for not having passed the Patriot Act earlier? For not reversing years of precedent to revamp the relationship between intelligence and law enforcement earlier?

Or, how about these: For not taking the only direct action that might have done something to thwart 9/11, namely, grounding all flights and stopping all those who fit a terrorist profile (and I mean that in every way: racially, behaviorally, religiously, ethnically, gender, etc.)?

What, precisely, would you have him apologize for not doing? It is not an answer to say “not reacting appropriately to the disparate pieces of information put in front of him” – you must define “appropriately” and then explain how that would have averted the problem.

“Admitting a mistake” in this situation when there is tons of blame to go around (in both parties) would be a no-no for any candidate. (Case in point: Kerry hasn’t been willing to admit his mistakes on any votes relating to war, including his votes for both the 1991 and current Iraq War.)

We can’t expect ANY politician involved with national secuirty to talk about mistakes except to say we should have been more vigilant earlier, which is obvious to all. 9-11 is the proof, and Bush admits as much.

In the press conference, Bush actually indicated that the question about mistakes caught him off-guard, and that although he couldn’t come up with a mistake at that moment, historians would be able to point to what he did and observe what could be done better. Just admitting that historians could remark on possible mistakes was more candor than I expected from a politician.

George “I think we should bomb em” Bush, I mean cmon, if this guy was given an inkling of anything substantial he would have bombed it. In fact, I bet if someone told him there were terrorists hiding in Atlanta Georgia, there would no longer be an Atlanta, GA by now.
Of all the things to attack him for, this is the least substantiated and is a political ploy to the uneducated voter. Lets attack him for making government bigger if anything.

And telling me what I can and cant do with my own freakin body!
I want my prohormones, my ephedra, my class IV drugs. …

I second that reply.

I, especially, like how Dubya would not answer any of the questions. He skirted around every question with the same rhetoric he opened the "press conference’ with. This just reeked of a campaign ploy 'til the questions got hard. Oh well, watching him stutter and fumble around was funnier than watching whatever was pre-empted for this side show.

The Bush White House is a ‘pass the buck’ situation where anything bad is always somebody else’s fault. Everybody has an excuse why they failed in their responsibilities.

Nobody has lost their job as a result of 9-11 incompetence. Nobody has been fired for leaking the name of a CIA operative. Nobody has been fired for bad information on Iraq’s WMD. Etc.

The intelligence sources that we can’t rely on 100% for accuracy regarding Iraq WMD are the exact same intelligence sources that we rely on to launch pre-emptive strikes? That is insane.

Was anybody impressed by Bush’s press conference? THAT guy is the leader of the free world? He is a bumbling fool. Bush doesn’t have a plan for getting us out of Iraq, and he doesn’t know WHO we are handing power over to in 10 weeks.

It makes me laugh that Bush is too scared to appear before the 9-11 commission by himself. He needs Cheney there to hold his hand. I suspect that Cheney is probably the real president, and they picked Bush as a figurehead because he’s dumb and they can manipulate him.

Ask a Bush supporter: What is the president responsible for? Listen to what they say:

He isn’t responsible for the recession.
He isn’t responsible for the economy.
He isn’t responsible for losing jobs.
He isn’t responsible for jobs going overseas.
He isn’t responsible for intelligence failures resulting in 9-11.
He isn’t responsible for lack of response during the actual attacks.
He isn’t responsible for bad intelligence on Iraqi WMD.
He isn’t responsible for attacking Iraq (it’s Saddam’s fault).
He isn’t responsible for lack of support for the Iraq war, among our allies.
He isn’t responsible for leaking a CIA agent’s name to the press.
He isn’t responsible for runaway spending, higher than any other modern President.
He isn’t responsible for the huge record-breaking deficit we’ve ran up, after being handed a record surplus.

Which makes me wonder…

Does George Bush even have a job, inside his own administration? What exactly does he do all day, besides playing video games?

Your on the wrong end of this one Kuri…shoulda kept this post to yourself…

The question posed above still stands Lumpy:

What should have been done to prevent 9/11? How should the administration have reacted to the intelligence report, which apparently was repeating a claim that had been circulating for quite awhile concerning possible attacks within the U.S. and was one piece of information among the countless to come across the presidential desk on a given day?

April 14, 2004, 8:53 a.m.
The Blame Game
Why should Clinton get off scot-free?

Yes, “everyone” is to blame for 9/11. “Everyone” is also to blame for the outrageous, silly, and counterproductive nonsense coming out of the 9/11 Commission’s quest to assign blame.

Let’s take the second point first. Bush made a strategic blunder by essentially insisting he would not do anything differently if he could relive the pre-9/11 months over again. This is not only obvious nonsense, it’s politically dumb.

The Bush campaign wants to run on its post-9/11 leadership not its pre-9/11 leadership. But by refusing to acknowledge, even rhetorically, the obvious fact that the government failed when the terrorists succeeded, they created the perfect incentives for political posturing, moral preening, and partisan grandstanding from the 9/11 Commission, the media, a tiny number of “9/11 families,” the Democrats and, yes, the public.

An example: The New York Times editorialized this week, “No reasonable American blames Mr. Bush for the terrorist attacks, but that’s a long way from thinking there was no other conceivable action he could have taken to prevent them.”

“Conceivable”? Yes, there were all sorts of conceivable actions the president could have taken. He could have interned Muslim Americans like FDR did with the Japanese. He could have grounded the airlines. He could have declared war on Afghanistan. All of these thing were “conceivable.” But since when is “conceivable” the standard for governmental conduct, even in hindsight? The fair ? or at least fairer ? question is, did Bush take every reasonable action to prevent the 9/11 attacks?

The Times went on to offer some “conceivable” actions the president might have taken after receiving that notorious Aug. 6, 2001, Presidential Daily Briefing, namely he should have flown back to D.C. and demanded that airlines start “screening passengers” to fit their “threat profiles.”

Considering that it’d been reported in Time magazine in 1998 that government officials believed Osama bin Laden was determined to attack inside the United States, I’m not sure the president should have raced back to Washington from his ranch in August 2001.

But I am 100-percent sure that the folks at the New York Times editorial board would have snapped their pencils in rage if the president had suggested increased “profiling” of passengers in August 2001, let alone proposed the Patriot Act ? which the Times detests ? and never mind doing everything “conceivable.”

This blame-game stuff is counterproductive and dangerous when Americans are fighting and dying in Iraq. But if that’s the game we’re stuck with, it’s an indisputable scandal that the Clinton administration is getting off scot-free.

From the day George W. Bush was elected president, he reinstituted the policy of having daily meetings with the head of the CIA, a tradition Bill Clinton canceled. Indeed, Clinton never met privately at all with his first CIA Director James Woolsey after the initial job interview. When a plane crashed on the White House lawn in 1994, the joke in Washington was that it was Woolsey trying to get an appointment.

According to a New Yorker article, FBI Director Louis Freeh considered Clinton’s national-security adviser, Sandy Berger, to be a “public relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press.”

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton despised Freeh and could barely stomach talking to him. Whoever was to blame for the sour relationship is irrelevant. Clinton was to blame for letting a spat get in the way of national security.

As we’ve heard from so many witnesses, throughout the 1990s the CIA, FBI, and Justice Department were actively ? not passively ? impaired in their work to a scandalous extent. The CIA was told that it couldn’t work with individuals with dubious “human-rights” records. Unfortunately, people with ties to terrorists are not captains of their Mormon bowling leagues.

And, of course, there was Clinton’s string of underwhelming, ineffectual, and largely counterproductive responses to a string of attacks on America, starting with the first World Trade Center bombing.

The one recurring theme in the 9/11 hearings is the unanimous agreement that the “wall” between intelligence gathering and criminal prosecutions was too high and too thick, and that this was the single most obvious explanation for our failure to stop the 9/11 attacks.

Well, as we learned from John Ashcroft’s testimony, the Clinton administration took its trowel and cemented a new layer of bricks to that wall of separation. In 1995, the FBI was instructed that intelligence and criminal investigations had to be separated even further than “what is legally required” to avoid “the unwarranted appearance” that our intelligence operatives were ? shriek! ? sharing their information with prosecutors, and vice versa.

The author of this directive? Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General (and Al Gore confidant) Jamie Gorelick, who now sits in self-righteous judgment on the 9/11 Commission ? when she should be called before it to explain herself.

The Bush team may not have done everything it could have prior to 9/11. But, for the previous team, not doing everything they could was policy.

Copyright (c) 2004 Tribune Media Services