Remember what really happened… ABC wants us to forget.
It was during the 9/11 Commission that it all started rising up
in our national throat like political bile finally backing up after months of swallowing the swill from up on Capitol Hill.
The Sovietologist showed up to give a speech.
The 9/11 Commission expected answers.
What emerged wasn't what the Bush administration had planned.
It all started with that pesky little PDB: Bin Laden Determined to Strike
I mean really, people, did they need a neon sign?
Consider this the beginning of a little preemptive political push back due to ABC's
docu-crap that I talked about briefly last week when on holiday, which
is coming out in the coming week. Some wingnuts went to a screening, so they're loaded and ready. It's important to remember and remind everyone how we got into
this mess in the first place. It has very little to do with Bill. Unless, of course, you want to talk about his extracurricular presidential activities that had the Republican Congress keeping their eyes on the wrong balls, so to speak.
It's a conversation Condi doesn't want to remember. A time that Republicans are doing their best to forget, reframe and even rewrite. An article of mine – long
before I went to blogging – chronicles the history.
“In the spirit of further declassification, this is what the
August 6th memo said to the President: â€˜The F.B.I. indicates patterns
of suspicious activities in the United States consistent with preparations
Bob Kerrey, 9.11 Commission
“Isn’t it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6th PDB
(Presidential Daily Briefing) warned against possible attacks in this country.
And I ask you if you recall the title of that PDB?”
Richard Ben-Veniste, 9.11 Commission
Yet, the Sovietologist stuck to her story that she didn't recall being briefed
on airplanes being used as missiles. It was a lie, or she is as dumb as Texas
“A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security
clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the
11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans
to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened. She said
the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was
no such information was â€˜an outrageous lie’.”
The former senator, Bob Kerrey, called the Sovietologist on her unending soliloquies,
as well as her
“swatting flies” slam: “… We also moved to develop
a new and comprehensive strategy to eliminate the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
President Bush understood the threat, and he understood its importance. He made
clear to us that he did not want to respond to al-Qaeda one attack at a time.
He told me he was 'tired of swatting flies'.”
“You’ve used the phrase a number of times. I’m
hoping my question will disabuse you of using it in the future. You said the
President was tired of swatting flies. Can you tell me one example when the
President swatted a fly when it came to al Qaeda, prior to 9.11?”
Bob Kerrey, 9.11 Commission
The Sovietologist's soliloquy resumed.
Cut off by an impatient interrogator… “No. No. What fly
had he swatted?” asked Kerrey. The “he” is George W. Bush, of course, and there was no fly, no swat, nothing.
Condi’s comment didn't quite come fast enough.
Back to the senator… “No. He hadn’t swatted â€“
Dr. Rice, we only swatted a fly once on the 20th of August 1998. We didn’t
swat any flies afterwards. How the hell could he be tired?”
“It was a figure of speech,” smiled the
Killing the fly, finally…
“Well, I think it’s an unfortunate figure of speech,
especially after the attack of the Cole on the 12th of October 2000. It would
not have been a swatting of fly. It would not have been â€“ We did not
need to wait to get a strategic plan. Dick Clarke had in his memo, on the
25th of January, overt military operations. He turned that memo around in
24 hours… There were a lot of plans in the Clinton administration, military
plans in the Clinton administration…”
Bob Kerrey, 9/11 Commission
In fact, let's go back into my archives to pick out some important goodies.
And here are just nine
things (out of the innumerable) that we knew before 9.11:
- On January 25, 2001, Richard Clarke offered a memo that included two appendixes
entitled: APPENDIX A â€“ “Strategy for the Elimination of the
Jihadist Threat of al Qaeda”; APPENDIX B: “Military Plan for
- In January 2001, Hart-Rudman Commission on national security, established
by President Clinton and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, delivered
a heart sinking warning that the United States was going to be hit and hit
- On July 5, 2001, the “chatter” and threats coming in through
U.S. intelligence was so intense that a high level meeting was held to discern
what damage was coming our way. There was no follow-up meeting.
- Five days after the July 5 meeting, F.B.I. agent Kenneth Williams suggested
that the F.B.I. should investigate whether al Qaeda operatives are using
U.S. flight schools for training and whether Osama bin Laden agents might
be trying to infiltrate U.S. civil aviation systems as pilots; and suggested
a national program to track suspicious flight schools. (This is known as
the Phoenix memo.)
- Colleen Rowley of the F.B.I., who became a renowned whistleblower, warned
of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was attending flight school in order to learn
how to fly a plane once it was in the air, but not how to take off from
the ground or land it.
- By August 2001, the Bush administration knew about al Qaeda’s involvement
in the first World Trade Center bombing.
- By August 2001, the Bush administration knew that the Cole bombing was
carried out by al Qaeda, but they thought that event was “old.”
- By August 2001, the Bush administration knew the U.S., under the Clinton
administration, had thwarted an al Qaeda threat to blow up Los Angeles International
Airport (known as the Millennium Bombing).
- By August 2001, our intelligence agencies had thwarted terrorist cells
in Brooklyn, New York, and Boston; and the C.I.A. knew that two Muslim men
with jihadist connections were living in the United States.
You'll hear a lot of crap this week, so get ready.
The Republicans are falling. There is an election coming, so it's back to blaming Bill. Blaming Democrats for 9/11. Rush and Sean will
lead, while the rest of the wingnuts will undoubtedly follow.
They all seem to have forgotten that the guy who laid us out on 9/11 is still at large. In fact, Bush, Rummy and Tommy Franks let the guy get away, because they wanted to go after some decaying dictator we had contained and demoralized.
Boy is it good to be back. I can't thank Howie, Joh, Mark and, of course, Ed for their stellar efforts while I was in New York. So, if the Republicans want a fight, I'm ready for it, because they're not pinning 9/11 on us. Democrats are armed and ready when it comes to national security, espeically this election year, as Howie outlined all last week with some of our strongest Democratic candidates: Rick Penberthy, Sherrod Brown, Eric Massa, John Laesch, Colleen Rowley, Chris Carney, Jay Fawcett, Dr. Victoria Wilsun.
There are plenty of mistakes to go around when
it comes to 9/11. Seeing Ground Zero last week brought so many back; not the
least of which was that George W. Bush was on vacation clearing brush when he got the screaming
PDB that warned of bin Laden's intentions, which had been coming in warnings all summer. But not even the PDB and George Tenet's hair on fire warnings could get Bush out of Crawford, Texas. He stayed right on vacationing after he read it. Condi didn't seem to mind at all. They still refuse to release the speech she was to give that fateful week. It wasn't about al Qaeda, that's for sure.
There simply was no urgency in Bush and Condi's world.
The same cannot be said for the emergency that became the Terry Schiavo circus, compliments of George W. Bush and the Republican Congress. After all, the president has his priorities, and before 9/11 it sure as hell wasn't Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda. It's a fact of history that ABC simply will not be able to undo.