Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency. One from June called “Bin-Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats” writes that “[redacted] expects Usama Bin Laden to launch multiple attacks over the coming days.” The famous August brief called “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US” is included. – Jordan Michael Smith, Salon.com
DECLASIFIED TOP SECRET CIA documents that are heavily redacted on Osama bin Laden and early warnings about 9/11 reveal an alarming lack of urgency by Pres. George W. Bush on the threats America faced just prior to 9/11. What they also show is that the CIA wasn’t given the support from Pres. Bush and his administration during the key time prior to 9/11.
One particular section, cited first by Raw Story, proves Vice President Dick Cheney lied to NBC’s Tim Russert when he claimed that Mohammed Atta had a meeting in Prague. It just gets worse from there.
Salon.com’s Jordan Michael Smith has a summary.
The material contains much new information about the hunt before and after 9/11 for bin Laden, the development of the drone campaign in AfPak, and al-Qaida’s relationship with America’s ally, Pakistan. Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.
As difficult as the documents are to read and comprehend, budgetary restraints, which can be seen in this particularly document, seem to have been the reason a drone program was stalled and efforts to track Al Qaeda moved from “offensive” to “defensive posture.”
And yet, simultaneously, the CIA declared that budget concerns were forcing it to move its Counterterrorism Center/Osama bin Laden Unit from an “offensive” to a “defensive” posture. For the CIA, that meant trying to get Afghan tribal leaders and the Northern Alliance to kill or capture bin Laden, Elias-Sanborn says. “It was forced to be less of a kinetic operation,” she says. “It had to be only for surveillance, which was not what they considered an offensive posture.”
I’d personally like to see Sean Hannity eat every one of the newly declassified pages of the CIA revelations, with just a little left over for Rudy Giuliani, because of the falsehoods they’ve both spouted.
The telling of history is a long and difficult task, but eventually the truth is told.