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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Bush Administration knew far more about 9/11 than we've been led to believe

   
Author Topic: Bush Administration knew far more about 9/11 than we've been led to believe
Lyrhawn
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Not a conspiracy theory, just a new article out today in the New York Times

New interviews and new documents made available to the reporter containing information in Bush's Presidential Daily Briefings show that the CIA was adamant that an attack from bin Laden that would cause high casualties was imminent. The warnings were severe, came on a near daily basis, and were loaded with evidence, though repeatedly ignored by the Bush White House and Bush officials at the Pentagon.

In other words, they knew a great deal more about what was going to happen than they've claimed, and their supposed befuddlement in the aftermath was an act. We know from other studies involving the CIA and the FBI that many underlings were in fact starting to put the pieces together, but that there was zero institutional support from the White House. Of course there's no way of knowing for sure, but had Bush taken those reports seriously and put people on alert, it seems, knowing what we know now about what we actually knew then, that we might have stood a fair chance at preventing the event.

Lest we forget, there is in fact some perfectly legitimate "Bush bashing" to be done. History is not kind to all former presidents.

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BlackBlade
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That makes me ill. We'll probably never know until the documents are old enough for a Freedom of Information request to be upheld in court.
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Lyrhawn
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If you really want to make yourself sick, read The Commission. It's an in-depth analysis of the 9/11 Commission and what lengths the Bush Administration went to in order to totally derail them from every finding out anything of value. Much of the more damaging information uncovered in their research never actually made it into the final report, and many members of the staff and Commission itself resigned over Bush's stonewalling and the underhanded tactics of his appointed officials on the Commission.

This latest news is just one more piece of a long unraveling thread of the post-9/11 deception that has been perpetrated by the Bush Administration to make us think the event was unknowable, whereas every piece of information that's uncovered suggests it was in fact pure negligence in his part.

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steven
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I have no doubt that Cheney, having been Secretary of Defense under Bush I, was VERY aware of what was cooking in the Middle East.

I would be willing to bet money he was cackling with evil glee every time a plane hit a building.

I doubt he knew the exact date, but I have very little doubt he was happy it happened. Halliburton made massive bucks. He does have a responsibility to Halliburton's shareholders, let's not forget.

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Rakeesh
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That would be a pretty stupid bet. As VP, presumably with mind control on Dubya as the typical rant goes, he could have (and probably did, quite outside 9/11 and war associated efforts) made enormous sums of money for an enormously smaller risk of being caught, much less prosecuted.
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BlackBlade
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I think the articles has the long and short of it. Neo-conservatives like Cheney thought the real threat was Hussein, who was using Al-Qaeda like groups as a smoke screen.

Too bad he didn't listen to the CIA, and we all got taken along for that ride.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
I would be willing to bet money he was cackling with evil glee every time a plane hit a building.

I want to take you up on this stupid bet but I think you don't make this statement in actually-gonna-front-the-bet levels of sincerity and I don't know what condition exists to allow me to call the bet to your satisfaction.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
I have no doubt that Cheney, having been Secretary of Defense under Bush I, was VERY aware of what was cooking in the Middle East.

I would be willing to bet money he was cackling with evil glee every time a plane hit a building.

I doubt he knew the exact date, but I have very little doubt he was happy it happened. Halliburton made massive bucks. He does have a responsibility to Halliburton's shareholders, let's not forget.

No posts for a year, and THIS is what you come back for?

Yeesh.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
This latest news is just one more piece of a long unraveling thread of the post-9/11 deception that has been perpetrated by the Bush Administration to make us think the event was unknowable, whereas every piece of information that's uncovered suggests it was in fact pure negligence in his part.

I'm like, zero percent Truther but I cannot help but be amazed with how absolutely convenient the timing of the event was during Bush's presidency. His mostly uninspiring dawdling prior to the event becomes irrelevant, as does the report that the Pentagon could not account for seven skazillion dollars or whatever POOF gone all old news it's the WAR ON TERROR now, lets take unheard of levels of solidarity with the world and squander it utterly.
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Tuukka
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I can't help thinking, that Bush's famous paralysis when he hears the news of WTC kind of makes sense to me now. I always wondered what the hell he was thinking. Now I could easily see him going through a few months of meetings and reports in his mind. He looks like a deer in headlights: "God help me, I screwed up... What happens if people find out?".

Of course this is just my *purely* subjective reaction to that video now, and I can't know what he was actually thinking. Maybe he was analytically thinking about the whole situation and making important decisions that he put to action once he stood up.

It would be nice if they would release all the reports. Granted they still might need to hide some details in order to protect on-going operations and connections, etc, but it would be interesting to know how much they actually knew.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by steven:
I have no doubt that Cheney, having been Secretary of Defense under Bush I, was VERY aware of what was cooking in the Middle East.

I would be willing to bet money he was cackling with evil glee every time a plane hit a building.

I doubt he knew the exact date, but I have very little doubt he was happy it happened. Halliburton made massive bucks. He does have a responsibility to Halliburton's shareholders, let's not forget.

No posts for a year, and THIS is what you come back for?

Yeesh.

I wonder if Dr. Price told him all of that. [Wink]
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Szymon
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Actually how strong is the belief in America that the US government was somehow involved in the attacks? I know that this thread is about the goverment knowing and not reacting, but- my question nevertheless. Is it only conspiracy theory weirdos? I mean- the witnesses claiming that the second plane was military, that there were no plane debris in the pentagon, and that the attacks were greatly helpful to get involved in the Middle East.

I should say I do not believe in it.

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dkw
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As far as I've seen it's only conspiracy theory weirdos.
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SenojRetep
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On the article: I'm always happy with news of effective US intelligence analysis; it's a hard job, so when they get something right it certainly deserves to be positively recognized.

However, I don't think the information in the Times article is nearly as damning as it's presented to be. Persistent but vague warnings about flexibly-timed but imminent attacks. A group of al-Qaeda operatives of indeterminate size and composition somewhere in the US planning to do...something. Chechnyan warlords boasting that there would soon be 'big news'. It's easy now, looking back, to discern which elements of those daily security briefings were relevant and why (and we can project meaning onto even meaningless ones, like Ibn al-Khattab's boasting). I'd just caution that there's a reason we have the adage 'hindsight is 20/20', as well as the term 'Monday-morning quarterback'.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
However, I don't think the information in the Times article is nearly as damning as it's presented to be. Persistent but vague warnings about flexibly-timed but imminent attacks. A group of al-Qaeda operatives of indeterminate size and composition somewhere in the US planning to do...something. Chechnyan warlords boasting that there would soon be 'big news'. It's easy now, looking back, to discern which elements of those daily security briefings were relevant and why (and we can project meaning onto even meaningless ones, like Ibn al-Khattab's boasting). I'd just caution that there's a reason we have the adage 'hindsight is 20/20', as well as the term 'Monday-morning quarterback'.

This is true. If the reporter has a bias, it's fairly easy to build up a more damning article than what the truth is. We can't really know for sure, until more records are made public.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
If you really want to make yourself sick, read The Commission. It's an in-depth analysis of the 9/11 Commission and what lengths the Bush Administration went to in order to totally derail them from every finding out anything of value. Much of the more damaging information uncovered in their research never actually made it into the final report, and many members of the staff and Commission itself resigned over Bush's stonewalling and the underhanded tactics of his appointed officials on the Commission.

This latest news is just one more piece of a long unraveling thread of the post-9/11 deception that has been perpetrated by the Bush Administration to make us think the event was unknowable, whereas every piece of information that's uncovered suggests it was in fact pure negligence in his part.

I would buy negligence in a heartbeat. This happened less than a year into his presidency. I never bought the vast conspiracy theory- it depends on the idea that Bush was unbelievably savvy about what they could get away with- in reality, a mad scramble to cover up catastrophic mistakes is, according to occams's razor, the vastly greater likelihood.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
Actually how strong is the belief in America that the US government was somehow involved in the attacks? I know that this thread is about the goverment knowing and not reacting, but- my question nevertheless. Is it only conspiracy theory weirdos? I mean- the witnesses claiming that the second plane was military, that there were no plane debris in the pentagon, and that the attacks were greatly helpful to get involved in the Middle East.

I should say I do not believe in it.

For a lot of people, the mental heavy lifting needed to differentiate between incompetence and sinister intent is too hard. Sadly, the vast majority of people are not at all educated in formal logic (even to the degree that I am, which is not great), and the fact is that in a unified and large culture like America, the national ethos spreads specific pernicious ideas to more people than the discrete cultures of smaller nations. The ideas are as stupid in Europe, but not as contagious due to cultural differences and isolation- which works to the European advantage sometimes, since Europeans are not bombarded by *every* catchy theory out there- it has to filter through language and culture and it is softened or dispelled in the process.

The actual details you mentioned are wishful thinking, selective reasoning, and stock in trade conspiracy mumbo-jumbo gone mad. If Poland had 300 million people in it, you would have as many poles claiming that last year's crash of the executive plane was a plot by the President's brother, or Medvedev, or such like. As it is, people do believe that, but not all of Europe is exposed to the silliness that some Poles indulge in.

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Darth_Mauve
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It makes more sense that the Neo-Cons were incompetent.

Its more fun to think they are Super-Villians.

Much the same way that it makes more sense that President Obama faces a very difficult and complicated economic recovery, but its more fun to say he's a Communist bent on the destruction of our economy.

In both cases the solution--destroy the evil mastermind--is easier for the imaginary scenario than it is for the more probably one.

Also--a tad more childish.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
On the article: I'm always happy with news of effective US intelligence analysis; it's a hard job, so when they get something right it certainly deserves to be positively recognized.

However, I don't think the information in the Times article is nearly as damning as it's presented to be. Persistent but vague warnings about flexibly-timed but imminent attacks. A group of al-Qaeda operatives of indeterminate size and composition somewhere in the US planning to do...something. Chechnyan warlords boasting that there would soon be 'big news'. It's easy now, looking back, to discern which elements of those daily security briefings were relevant and why (and we can project meaning onto even meaningless ones, like Ibn al-Khattab's boasting). I'd just caution that there's a reason we have the adage 'hindsight is 20/20', as well as the term 'Monday-morning quarterback'.

Taken in concert with other accounts, investigations and reports that have come out over the last ten years, the vagueness was far less vague than you think, and many experts, rather than one-time political appointees, in our defense and intelligence establishments were practically screaming at Bush to pay more attention, but he didn't, and neither did anyone on his national security team.

There's a desire to label any missed opportunity as 'hindsight is 20/20' or other phrases that suggest that people couldn't possibly have put the pieces together as events were unfolding. As an historian, I'm incredibly sympathetic to that desire. But in this instance, every new piece of evidence I read leads me to believe it's less and less applicable. Bush had more than just vague warnings to work with. We'll never know for sure until more docs are declassified, but enough people have come forward in the last decade with first hand accounts and actual documentation to prove that they actually knew a great deal about what was going on, and the FBI in particular had more than enough evidence, but Bush never made it enough of a priority to get the agencies to work together. That's where leadership is crucial, and where it was ultimately lacking.

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Szymon
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Among many things I envy America it's Intelligence Agencies. This is a part of a greater thing- you can actually be proud of your government. Obviously, you are a superpower, but it is possible with smaller nations too.

What Orincoro just mentioned- the Smolensk crash. Obviously there are hundreds of thousands of people who believe that this was an assasination (orginiesed by Miedviediev, Putin and Tusk, our PM). Bear in mind, that the deceased president's twin brother and his Law and Justice party are among them, and it is the largest opposition party. If you happen to meet any Poles or American-Poles in the US, they will probably support this theory, because vast majority of them are LaJ followers.

Obviously I don't believe in it.

The crash is so embarassing that it hurts. How could pilots be so badly trained, procedures co lightly taken... I am ashamed, truthfully, I am.

But back to my point- at least CIA did tell Bush that attacks are possible, at least minutes after the attacks you knew who was resposible. When several of your soldiers crashed in a chopper in Libya somewhere, you had two warships and a whole company of soldiers coming to their rescue. Succesfully.

I envy you your army. In my fiancee's home town there is a mechanised infantry military base. Can you imagine there are no guards whatsoever at the entrance?! I just walked in, and, if hadn't been a total coward, could have just sat on one of the tanks nearby.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

Too bad he didn't listen to the CIA, and we all got taken along for that ride.

Cheney has been in and out of the White House since before the vast majority of Hatrackers were even born. He's been Chief of Staff, and was Secretary of Defense under Bush I, probably the most capable foreign-policy President we've ever had. Bush I was head of the CIA before becoming Reagan's VP.

Sure, it's possible someone with that pedigree would assume Hussein was somehow in league with Al-Qaeda...but that would be like assuming that the FBI is in league with Timothy McVeigh. Very much like that. Hussein was a secular leader. He kept control of sectarian terrorism, he didn't encourage it.

Think about it for a minute. Just how stupid would Cheney have to be, to assume that a secular leader, who hates sectarian violence, would be in bed with the most dangerous religious terrorists in the world? Particularly given Cheney's Secretary of Defense position under Bush I. Don't forget, as CEO of Halliburton, he would have been very attuned to world events/trends that might cause the USA to...need Halliburton.

Given his level of experience and knowledge, I'd say there's a good chance he knowingly steered Dubya away from responding to the CIA's warnings. Why wouldn't he? What profit would he gain from trying to "head it off at the pass?"

Follow...the...money. Surely that's not hard to do.

How can you people have such blind faith in your leaders?

I have a Hindu friend who automatically suspects high-level corruption, because that's what he's used to in India. He knows aaaallll about "follow the money". It's a popular game played 'round the world.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
... Just how stupid would Cheney have to be, to assume that a secular leader, who hates sectarian violence, would be in bed with the most dangerous religious terrorists in the world?

Conspiracy theories usually lose me at the "c'mon, people can't be *that* stupid" step [Wink]
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Rakeesh
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quote:
How can you people have such blind faith in your leaders?
The most potent praise Cheney has gotten here has been basically 'god-awful stupid, but not quite overtly evil in this case as I see it'. That is hardly blind faith.
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Ron Lambert
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Of course, you can always believe anything The New York Times says, right?
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Rakeesh
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It's one hell of a day when Ron Lambert is lecturing anyone for accepting sources without proper application of skepticism:)
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Of course, you can always believe anything The New York Times says, right?

I don't believe anything anyone says, generally, unless I already have some established trust in their honesty/abilities, or I have proof in front of me.

Neither is the case here, since I don't actually have the PDBs in question to read, however, there's a special third category of extrapolation that comes into effect here. The NYT account matches up with with I've read in many other places by people I do trust and have seen evidence from. So yes, in this instance, I trust the article, because it matches what I've seen in other places, and I have no reason not to.

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Thesifer
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From what I've read, and listened to this guy speak, he's not a "Truther" in the current form of the word. He's not a conspiracy theorist.

I don't think he's angling to say "Bush intentionally let it happen." I think he's trying to point out that Bush wasn't the "protector from terrorism" that he claimed to be, and that his National Security Advisers and other advisers he was listening to weren't doing their job. The same group, and some of the same advisers are on Romney's National Security Team, a scary thought. Frankly, I don't want any President that is angling to go to war.

The entire focus of the Bush Admin before and after 9/11 appears to be on Iraq. Which we conveniently "found evidence of" WMD and invaded after 9/11.

Afghanistan made some sense, we obviously had to strike back at Osama, if we knew where he most likely was. The sudden appearance of WMD and a need to attack Iraq did not. Sure we knew Iraq had some WMD, we sold it to them. But we also knew the shelf-life on nearly or all of everything we sold them was well beyond usability.

Being in the Military during 9/11 and in the Iraq War, we were always led to believe Iraq had WMD. We had no reason to mistrust what we were being told.

Although I can tell you the "threat" from Iraq would have only been "Turn off the Oil" related, and nothing else. Their planes for the most part could not fly, they launched SCUD missiles at us that quickly malfunctioned or ran out of fuel and crashed literally hundreds of miles before becoming any serious threat.

The loudspeakers on ships would play "Bombs over Baghdad" while we would all watch the tomahawks launch and then land in Baghdad on CNN. It was surreal, saddening, and odd.

Regardless of the circumstances all I'm really trying to portray is that SOMEONE was telling Bush that Iraq was a "grave" threat to the United States. My experience during the war seems to point to the fact that they (those advising Bush, and now apparently advising Romney) were incompetent. Which leads me to believe the other side of the coin, which is that Iran poses little to not threat to the United States, and/or Israel for that matter.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It's one hell of a day when Ron Lambert is lecturing anyone for accepting sources without proper application of skepticism:)

QFT....although it included a chance to slam the NYT, so it's not unheard of really.
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Stephan
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Has anyone out there considered any fault under Clinton's administration? Bush had only been president for 8 months. The terrorists had been planning this for nearly a decade.

The problem could also have been the change in administration.

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MrSquicky
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Stephan,
It's possible that the Clinton administration could have done more. However, they were highly concerned about al Queda (and were strongly criticized by many Republicans because of this). They left the Bush administration with a warning that they were an urgent threat and a defined strategy for dealing with it. Richard Clarke, Chairman of the Anti-terrorism Security Group of the National Security Council through the Clinton and some of the Bush years, carried this information to the Bush administration and strongly urged them to set up meetings about it in a January 25th, 2001 memo. After this, his office was downgraded in terms of importance. No Cabinet meeting ever took place.

Al Queda was flagged by the Clinton administration and the U.S. intelligence apparatus as a serious threat and plans were developed to address it. I don't think they can be blamed for the Bush administration ignoring them.

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MrSquicky
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It should also be noted that we had a commission to deal with 9/11, identify the problems that occurred, and come up with strategies to deal with them. The Bush administration pretty much stonewalled the commission and engaged in a series of actions that largely not only didn't address the problems that we have been able to identify despite their obstructions, but actively made our country less safe.
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