Skip to comments.Bush Administration Took Appropriate Action in Response to General Threats
Posted on 05/18/2002 5:24:34 AM PDT by Republican_Strategist
Americans know that President Bush when faced with credible information about a threat would act swiftly and strongly. It is terribly unfair to the victims and victim families of the terrible tragedy of September 11 for anyone to suggest anything to the contrary. Such statements are irresponsible and politically motivated.
Last summer, President Bush received briefings that contained general information about possible threats. The information was not specific. It did not mention time, place or method. These general threats were also uncorroborated. Any briefings containing specific information were uncorroborated and not credible.
The same information was shared with members of the House and Senate. Senator Diane Feinstein told CNN in July of 2001 intelligence staff have told me that there is a major probability of a terrorist incident within the next three months. Yesterday, Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby acknowledged to CNN the briefings on potential threats.
In light of the potential threats, the federal government took action including alerts to law enforcement agencies, airlines, and U.S. assets overseas.
Bush Administration Takes Action
-The Counter-terrorism Security group (CSG) - which brings together WH officials with officials from all relevant federal agencies - began to meet several times per week, with telephone contact between key officials several times per day.
-The FBI was conducting active investigations inside the US, and issuing appropriate warnings:
--July 2 -- FBI released a warning message about a possible threat overseas. The warning specifically stated that while officials could not foresee a domestic attack, one could not be ruled out.
--July 18 - FBI issues message on Millennium plot conviction, reiterates 2 July message.
--Aug 1 - FBI issues alert on upcoming 3rd East Africa bombing Anniversary, reiterating July 2 message.
-The State Department issued a worldwide caution (June 22).
-Counter-terrorism Security Group suspends non-essential travel of US counter-terrorism staff (July 6).
-Five key FAA Information Circulars (IC) were issued alerting private carries to potential threats against airlines:
--June 22 - alerted carriers to a possible hijacking to free terrorist operatives
--July 2 - based on the testimony of a terrorist involved in the Millennium bombing plots, who told of a possible attempt place a bomb in an air terminal
--July 18 - though based on no specific threat information, urges all carries maintain a high degree of alertness.
--July 31 - reports that some active terrorist groups are known to train for hijacking operations.
--August 16 - warns carriers to be on alert for disguised weapons.
The August 6th briefing to the President that mentioned hijacking was not a threat report.
-It was an analysis of Al Qadea and Usama bin Laden that their desire to attack the US, and their preferred methods of operation.
-The analysis was prepared at the Presidents request, in response to his questions about Al Qaedas capabilities and intentions to harm US interests.
-The analysis mentioned hijacking as a possible operation Al Qaeda might attempt.
--But it did not say anything using aircraft as missiles.
--Rather, it mentioned the possibility that Al Qaeda might attempt to hijack a plane and hold passengers hostage to force the release of terrorist operatives, including the Blind Sheikh.
-President directs the FBI and CIA to begin unprecedented sharing of intelligence and cooperation on investigations.
-Established the Office of Homeland Security to coordinate a national strategy to protect America and named Governor Tom Ridge as Director.
-President Bush worked with the House and Senate to improve our anti-terrorism laws and to give law enforcement needed tools to more effectively collect and share intelligence information.
-The President now receives a daily domestic security briefing from the FBI Director, CIA Director, Governor Ridge with the Office Homeland Security, National Security Advisor Rice and the Vice President. This joint briefing helps guarantee seamless cooperation among law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Despite these facts, Democrats leaders such as Senator Tom Daschle, Rep. Dick Gephardt and Senator John Edwards have tried to play politics with this threat information by making irresponsible statements about President Bush allowing their presidential ambitions get the best of their judgment.
Todays New York Times cautions:
As Congressional Democrats and other Bush opponents rev up the recriminations following this weeks disclosures, they should remember that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees received some of the same intelligence reports as the White House. These included public and private warnings from George Tenet, the director central intelligence, that Al Qaeda could strike at any time.
The Washington Post states:
The tempest seems overblown based on what the White House has revealed thus far, the information Mr. Bush received was very general, and the possibility of a domestic hijacking was far less salient in the briefing he received from the CIA than the possibility of an overseas attack. The administration warned airlines to take precautions. Its easy after September 11 to insist that more should have been done.
Stop being democrat kissers or support will be with held. Rush says!
|What did he know...and when did he know it ?
Of course Bush didn't know specifics of it beforehand. That is the Bin Laden line, along with "Mossad did it". It is absurd on its face, raving X-files paranoia. That the Dems are jumping on it only shows how desperate they are and that they have no other issue. Such nonsense is a perfect "equal opportunity" for nutjobs, because no relation to facts is necessary at all. It would be utterly trivial to spin out a story line that has congressional Dems nefariously behind it all, but it would also be lying and beneath contempt.
Of course Bush didn't know beforehand. He didn't do anything because he didn't, and would have if he had. Because he is not a Martian. Double Duh. The fact that any of it is being brooded about at all is absurd. Yes thousands were murdered and Islamic terrorists did it. Not Mossad, the Oil Companies, a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, Cattle Mutilators, or Orbital Mind Control Lasers. Buy a clue.
Nooooo, no tinfoil on you, mate. You're just an intrepid seeker of truth. Right.
3,000 people died on September 11th? Really? Tell us again, maybe somebody on the planet didn't know that.
The President offered a bit more than indignation, truth-seeker. Think Afghanistan, Taliban, things like that.
Try real hard between screaming about President Bush and implying that September 11th is his fault.
You Bush haters are really showing your fangs now. I guess that you assume the coast is clear to scream wild accusations at the President and still pose as righteous and simply 'seeking the truth'.
The truth is that there was some intelligence problems generated by long-standing mismanagement of the various agencies going back to the mid-seventies. We could have done better but no one will ever really know if September 11th could have been prevented. Intelligence is amurky business, as we all know. As National Security Advisor Condi Rice said; You don't shut down the air traffic in the United States over an FBI agent's memo or a few scattered reports of questionable activity here and there. Get real.
It's more than simple and sooo easy to look at pieces of evidence long after the fact, ignore the context of that evidence and beat your chest and yell:'BUSH KNEW! like the N.Y. Post or 'BUSH SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!' like you. That's lazy finger-pointing and misplaced indignation. The President did the best he could at the time with what he had to go on. To make some of the wild claims you have is way out of line and unreasonable, not that that fact will deter you from your obvious Bush-bashing party here. Fortunately, most of us don't buy it and as for tin foil, you should change your screen name to Reynolds Wrap. This thread is junk.
As for your obsession over put trading, their are no confiscations because the perps are long gone. Options cash settle the day of the trade, and clear within a week or two at most. And no, Bin Laden would not need to worry about the attack being discovered if he ordered such trades. Even if somebody noticed at the time instead of after the fact (which they did not), what is the chain of deduction supposed to be? "Somebody just sold UAL short - it must be a multiple hijacking originating in Boston and two other airports with plastic box cutter knives"?
No possibility somebody just knew (1) UAL would suffer a strike by one of its component unions or (2) somebody had been cooking the books at UAL and it was about to come out or (3) the chairman was about to resign or (4) a maintenance scandal was about to be revealed with large legal liabilities or (5) fuel prices were about to spike? How about even if somebody deduced "terrorism against an airline", why were they supposed to dismiss bombs in luggage, hijackings starting in California? There are a million things that might make a stock go down that somebody might know beforehand, and a million ways even a terrorist attack might occur. No possible before-the-fact deduction would lead from "put buying" to "multiple suicide hijackings of these four airliners on 9-11".
Moreover, even a fear of discover by Bin Laden (senseless as the above shows it would have been) would not prevent that as the logical explanation. His organization is not a monolith of mind numbed robots. Hundreds of people had to know what was going to happen. Any one of them could have decided he prefers his 70 horis in this life rather than the next, and cashed in his personal inside knowledge, without needing the slightest approval from his superiors.
Moreover, it is ridiculous to speculate that "da gubmint" needs to short puts on UAL and murder 3000 people to make a buck. All they have to do is say the wrong thing about the dollar after telling a few friends they are about to, and they can take whatever profits out of financial markets they want. Without murdering anybody. But a terrorist off in the mountains of the Hindu Kush is not listened to when he speculates about the future direction of the dollar, so this avenue is not open to nutjobs.
Yes there are people dead and they had families. Guess who did that and is to blame for it? It's the bleeding terrorists - duh!