Skip to comments.Warnings from the CIA: Could Bush Have Prevented Sept 11th?
Posted on 05/19/2002 3:57:05 AM PDT by The Raven
The Democrats have spent the past eight months looking for some way to gain political advantage over the Republicans without having to offer any actual leadership in the War on Terrorism. Their latest gambit is to blame President Bush for failing to act on vague CIA warnings, early last August, that Osama bin Laden might be plotting to hijack airplanes. Aside from demanding to know why intelligence analysts were not clairvoyant, Democratic leaders say they want to find out what the president knew and when he knew it -- and why he didn't do anything about it.
This absurd witch hunt is a blatant attempt at misdirection. The politicians and pundits who demand this investigation are evading the fact that they themselves had access to a wealth of information on the threat of terrorism -- yet they did nothing to stop it.
Let us take a look at what they knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it.
Before Sept. 11, everyone knew that Osama bin Laden was planning terrorist attacks against the United States. We knew it because bin Laden had already carried out these terrorist attacks, killing dozens of Americans.
A little more than a year before Sept. 11, al Qaeda bombed an American warship, the USS Cole, in Yemen. What did our leaders -- on both the left and the right -- do with this knowledge? The Cole was attacked just a few months before a presidential election, but terrorism did not become a top issue for the candidates or for the media. Instead, in one of their debates, both Al Gore and George W. Bush agreed that American foreign policy needed greater national "humility." On Sept. 11, that's exactly what they got.
At a memorial service for the families of the sailors killed on the Cole, President Clinton vowed that "justice will prevail." But justice had not prevailed -- not on Clinton's watch.
Did Clinton have any warning that terrorists might try to attack our warships? Well, how about the fact that they had attacked our embassies? Two years earlier, bin Laden's minions bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than a dozen Americans and hundreds of bystanders. In response, Clinton lobbed a half-dozen cruise missiles at bin Laden's training camps and bombed an empty pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. The governments of these countries faced no consequences for their support of terrorists.
The Republicans in Congress were so concerned by Clinton's negligence that they convulsed the country with intensive congressional hearings -- on Clinton's sex life.
People are asking why the government didn't react to warnings it received five weeks before Sept. 11. Well, how about warnings that came eight years earlier? In 1993, a bunch of Islamic fanatics set off a powerful bomb in the parking garage underneath the World Trade Center. Do you think perhaps this was a warning that Islamic militants wanted to blow up the World Trade Center? President Clinton didn't seem to care, letting the FBI conduct a criminal investigation of the case, free from any attention by the chief executive.
We could go back farther: Libya's 1988 airplane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, the PLO's takeover of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, and on and on.
And way, way back in 1979 -- you may have heard some whispered rumors about this -- a bunch of Islamic fanatics stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 50 Americans hostage for more than 400 days. It is almost certain that President Carter was aware of this -- but aside from a single, half-hearted, abortive military operation, Carter did nothing. His successor did do something: Reagan agreed to reward Iran with arms sales in exchange for the release of hostages in Lebanon.
Taking a microscope to CIA memos to figure out if President Bush could have done something to prevent Sept. 11 is a ridiculous waste of time. The scandal is not that our leaders failed to act on vague warnings in secret intelligence briefings. The scandal is that they failed to act in response to the bombings and mass murders broadcast on the evening news.
Islamic terrorists have been at war with the United States for more than two decades. Yet, with a few exceptions, politicians, diplomats, reporters and pundits were not screaming this fact from the rooftops, nor were they demanding any real action against the terrorists and their sponsors.
If we want to investigate a scandal, let's start here.
Unfortunately, the story has legs and will be all over the talk shows today (I predict none of the questioners will be on Bush's side - they're all "in" on it)
a) The INS has permitted hoards of islamic immigrants to enter the united states.
b) Islam is not peace
And nothing has changed - we wouldn't want to hurt corporate America (low-paid workers, access to oil), would we?
However, in fairness, I would like to remind Freepers of some really nasty accusations about Oklahoma City, to the effect that the govt "knew in advance" because there had been very vague nationwide warnings about worries that someone might do something somewhere on the anniversary of the Branch Davidian fire. At the time the govt had no clue about anything specific, not who nor where nor how, and was just antsy about the date ... but some nasty minded people elevated that to very nasty accusations.
Even today, excuses are still being made for FDR.
I agree with your post. There is much that we do not know and probably never will. If Bush did know that 911 was going to happen then he is very evil indeed. Is that the end product of all this spin? They want the American ppl to think that GW knew this and allowed it to happen? Nonsense.........if GW knew then a lot of other knew and somehow this would have come out by now.
GW had just come thru that horrible election ending and I think that he has done a good job of deflecting the demo's statements about that.
Politics is at its worst right now as the demos can't find anything to tear down this pres and they are just continuing on with grabbing at this. They themselves knew what the pres knew. They condemn themselves.
Hey Raven - I work full time for a living, unlike you who is unemployable.
Did anyone else see this or was I halucinating? I was channel surfing and ran across what appeared to be the end of the show when she came down hard on Clinton and then said something along the line of "Bush had only been in office 8 months at the time....." and how it's ridiculous to blame him.
Either something strange has come over Ms. Clift (and she seemed to have Al Hunt agreeing with her) or somebody put something crazy in my coffee.
Clinton, Clinton, Clinton If W had set this up, it really would be any better than it's eventually going to get, although I think some stupid Dem leaked the memo. But now I'm beginning to wonder.
This is exactly the kind of low-life tactic Hillary regularly employed when she was president of the United States.
They are silent when he tells them Muslim miltants in the US may bomb apartments.
Message to democrat politicians: Come up with a better idea or sit down and shut up.
As far as I am concerned the President on down have shown themselves to be dangerous to our continued survival. The question no one asks is now that they all know, why are they not using our military reserves to close the borders? Shipping out any suspected Muslim fanatics? Shipping out students from terrorist countries? Having volunteers check shipping containers, and having zero admittance to our country from anyone from the Middle East?
What if the Terrorists, understanding the temperment of the American citizen, understand that the kind of terrorist attacks used against Israel will not work here, what if their plan is for one large fell swoop? What if their plan is to make such an example of the destruction of the USofA that the rest of the world will cower in terror before them? What if on July 4th not just one city, or two cities, or ten cities, but all of our major cities go up in a mushroom cloud? Given the continued corruption in D.C. this is entirely possible, it really is, entirely possible. They are all equally guilty in my eyes and continue to be so.
The Congress for knowing every bit as much as the President and for many decades before he was elected to office and yet the party rolled, they did nothing about immigration, they did nothing about illegals, they did nothing about student visas, they did nothing about our borders, they did nothing period. For many decades the only entity being represented in D.C. is not the citizen, but corporations and special interests.
The fault with Bush is not "what did he know and when", but now that he does know why he has not signed EO's to offer the American citizen the protection that the Congress refuses to? We all know why, politics and corporate pandering. These lazy, decadent, fat cats, will eventually be the death of the nation, if not this time in this war, then in some war in the future.
Meanwhile, while they look back before 9/11 with new insight and try to make political hay, the terrorists are planning their next attack on US soil. How many members of Congress were there during the first bombing of the WTC and what did they do?
It never ceases to amaze me that frequently on the local evening news, some reporter is out under some bridge, standing at a dock, or beside a refinery describing what havoc would be caused if "this location" was bombed.