Bush Knew More About Bin Laden's Plans Than We Realized
September 11, 2012 5:33 PM   Subscribe

NYT Op/Ed on 9/11: 'The Deafness Before the Storm' "goes into teeth-grinding detail about how the Bush administration had even more advance notice about Osama Bin Laden's attack than we previously realized." Summary: significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.
posted by stbalbach (113 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
But pictures of Russian ships, amirite?
posted by mhoye at 5:37 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's astonishing how the Bush administration received warnings, again and again and AGAIN, with increasing urgency and alarm, and not a single thing was done. What the hell.
posted by naju at 5:45 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Surely this...
posted by spacewrench at 5:47 PM on September 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


...he said with a heavy sigh?
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:49 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This looking-backwardism is getting our troops killed in Iraq. Move forward. Continue voting for $WHATEVERYOUCALLTHESINGLEUSPARTY
posted by DU at 5:49 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tell me something I didn't know.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 5:55 PM on September 11, 2012


Any tool is only as effective as the hand that wields it. Why have an intelligence agency of you don't believe it?
posted by hat_eater at 5:56 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


9/11 was an inside fuck up
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:58 PM on September 11, 2012 [59 favorites]


Continue voting for $WHATEVERYOUCALLTHESINGLEUSPARTY

Isn't this article yet another example of why this "they're all the same, MAAAAN" shit is a fucking lie?

The second greatest trick the devil perpetrated onto the world is convincing some people that both parties are the same.
posted by gjc at 5:59 PM on September 11, 2012 [39 favorites]


Why have an intelligence agency of you don't believe it?

because the intelligence given didn't fit your agenda for the New American Century?

"The process of transformation … is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor."

I'll bet those fuckers still wake up every day shaking their heads and laughing...
posted by any major dude at 6:01 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's a clear tip-off that a news story is on to something when Dick Cheney coincidentally goes on record criticizing the current administration for something similar to the latest appalling revelation about Bush's. When Cheney criticizes Obama for not attending every single daily intelligence briefing, he conveniently ignores how useless intelligence is if it's not used.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


shocked, gambling, etc.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]



The NYT is reporting on this now ? Oh, no they aren't. It's a freakin Op-Ed.

Judith Miller at least got published on the front page.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:06 PM on September 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


An interesting bit of revisionism floating around blog-o-land is that if Gore had been elected he would have continued Clinton era policy towards OBL and 9/11 would not have happened.

But really, 20/20 and all that. Should we really "play politics" with this to paint republicans as soft on terorrism? Of course my first impulse is that when handed a stick we should beat them to death with it.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:07 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not particularly concerned with painting them as being "soft on terrorism". I'm more concerned with calling out the previous administration for being really fucking stupid...
posted by Phire at 6:10 PM on September 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


I'm more concerned with calling out the previous administration for being really fucking stupid

The problem is that people have Bush-fuckup-fatigue.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:14 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I mean what are you going to do? He was a fuckup.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:15 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't this article yet another example of why this "they're all the same, MAAAAN" shit is a fucking lie?

I guess you are right, given how Obama launched a full investigation and sent Bush and Cheney to the Hague.
posted by DU at 6:15 PM on September 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Seems like they are trying to disown their own ex-president at this point. Next thing you know they will start labeling GWB as Democrat on fox news.

We need to call out future Rs as potentially really fucking stupid as well.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:15 PM on September 11, 2012


and sent Bush and Cheney to the Hague.

I agree they are terrible people, and it is pretty unjust that they are still walking around but Obama knows that if we start down the path of prosecuting old administrations republicans will turn it into an artform and they will be prosecuting every democrat since the dawn of time.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:19 PM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


9/11 was an inside fuck up

Or as I used to say to the conspiracy brigade:

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.


It seems far more likely that hubris, politics, and misplaced priorities were the culprit than some sort of actual evil conspiracy, and yes I am accounting for Cheney.

The WTC had certainly been a target before,
posted by louche mustachio at 6:23 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Major US cities partially destroyed by Bush through neglect: New York, DC, New Orleans, Detroit.

Major US cities partially destroyed by Obama through neglect: None.

Clearly both parties offer the same quality of candidate.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:24 PM on September 11, 2012 [40 favorites]


They were not the only ones who didn't listen.

Again, hubris, politics, misplaced priorities.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:25 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree they are terrible people, and it is pretty unjust that they are still walking around but Obama knows that if we start down the path of prosecuting old administrations republicans will turn it into an artform and they will be prosecuting every democrat since the dawn of time.

So, instead, we just conveniently ignore the idea that laws mean things.

How, exactly, is this better?
posted by Malor at 6:25 PM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


An interesting bit of revisionism floating around blog-o-land is that if Gore had been elected he would have continued Clinton era policy towards OBL and 9/11 would not have happened.

It's been around since 9/12/2001, and while we can't know for certain I sure can't think of one damn reason to dispute it as a matter of likelihood and ordinary diligence. "Inside job" is a thoroughly poisoned position to take, but at a certain point mere incompetence is frankly as good as collaboration. Can you imagine that a Democratic administration would have gotten a second term after something like that? After all these years it still beggars belief.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:28 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I guess you are right, given how Obama launched a full investigation and sent Bush and Cheney to the Hague.

That the two parties barely agree on one issue does not prove they are the same on all issues.
posted by gjc at 6:31 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, instead, we just conveniently ignore the idea that laws mean things.

Which laws did they break? Has anyone actually asked they be extradited to The Hague?

As much as I would like Obama to be able to just send their asses there I think there is some sort of process involved.

There is also the fact they engineered multiple UN resolutions to cover their asses.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:32 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


An interesting bit of revisionism floating around blog-o-land is that if Gore had been elected he would have continued Clinton era policy towards OBL and 9/11 would not have happened.

Hell, Nader wanted to put locks on cockpit doors out of his general desire for making things safer.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:32 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


...does not prove they are the same on all issues.

They agree on the issue that matters: Don't anger the money.

That they mouth different platitudes just means that the money comes in multiple forms. But it never gets angry because nobody ever does anything to upset it.
posted by DU at 6:33 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's very telling that Ari Fleischer lashed out at Eichenwald on Twitter by calling him a "truther":

Disgusting op-ed in NYT by a truther implying Bush knew of 9-11/let it happen. NYT decries lack of civility, then adds to it.

As if clarifying the historical record about the shocking levels of negligence - Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. - and not shying away from questions about exactly *why* the Bush/Cheney White House consistently ignored serious intelligence - is the same as implying that...what? They ordered bombs exploded in the towers? Right, Ari. Keep trying.

Paul Campos at Salon helps us remember just how dishonest Bush's team has been on this:

In April 2004, [Bush] declassified a single daily briefing, that featured the startling headline “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” but on closer examination did not contain much in the way of specifics regarding the attack, which took place just 35 days after the memo’s printing.

Releasing this single briefing was deeply misleading, because it gave the impression that the administration had been given just one rather vague warning about the impending attack, rather than a series of much more concrete briefings, which ought to have put the government on high alert. The shocking truth, if Eichenwald is correct, is that the Bush administration was told enough in advance about the nature and timing of the 9/11 attacks that it could quite possibly have stopped them, but, for whatever reason, President Bush and his advisers chose to ignore those warnings. (According to Eichenwald, some White House neocons believed, “Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.”)

Note that to this point my meta-conspiracy narrative has the unusual virtue of being based on nothing but what are now the known facts of the matter. To go beyond this, we have to enter the realm of speculation, which is where things get “conspiratorial” in the dismissive sense of the word. We might, for example, speculate that certain neoconservatives in and around the White House were not wholly displeased with the failure to stop the attacks, since they provided an emotionally compelling, although completely irrational, basis for launching the invasion of Iraq these people were laboring to bring about...


Campos then assures us that he's Too Serious to believe that last part, as if it's somehow so far beyond possibility that it's out there with "Cheney set the fires," but you get the point, I'm sure.

And here's a TNR piece, Why The New Pre-9/11 Disclosures Matter, that argues we need this info "as a protection against creeping national amnesia":

...some of the amnesia has not been merely reflexive, but deliberate and political. As the years went on, it became central to the Bush Administration’s case for its success that it had “kept us safe.” Sure, it was understood that they were referring to the period after 9/11, except that sometimes...that distinction slipped away. The classic example is Rudy Giuliani, the politician who should be least likely to forget 9/11. Here’s what he said in March 2010, referring to the Fort Hood shootings: “We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we’ve had one under Obama.” The amnesia was evident again last month at the Republican National Convention, where the huzzahs for Condi Rice’s speech, and the subsequent speculation about her political future, barely stopped to note the rather significant mark on her record as national security adviser.

So yeah, this is an important set of revelations.
posted by mediareport at 6:34 PM on September 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


Oh goodie, is this the thread today where we get to politicize 9/11? Let the polemics begin!
posted by indubitable at 6:35 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


9/11 was a political act on the part of Osama and the politics only got deeper when the US decided to use to to justify invading Iraq.
posted by DU at 6:37 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Echoing George_Spiggott's sentiment, but there isn't a Democrat in the world that would have been re-elected post 9/11. Another very good indictment of our current political system.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:39 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


indubitable, if you don't want to participate in a thread about the politics of 9/11, what the hell are you doing here?
posted by mediareport at 6:39 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


and sent Bush and Cheney to the Hague.

There's this interesting argument that states you have to give people a retirement package regardless of how evil or stupid they are, else they will refuse to retire. I don't know if it is right or wrong, but it does require a certain aggregate view of morality; you can't judge rightness and wrongness based on any one judgement of a person, but on a system as a whole. You get into these really interesting arguments about process vs outcome and also morality based on transcendental ideals vs morality based on the greatest good for the greatest many. There really isn't a good super-ethical system to appeal to when weighing these beliefs—you probably are already in one camp or another—but it does nicely illustrate the edges of your beliefs. You can have all sorts of interesting arguments from these perspectives, but the one thing you can't have is intellectual dishonesty because it poisons the well. And that, I think, is the major problem with some politicians, most of whom belong to one certain party. They have been dishonest in a way that precludes rationality. They're playing Calvin Ball when everyone else is playing baseball. But that doesn't mean they in particular shouldn't be offered a retirement package, because the rest of us can have interesting arguments about how to be best rid of them.
posted by ifandonlyif at 6:41 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


They agree on the issue that matters: Don't anger the money.

That they mouth different platitudes just means that the money comes in multiple forms. But it never gets angry because nobody ever does anything to upset it.


That is almost nonsensical. Neither party has made friends with asphalt or made aliens giggle, either.

9/11 was a political act on the part of Osama and the politics only got deeper when the US decided to use to to justify invading Iraq.


I agree completely. Except that if when you say "the US", you mean "and a whole lot of other countries too, whipped into a frenzy by the warmongering Republicans, and opposed by lots of people too".
posted by gjc at 6:43 PM on September 11, 2012


This face I'm making, that looks a bit like I failed to hold in a fart? This is my surprised face.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:46 PM on September 11, 2012


I was listening today to marketplace and apparently the developer of the towers is suing the airlines for what amounts to a giant property damage lawsuit. and they mentioned how, at that time, security was outsourced by the airlines because it was their responsibility. so yeah, the TSA is gross, but the original system was bound to lead to this. I vaguely remember those days; I flew a lot more as a kid than I do now.

it's hard not to think those right wing chickenhawks wouldn't harbor some sort of desire for such a grand scale disaster to happen the way they started launching expensive artillery at brown people almost immediately. I know W is long gone, basically hiding out (Clinton rallies the hell out of the left for Obama, but the two term president after him is completely absent for the Romney campaign). but I agree that even after all the stuff that's come out in the time since that day, more of the truth is better. it irritates me to still hear about 9/11, cause I wish it could be left in the past.. but there's very clearly reasons why the things that happened are still relevant.
posted by ninjew at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


and sent Bush and Cheney to the Hague.

I agree they are terrible people, and it is pretty unjust that they are still walking around but Obama knows that if we start down the path of prosecuting old administrations republicans will turn it into an artform and they will be prosecuting every democrat since the dawn of time.


We may have laws, but Bush and Cheney prove that those in power/with money are above them. So let's settle for what we can get--vilify them loudly, publicly, repeatedly. Take their name off any public monuments. Make sure the history books get it right.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:54 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


In response to Cheney's seemingly endless mendacity regarding Obama "taking all the credit," I'll just leave this here:
"[L]ast year, when we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, I made it clear that our success was due to many people in many organizations working together over many years — across two administrations. That’s why my first call once American forces were safely out of harm’s way was to President Bush. Because protecting our country is neither the work of one person, nor the task of one period of time, it’s an ongoing obligation that we all share." Obama, May 31, 2012
Cheney can claim, with some justification, that Obama surrogates gives Obama the lion's share of the credit (GM is alive, Osama is dead, etc.) but Obama has been pretty consistent on this point.

So, yeah, I give Cheney's honesty here a rating of "artificial heart on fire."
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:56 PM on September 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh goodie, is this the thread today where we get to politicize 9/11? Let the polemics begin!

No, this is the thread where we talk about how politics, hubris, and secrecy led to twin disasters: 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
Why we continue to trust the government with these secrets is beyond me. Not only did it eliminate the public pressure to do something — the Bush Administration officials were able to lie long enough to escape the consequences — it also allowed them to turn their complete failure into public will to get their personal vendettas accomplished.

Even more depressing is the fact that not one government official came forward to stop the war in Iraq. Not one member of the CIA was willing to do the right thing and tell the truth, and instead all of these government organizations denied their duty to inform us and instead used 9/11 for their own political aims that have led to our current intractable wars across the middle east.

Perhaps 9/11 was unavoidable, but when they buried the truth in the aftermath, a lot of innocent people were needlessly sentenced to death with it.
posted by deanklear at 7:01 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Should we really "play politics" with this to paint republicans as soft on terorrism?

Yes.

What do you think bizarro-President Cheney would be doing right now if it came out that bizarro-President Gore had ignored repeated, insistent, bordering on hysterical warnings of an attack inside the US, then lied about the perpetrators to pass Cap and Trade under the auspices of a "Patriot Act"? And topped that off by invading Cuba, in some kind of twisted revenge scheme for slights against his family (or something...) by Fidel Castro in the 70s?

I guarantee you they would declassify every single daily briefing that President Gore ignored, and read them aloud to the nation in a new series of "fire-side chats about What the Democrat Party Knew and When Did the Know It?"

So why won't Obama do something similar?
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:03 PM on September 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Obama's first call should have been to Cheney, not Bush.
posted by stbalbach at 7:04 PM on September 11, 2012


There is an inequality between causing a wrong and righting a wrong. Causing a wrong may take much less capital to initiate, while righting a wrong may take much more to initiate.

You may not be able to get a candidate who can right wrongs, but you try to get the candidate who will not cause them.
posted by zippy at 7:05 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Except that if when you say "the US", you mean "and a whole lot of other countries too, whipped into a frenzy by the warmongering Republicans

Here's a handy chart showing what The Coalition of the Willing looked like in 2006. As for the initial invasion, well, even remembering Poland, it wasn't exactly a whole lot of countries.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:08 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama should give Bush a lot more credit. If it weren't for 9/11, Osama would never have been targeted in the first place.
posted by asra at 7:09 PM on September 11, 2012


Kurt's got a book to sell.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:09 PM on September 11, 2012


I guarantee you they would declassify every single daily briefing that President Gore ignored, and read them aloud to the nation in a new series of "fire-side chats about What the Democrat Party Knew and When Did the Know It?"

So why won't Obama do something similar?


Doesn't the question sort of answer itself? It would be a terrible spectacle that would paralyze the country for the duration. It would be the trial of the century of the millennia of the year. Every dirty trick in the book would come out as it turns into a political fight to the death. I want justice too but I don't know how you get it in this situation.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:09 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Doesn't the question sort of answer itself? It would be a terrible spectacle that would paralyze the country for the duration. It would be the trial of the century of the millennia of the year. Every dirty trick in the book would come out as it turns into a political fight to the death. I want justice too but I don't know how you get it in this situation.

If you ask me, lying the country into an unnecessary war damn well deserves "the trial of the century of the millennia of the year."
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:14 PM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


So why won't Obama do something similar?

I don't think Obama can do it, he needs to remain focused on Hope!

We need a dem Limbaugh who will dedicate his life to shaming republicans at every turn. Unfortunately, I don't know if we can produce someone that crass and opportunistic. If we gave Limbaugh perhaps 100m he might switch sides, then we just need to make sure he stays bought.

We also need a dem Hannity and Colmes, where we have a republican willing to have his arguments knocked down repeatedly. Wouldn;t hurt if he was really odd looking.

We just need to raise the funds, perhaps kickstarter.

I think we may be suffering from a dirty trick gap.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:15 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I guess you are right, given how Obama launched a full investigation and sent Bush and Cheney to the Hague."

Oh man, was that about the time that you led an armed revolution to change the system?

Sorry, I thought we were all just making up unrealistic fantasies — you weren't serious, right?
posted by klangklangston at 7:18 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would've agreed before the debt ceiling thing. Now that I have seen how the loyal opposition is willing to take us to the brink and beyond over irrelevant ideological nuance, I'm not so enthusiastic.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:18 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would certainly agree with the need for more tenacious, belligerent, and dogged left-wing journalists whose primary goal is to uncover government ignorance, malice, and neglect, but a left-wing Limbaugh making up even more things out of thin air and screaming about things that don't mean anything without the slightest understanding of fact and logic isn't going to help anyone.
posted by Phire at 7:23 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, one benefit a dem Limbaugh would have is he could use facts and logic.

I'm really not serious, but while we may joke about it Republicans actually built Fox News and put on Hannity & Colmes, where a dude who looks like ET was set up against the captain of the football team every night to have his "liberal ideals" derided every night. It must have been cathartic for republican voters, Hannity vanquising that bleeding heart over and over.

I guess we have Newsroom,
posted by Ad hominem at 7:29 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess we have Newsroom the Daily Show.
posted by Blue_Villain at 7:38 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


GOP guy (not an elected one but former spokesman,Ari Fleischer) on tv with the writer of the piece and said that it was political and in poor taste to have that article appear on 90/11 ...but writer countered that he had calls from families of those who died in the 9/11 attack and they thanked him for the article
posted by Postroad at 7:40 PM on September 11, 2012


I never understood the "let's not politicize 9/11" criticism. That shit came pre-politicised. It had vast and deep political effects the shook countries violently, in the forms of curtailed civil rights, wars and arguably helped push along a global recession. It was probably the most significant political act of the 21st century. This request is like asking that we not sexualize porn.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:46 PM on September 11, 2012 [24 favorites]


I posted this over five years ago:
[According to] Section 8 ("The System Was Blinking Red") [PDF] of the 9/11 Commission Report. "There were more than 40 intelligence articles in the PDBs from January 20 to September 10, 2001, that related to Bin Ladin...Other reports' titles warned, 'Bin Ladin Attacks May be Imminent' and 'Bin Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats.'"
The report was published in July 2004.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:47 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Those turning an expose of political misrule of the Bush administration into a polemic against Obama should be considered as actively campaigning for Romney right now. Just sayin'.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:52 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, I think klang has hit on an important point here. I've often had a difficult time with the notion that Obama should initiate criminal proceedings against Bush and Cheney. I understand the anger, and yes, there's some grounds by which charges could be pressed, but I think people clamouring for this and openly criticising Obama for not doing so, even going so far as to say Dems and Republicans are the same, are either being greatly disingenuous or very naive. He could try and prosecute them, but a) they would never be convicted, of anything, and b) this would most certainly open the flood gates for the GOP to go hog wild with such a precedent in place. Bush and Cheney will be held accountable in history, and while that's not as satisfying as seeing them in prison, a sincere attempt to put them behind bars would blow up in our faces so spectacularly that I wouldn't be surprised if neo-cons secretly wish Obama would try something like this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


The most amazing thing about this whole topic is the sheer number of people who have said "Bush kept us safe" with a straight face.
posted by Alexander Hatchell at 8:10 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


> I've often had a difficult time with the notion that Obama should initiate criminal proceedings against Bush and Cheney.

Dick Cheney admitted that he committed war crimes - on television, no less.

Under treaties that the United States has signed, which become the laws of the land, the President is required to investigate and prosecute war crimes. Not doing so is also a war crime.

Let's not forget about the deliberate, self-conscious, blatant lies by Cheney and Bush which lead to hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths.

If you want this to happen again, I guarantee you that the best way to ensure this is to make sure that there's no investigation, no charges, no repercussions of any sort.

Oh, and the argument, "If we try this, we'll fail and the Republicans will then beat us up," is cowardly and summarizes exactly why the Democrats continue to fail to achieve their nominal goals.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:14 PM on September 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


For real. This is the part that jumped out at me:
Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.
Can you imagine the helplessness these people must've felt? Christ, I dunno. I might've been tempted to throw up my hands at this meeting and be like, "You know what? Fuck this, I'm re-forming my Zeppelin tribute band, later guys."

If you want this to happen again, I guarantee you that the best way to ensure this is to make sure that there's no investigation, no charges, no repercussions of any sort.

"If you don't clamour for the prosecution of Bush and Cheney, the terrorists win" isn't helping.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:17 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is good news for John McCain.
posted by bardic at 8:18 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Those turning an expose of political misrule of the Bush administration into a polemic against Obama should be considered as actively campaigning for Romney right now.

There's always another election in the works. We are constantly told that any criticism of Mr. Obama is the same as supporting his opponent - the net result is these questions never get discussed at all.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:19 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Painting those who don't think criminal proceedings are a good idea as being somehow being totally OK with war crimes and thousands of dead is manipulative and disgusting.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:21 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I imagine ignoring the memos was extremely profitable to, oh, Cheney and his war-profiteering buddies.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:21 PM on September 11, 2012


An interesting bit of revisionism floating around blog-o-land is that if Gore had been elected he would have continued Clinton era policy towards OBL and 9/11 would not have happened.

Why would you doubt that? During the Zacarias Moussaoui trial the Bush Administration itself claimed that they would have prevented the attacks if Moussaoui had told what he knew. This from an administration that deprioritized counterterrorism and blew off numerous warnings from outgoing Clinton administration officials.

On January 25, 2001, Richard Clarke sent a memo [PDF] to Condoleeza Rice urgently requesting a Principals-level review on Al Qaeda and attached a strategy proposal [PDF] for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda. Rice blew him off.

Outgoing national security advisor Sandy Berger told Rice, "You're going to spend more time during your four years on terrorism generally and al Qaeda specifically than [on] any other issue." Rice blew him off.

Also in January 2001, the Hart-Rudman Commission warned that "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers," as a result of terrorist attacks. In May 2001 President Bush appointed Vice President Cheney to head the Office of National Preparedness for terrorism and said Cheney would direct a government-wide review on managing the consequences of a domestic attack, and "I will periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts." Neither of those things ever happened.

Attorney General John Ashcroft prioritized eavesdropping on New Orleans hookers over terrorism. Ashcroft changed predecessor Janet Reno's making counterterrorism a priority.

On August 6, 2001, George W. Bush, at the beginning of a month-long vacation, was given a briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." He told the briefer, "All right. You’ve covered your ass, now." and stayed on vacation. (He reserved cutting his vacations short for important things like the Terri Schiavo case.)
posted by kirkaracha at 8:24 PM on September 11, 2012 [32 favorites]


The most amazing thing about this whole topic is the sheer number of people who have said 'Bush kept us safe' with a straight face.

Bush didn't even "keep us safe" for a week. The anthrax attacks, which Bush himself called "a second wave of terrorist attacks," started on September 18, 2001. 0-2 baby!
posted by kirkaracha at 8:28 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


> Painting those who don't think criminal proceedings are a good idea as being somehow being totally OK with war crimes and thousands of dead is manipulative and disgusting.

What I said was that if you make it clear that certain crimes will never be investigated or punished, you remove the disincentive for those crimes, and make them more likely to happen in the future.

Do you believe that statement is untrue? If so, why?

(By the way, I'd rather you didn't use the word "disgusting" in reference to people here. Thanks.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:28 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why would you doubt that?

I don't doubt it at all.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:29 PM on September 11, 2012


I can't think of an example anywhere in history where leaders of the nominal winners of a conflict were held to war crimes tribunals.

No matter how much I'd like to see them hang, the thought of what would happen if a former US President was convicted of a capital offense in a foreign court makes my blood run cold.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:39 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the way, I'd rather you didn't use the word "disgusting" in reference to people here. Thanks.

I'm saying the accusation is disgusting, thanks.

What I said was that if you make it clear that certain crimes will never be investigated or punished, you remove the disincentive for those crimes, and make them more likely to happen in the future.

Oliver North got three years suspended and a piddling fine for selling weapons to terrorists - criminal proceedings against Bush and Cheney would never result in a conviction. You prevent this from happening again by pushing for executive level foreign policy changes with regards to terrorism and how intelligence is responded to. You prevent this from happening again by making sure history makes it very clear that Bush and Cheney were negligent at best, cynical and deceitful at worst. Believe it or not, there actually does exist a space between "drag them before the Hague" and "oh I'm totally cool with war crimes".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:40 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Never Forget The Summer Bin Laden Briefly Distracted Us From Saddam Hussein
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


9/11: In Politics, at Least, We Haven't Learned Enough
posted by homunculus at 8:48 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree, becoming an outcast from the party you sold your soul for and living the rest of your life in ignominy is punishment compared to being a martyr and future talking point against Obama and the dems. Right now Bush is living proof Republicans cannot be trusted with national security.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:53 PM on September 11, 2012


> Oliver North got three years suspended and a piddling fine for selling weapons to terrorists

Again, the argument is, "We will lose, so there's no point in trying."

However, just a few years earlier, we did actually jail Spiro Agnew and impeach Nixon, so we can sometimes win.

But you're basically right. We won't ever try, so we're guaranteed to lose.

> You prevent this from happening again by pushing for executive level foreign policy changes with regards to terrorism and how intelligence is responded to.

And this will stop the next Bush/Cheney combination - how? Policy has no legal force - the executive branch sets policy at will.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:56 PM on September 11, 2012


Has an industrialized, democratically elected government ever held war crimes trials for the preceding democratically elected government without there being some sort of coup or war in the transition between the two?
posted by LionIndex at 9:00 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


We need a dem Limbaugh who will dedicate his life to shaming republicans at every turn.

We had one but then he became a Senator.
posted by scalefree at 9:05 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I can't think of an example anywhere in history where leaders of the nominal winners of a conflict were held to war crimes tribunals.

and

> Has an industrialized, democratically elected government ever held war crimes trials for the preceding democratically elected government without there being some sort of coup or war in the transition between the two?

Neither of these arguments actually addresses whether it's a good idea or not, or even whether it's possible.

I don't know whether these things have been done before - but if not, it's a damned good time to start. Otherwise, what you are saying is that as the leader of a country, you can commit war crimes with impunity unless you're actually overthrown, and that's a morally appalling statement.

The US has in the past impeached and even jailed its leaders for crimes, though not war crimes. History will not judge this society favorably if it really decides that war crimes are not crimes at all.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:08 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think you should probably ramp it down in terms of putting so-called morally appalling statements into other people's mouths.

That said, I think whether the consequences of a successful prosecution would justify whatever amount of justice that they represent is a legitimate question to ask. What would actually happen if GWB and Cheney were convicted and sentenced to death? It's not hard for me to see an outcome there that's worse than the actual crimes.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:12 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Again, the argument is, "We will lose, so there's no point in trying."

No. The argument is, straight-up admitting to giving money and weapons to terrorists - when you're doing it for FREEDOM - gets you the same punishment normally associated with a mild DUI; so there is little to no evidence that any trial of Bush or Cheney would result in a conviction. And that's without even mentioning the sort of political ammunition such an attempt would give the GOP for years and years to come.

Also, pretty sure Agnew was never jailed, and Nixon, well, we all know how that went.

And this will stop the next Bush/Cheney combination - how? Policy has no legal force - the executive branch sets policy at will.

Says who? Policy can have legal force, when backed by legislation, as many matters of executive policy are.

Basically, I do think we're on the same side here with regards to what the previous administration did and what needs to never happen again. I just don't buy the binary model of how Bush and Cheney are dealt with, especially consider past precedent and political realities.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:13 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


For crimes, yes, but not capital crimes.

Neither of these arguments actually addresses whether it's a good idea or not, or even whether it's possible.

No, but they do speak to how realistic your expectations are, and how odd it is to be completely surprised at and disappointed in Obama for not doing something no first world leader has done ever, and using that as a reason not to vote for him or criticize Democrats as being exactly like Republicans. How such a thing wouldn't turn into a witch hunt at the end of every administration escapes me.
posted by LionIndex at 9:14 PM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


The US has in the past impeached and even jailed its leaders for crimes, though not war crimes.


We have? When? No President or Vice President has ever been successfully impeached.

Who's gone to jail? Rod Blagojevich is hardly a national leader.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:16 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


> How such a thing wouldn't turn into a witch hunt at the end of every administration escapes me.

I dunno, perhaps future administrations would cease to commit war crimes, not start pointless wars, and thus not even be open to such charges?

> Policy can have legal force, when backed by legislation,

"Legal force" is meaningless if you don't punish the rulers for breaking laws, right?

Overall, I'm convinced. The American people, whether Democrat or Republican, will continue to allow their leaders to commit war crimes, and the few people who talk about actually upholding the law will be derided as naïve and foolish.

No blame or guilt will accrue to the leaders, the American people, and certainly not to the brave men and women of the Armed Forces, who are simply obeying the legal orders of their superiors. The moral responsibility for these crimes will be magically washed away and everyone will be happy, except the victims and their families (and really, nothing would make them happy, would it?)

I agree. Nothing will change while the United States endures. Have a good evening.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:32 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't think of an example anywhere in history where leaders of the nominal winners of a conflict were held to war crimes tribunals.
Robert McNamara: LeMay said if we lost the war that we would have all been prosecuted as war criminals. And I think he's right. He... and I'd say I... were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side has lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:34 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Arthur Harris, LeMay, etc. WW2 are good examples of the winners not being prosecuted. If no one went to jail over Dresden I don't see how anyone is going to jail over Fallujah.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:37 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think any of you want Bush punished. I think you want him made an example of. I don't think making an example of a couple people would stop the never ending quest for power and money some people are drawn into. I think th just become better at silencing witnesses and hiding the bodies.

Pretty good web grandstanding though. I'm guessing you guys live in the US as well and benefit from the same cheap gas we do so you have just as much blood on your hands. Pointing fingers on the web will never wash it off, you really have to get started on that revolution.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:44 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kurt Eichenwald on the Rachel Maddow Show: Getting 9/11 history right to fact check our threat response
posted by homunculus at 9:50 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The more I think about the consequences of a successful prosecution the more convinced I become that it would be one of the worst possible moves. Can you imagine the raid to free the accused? Any sitting President of any party would send the SEALs in to rescue a former president just to avoid the precedent. It would destroy what little remains of the post-WW2 diplomatic arrangement. I think it would be up there with the impact Lincoln's assassination had on Reconstruction.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:53 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


deanklear Even more depressing is the fact that not one government official came forward to stop the war in Iraq. Not one member of the CIA was willing to do the right thing and tell the truth, and instead all of these government organizations denied their duty to inform us and instead used 9/11 for their own political aims that have led to our current intractable wars across the middle east.

Plenty of career intelligence officers and analysts spoke with Knight Ridder during the build-up to the Iraq War. . .it's just that no one with any power was listening.

A special Pulitzer for Knight Ridder's pre-war coverage?

Buying the War

How Walcott and the Knight Ridder reporters went about their work

Going It Alone
posted by mlis at 9:59 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's very telling that Ari Fleischer lashed out at Eichenwald on Twitter by calling him a "truther"...

Anderson Cooper 360: Fleischer and Eichenwald debate 9/11 warnings -- "Kurt Eichenwald and Ari Fleischer go head-to-head in a heated debate over whether the Bush administration ignored intelligence before the Sept. 11 attacks."

Worth watching!
posted by ericb at 10:23 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree completely. Except that if when you say "the US", you mean "and a whole lot of other countries too, whipped into a frenzy by the warmongering Republicans, and opposed by lots of people too".

Don't forget Poland?
posted by Chuckles at 10:26 PM on September 11, 2012


More like a few opportunistic leaders latching on to what they saw as an opportunity with lukewarm public support.

Afghanistan, maybe, could be justified - Al Queda and the Taliban had been left to their own devices too long, and Osama Bin Laden was the culprit so it made sense to go in after him. Of course it turned out that they could just hop over the border to Pakistan and have a nice place to hole up but I guess people hadn't thought that through at the time.

Iraq though, nobody bought that. Not even the people tasked with generating the faked up WMD reports. I think maybe you could argue Tony Blair as the one non-American who thought there was a real justification and that's only because he's the kind of liar who has absolute belief in their own lies.
posted by Artw at 1:02 AM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: and the few people who talk about actually upholding the law will be derided as naïve and foolish.

How the bloody hell does this even happen? This makes no sense whatsoever. We're simply saying that leaders need to obey the law, and we're being treated like Crazy Uncle Larry who believes the black helicopters are enroute.

What the fuck is wrong with this country? What the hell happened? I can't believe I'm in a tiny minority, yelling into the emptiness. Saying that laws are things that everyone has to follow, not just "the little people", results in crickets chirping.

How is this even possible? This is the United States, right? I didn't wake up in Russia or something?
posted by Malor at 1:19 AM on September 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think maybe you could argue Tony Blair as the one non-American who thought there was a real justification and that's only because he's the kind of liar who has absolute belief in their own lies.

Desmond Tutu: Why I had no choice but to spurn Tony Blair - I couldn't sit with someone who justified the invasion of Iraq with a lie
posted by homunculus at 1:27 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are in fact regular attempts to arrest Tony Blair for his part in the Iraq War.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't believe I'm in a tiny minority, yelling into the emptiness.

Shouting into the emptiness gets it exactly right. Hilariously Sadly, the people who take the most morally uncompromising stands in these discussions usually seem to be the ones whose sum total of political activity consists of yelling on the internet.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:22 AM on September 12, 2012


Pretty good web grandstanding though. I'm guessing you guys live in the US as well and benefit from the same cheap gas we do so you have just as much blood on your hands. Pointing fingers on the web will never wash it off, you really have to get started on that revolution.

I guess we should join you instead and mock anyone who even desires change? To paraphrase Arun Ghandi, should we undermine the change we want to see in the world?

Let me tell you why I want to see Bush put on trial: it would restore the idea that no man in the United States is above the law, and that would give pause to the next President if he knows there's a better chance of confronting justice by being put on trial, or simply facing impeachment, for failing to obey the principles he was sworn to defend.

If we could round up every one who lied in the lead-up to the wars, even if their punishment didn't match their incredible crimes, it would also restore the idea that the President can't protect his minions. That would make it more difficult to keep everyone quiet if they knew that the truth could put them in prison, or at least humiliate them publicly, if they aided and abetted the coverup.

Admittedly, those are all hopes. Putting Bush on trial would also mean putting Obama on trial for his continuation of Bush era policies, and that may be something the world can't afford when the other option is Mitt Romney and the return of neoconservative paranoid delusions. Obama is so ridiculously pragmatic that it may be why he made his decision — he's decided to abuse executive overreach to wipe out what he feels is a genuine threat without having to fight Congress about it, given how hysterically partisan they are. Even if he's right, he's still perpetuating the problem: one man cannot be trusted with that power, especially if there's no chance of oversight or punishment if he abuses it. When one difference between a terrorist and our president is what flag they sit under while they order the execution of their enemies, sometimes hope is ironically all we have left to hold on to.

That's why it's important to say out loud that our principles demand more of our leaders than they are willing or able to give us at the moment. Even if the majority of Americans do believe that hundreds of thousands of dead civilians and the shredding of our civil liberties constitute a fair price to pay to keep our gas prices low and to pretend that we're safe, we at least need to keep the discussion alive and expose more of the truth so the next generation has a chance of choosing something better.
posted by deanklear at 6:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Sadly, the people who take the most morally uncompromising stands in these discussions usually seem to be the ones whose sum total of political activity consists of yelling on the internet.

Seems to me that you don't have any rebuttal for their arguments, so you're reduced to personal insult.

And an incorrect one, is my guess. I've personally been quite politically active for a long time. In the last few months we've decided to leave the United States, so I've been winding down, but I still went to a demonstration (for Bradley Manning, poor guy) just last week.

If you have any proof that Malor (who's apparently the direct target of your comment) is not politically active, lay it on us. Otherwise, do us a favor and don't post shit that you just made up out of whole cloth, OK?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:12 AM on September 12, 2012


Let me tell you why I want to see Bush put on trial

Nothing would gratify me more. However, imagine the consequences if Bush were tried and acquitted.

If enough people in the US wanted Bush on trial, he would be. If Americans wanted to elect a Congress that would "round up every one who lied in the lead-up to the wars," they could, in theory, do that. But instead, Americans have elected a Congress half of which doesn't even want to participate in the basic day-to-day activities of government. And right now, Americans aren't likely to elect a significantly different kind of Congress any time soon.

So you can see why demands to put Bush on trial, morally gratifying though that would be, sound pointless and why angry demands to put Bush on trial start to sound laughable.

or at least humiliate them publicly

Speaking of public humiliation, while watching Wagner's Dreams on Monday, I couldn't help noticing Kissinger in the opening night audience.

Otherwise, do us a favor and don't post shit that you just made up out of whole cloth, OK?

Oh, tell it to the mods.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:17 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The tell for me, way back when, was when the Bush Administration changed its story from "there was no warning" to there was no specific warning" (and how rude of the terrorists not to send an engraved ingvitation, anyway!).

Yet as much as that statement was a frank admission of mind-boggling incompetence, the so-called "liberal media" barely noticed.

Well, I did.
posted by Gelatin at 7:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


octobersurprise:

> If enough people in the US wanted Bush on trial, he would be.

I think we all agree that most of the citizens of the USA are perfectly OK with war crimes. Overall, we've seen very little criticism of them, and far more people expressing strong approval.

That is not in question. The question is, "Is this morally right? Will it make for a stronger country?" My answer - no.

> > Otherwise, do us a favor and don't post shit that you just made up out of whole cloth, OK?

> Oh, tell it to the mods.

In other words, you did make it all up - just as long as we're clear on this. (The mods are busy people - and it's not their job to police truth or falsehood...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:41 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you have any proof that Malor (who's apparently the direct target of your comment) is not politically active, lay it on us

I'm not going to go through Malor's remarks and "prove" anything to you. It's frowned on, one, and, two, it's not worth my effort. Malor's a big boy, presumably; if I'm wrong, he can correct me. But Malor's made his disdain for the spectrum of American politics very clear in the past. And more power to him, I say! I stand by my observation that those who demand the most from the extremely flawed American government are usually the least willing to actually participate.

The question is, "Is this morally right? Will it make for a stronger country?" My answer - no.

I don't disagree with you at all. On either point. I'd like to see the lot of them on trial. People in Hell want ice water, too.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I stand by my observation that those who demand the most from the extremely flawed American government are usually the least willing to actually participate.

Observation - how? How do you even know if someone who demands a lot is politically active or not?

In Mr. Obama's first campaign, the volunteers were disproportionately from people demanding a great deal from the government. Feel free to look at the mailing lists if you don't believe it.

You might strongly disagree with OWS's theory, their strategy or their tactics, but the fact is that this was a huge group of people who wanted a lot more out of the government and got off their asses to actually do something about it.

Or, let's look at public figures - Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald... Can you name one public figure for which your "observation" is true?

Absent any rational argument or hard information at all other than "I have observed this," I think a rational person can completely ignore your statement.

> On either point. I'd like to see the lot of them on trial. People in Hell want ice water, too.

Hell is an imaginary place. In the real world, it is indeed possible to effect change. However, if you start with the assumption that change is impossible, then you're pretty well guaranteed to be right.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:35 AM on September 12, 2012


You two want to cool it please?
posted by cortex at 8:42 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The tell for me, way back when, was when the Bush Administration changed its story from 'there was no warning' to 'there was no specific warning'

Including Condoleeza Rice's lie, "No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon...into the World Trade Center, using planes as missiles." There were numerous warnings about terrorists using planes as missiles before 9/11, including a 1999 analysis that said, Al Qaeda "could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon."

According to the article linked in the post, on May 1, 2001, the CIA told the White House "'a group presently in the United States' was planning a terrorist operation." The August 6, 2001 PDB noted "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings." If you prevent someone from hijacking a plane, it doesn't matter what they want to do with it.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is the United States, right? I didn't wake up in Russia or something?

I don't know about you but this sure isn't the United States I grew up in. Something broke in 2002; the collective response to the WTC/Pentagon thing was completely unhinged, as though millions of people with no connection to New York decided to take the attack personally.

It just wasn't that hard to think it through and observe that the whole point of the exercise, from al-Qaeda's point of view, was to provoke a disproportionate military response, and then to think "gee, maybe we shouldn't give the guy exactly what he wants"; yet millions of people got gleefully on board with the idea of military invasion and general ass-kickery, as though that were going to solve anything. I don't know what happened but it didn't make any sense then and still doesn't make any sense now. I'm still sitting here ten years later largely unfazed by the 9/11/2001 thing but all around me the country seems to have gone off into a land of sentimental militaristic jingoism.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:47 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do sometimes wonder how Gore would have reacted.

Or pro-acted.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:10 AM on September 12, 2012


If you prevent someone from hijacking a plane, it doesn't matter what they want to do with it.

Word. That flimsy excuse was yet another admission of rank incomepetence -- as if ignorance of the terrorists' intention gave the Bush Administration a pass on dropping the ball. Even if the terrorists hadn't flown planes into buildings, they could have flown them into the ground or simply murdered the passengers one by one, possibly even on live TV. Even without the planes-as-missiles angle, terrorists hijacking planes was a known threat and something you're obviously supposed to prevent.

And therefore measures to prevent someone from hijacking an airplane were known at the time. If memory serves me correctly, the terrorists picked the airports they used because of their lax security. Beefing up security would have at least been something, even if the measures failed to catch anyone. Yet it's a matter of public record that that didn't happen.
posted by Gelatin at 11:28 AM on September 12, 2012


I think maybe you could argue Tony Blair as the one non-American who thought there was a real justification and that's only because he's the kind of liar who has absolute belief in their own lies.

Kofi Annan: Tony Blair could ultimately have stopped Iraq war.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on September 29, 2012


President Obama Considered Putting Osama bin Laden on Trial if Taken Alive
posted by homunculus at 12:55 PM on October 3, 2012


DHS Counterterror Centers Produce ‘a Bunch of Crap,’ Senate Finds
posted by homunculus at 1:35 PM on October 3, 2012


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