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President Bush was told that Osama bin Laden might be plotting to hijack U.S. passenger planes well before September 11th.
May 15, 2002 7:54 PM   Subscribe

President Bush was told that Osama bin Laden might be plotting to hijack U.S. passenger planes well before September 11th. The warning was never made public. AP reported earlier this month that FBI headquarters did not act on a memo last July from its Arizona office warning there were a large number of Arabs seeking pilot, security and airport operations training. Said a spokeman for Sen. Bob Graham, Senate Intelligence Committee chair: "It represents a failure to connect the dots."
posted by tranquileye (36 comments total)

 
so do we blame GW or Tolkien?
posted by clango at 8:26 PM on May 15, 2002


Sen. Bob Graham, Democrat-Fla.
posted by smackfu at 8:35 PM on May 15, 2002


Sen. Bob Graham, Democrat-Fla.
posted by eatitlive at 8:45 PM on May 15, 2002


the key point is, i think, that until 9/11, most of us, our leaders included, had this perception of hijacking as the hostage-taking/demand-negotiating scenario it had traditionally been.
posted by quonsar at 8:46 PM on May 15, 2002


I think it's time to impeach President Clinton again.
posted by kevinmil at 8:48 PM on May 15, 2002


er, my point being that i don't like bush one bit, but i see nothing sinister here. if he had anything at all to do with it, he probably planned and paid for it. [ducking]
posted by quonsar at 8:49 PM on May 15, 2002


until 9/11, most of us, our leaders included, had this perception of hijacking as the hostage-taking/demand-negotiating scenario it had traditionally been

Which is why it worked. That time. Now, we're focussing our efforts (when we make efforts at all) to counteract that particular threat, without bothering to think about what the next threat might be.

And if it had happened a year earlier than it did, yeah you bet there would be calls to impeach Clinton again. (No need to duck, quonsar, I'm on your side).
posted by yhbc at 8:52 PM on May 15, 2002


Now we're focusing our efforts on subjugating the citizenry.That being neither here, nor there. It was a for sure failure of intelligence. Who is to blame. I pick the son of the former head of the CIA. But that's just me.
posted by shagoth at 9:01 PM on May 15, 2002


what was Bush supposed to do? tell airlines, "hey you might be hijacked sometime in the future!"? it's almost vague enough to be laughable.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:20 PM on May 15, 2002


Remember, this is on top of numerous intelligence agencies from various countries warning of terrorism involving aircraft.

Seems to me that there are some sacred cows that neither the media or government are willing to discuss. They are either complicit or incompetent, both require real investigation into their sources.

Another is the Bush, oil, Bin Laden family and Afghan pipeline connections. Maybe the relationships are nothing more than usual (i.e. legal) dealings we find among our government and others, but maybe it's more. Scary that investigative reporting is no longer a component of our corporate media, and governmental inquiries are so very rarely more than just stacks of reports.

'Media saavy' no longer just means you look good to a camera and are appealing to an audience, but now means you can shape how the public views a situation. News-Entertainment ensures that these stories will be gobbled up by 'the masses' just as thoroughly as slimy gameshows and catchy sitcoms.

Suffice to say, although most people I meet doubt our politicians honesty, it seems the bulk of voters really don't want to know what's really going on. It's Ok as long as *my* people don't get hit to hard with any particular legislation...It's Ok because my vote doesn't mean much anyway...It's Ok because we always have enemies we can squash...

It's Ok because the news comes on at 10...
posted by a_green_man at 9:32 PM on May 15, 2002


this is slightly off topic... ive been wondering about bin ladens close family - sons, wives, etc. etc... i can see how 1 person could disappear into the afgan/pakistan mountains... but a an entire entorage??? what are our spy satellites for??? and how about the NSA and their undisclosed budget?? what are we paying billions of dollars for? ive heard a lot of criticism of the FBI and CIA... what the hell does the NSA do?? who is in charge of NSA?? why do i feel we are not quite getting the whole story???

on that note, i wonder how long this post will be here - and if a black van will be pulling up in my alley tonight?? :P
posted by specialk420 at 9:40 PM on May 15, 2002


on that note, i wonder how long this post will be here - and if a black van will be pulling up in my alley tonight?? :P

You don't matter to them, nobody's listening anyway.

Evidently after the USSR went belly up, the NSA had to justify their huge budget somehow, so they spun their operations into tracking down various money laundering schemes and drug traffickers.

Security just ain't what it used to be.
posted by a_green_man at 10:01 PM on May 15, 2002


"what was Bush supposed to do? tell airlines, "hey you might be hijacked sometime in the future!"? it's almost vague enough to be laughable."

Yeah, what he should have done was raise the Official U.S. Government Office Of Homeland Security™ Terrorist Warning Threat Level to Color-Code Magenta® and issue the vague warning to the entire nation, because it keeps everyone Alert and On Their Toes, looking for Suspicious Activity.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:04 PM on May 15, 2002


hmmm.

"Our end state is an NSA/CSS that - in tomorrow's technological environment - can create decisive U.S. strategic and tactical advantage by reliably providing otherwise denied information to U.S. decision makers in a timely manner and in an actionable format while at the same time denying access to U.S. information and information systems by adversaries and competitors."

???

am i missing something or should the NSA be included in the fumble brigade?
posted by specialk420 at 10:13 PM on May 15, 2002


what was Bush supposed to do? tell airlines, "hey you might be hijacked sometime in the future!"? it's almost vague enough to be laughable.

President Bush had known since the January 2001 report by the Hart-Rudman Commission that we were vulnerable and that a terrorist attack of some sort was probably inevitable. At the very least we could have followed El Al's example and reinstated the sky marshals. While there is no way to know if it would have made a difference, it bothers me that with all the forewarning, no effort seems to have had been made. I don't think it was sinister or consipiratorial, but it was grossly negligent. And I am baffled that that negligence seems to be acceptable to the American people.
posted by homunculus at 11:03 PM on May 15, 2002


"what was Bush supposed to do? tell airlines, "hey you might be hijacked sometime in the future!"? it's almost vague enough to be laughable."

Being vague doesn't seem to bother Bush in any other area.

NYT says...
It was not clear this evening why the White House waited eight months after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington to reveal what Mr. Bush had been told.

BBC says...
BBC Washington correspondent Justin Webb says the timing of this admission is significant, as a congressional committee is about to start hearings into intelligence failings before 11 September.

The White House did not want to be put on the defensive with leaks about what the president knew, our correspondent says.


That sounds plausible to me.The Bush Gang are just trying to cover themselves here.Damage control before any real damage occurs.It is interesting that it took 8 months and planned hearings for this story to hit the front page.

Just think about what this White House doesn't tell us.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 11:11 PM on May 15, 2002


Thoughts:

1) It doesn't sound like these warnings, or any warnings that weren't explicit "Flight 77 on the morning of September 11th", could have prevented that first plane from hitting since the warnings were pretty vague.

2) Yet... the FAA and others knew about 20 minutes before the first plane hit the WTC that multiple planes had been hijacked/were rogue- sometime around 8:20-22- and this information had been passed to NORAD. Standard response when a plane doesn't respond to communications or deviates by more than 15 degrees off course is to attempt communication for only a couple of minutes, then declare the plane out of control and get jets air-ready if not outright airborne to meet it in the air within mere minutes. This is, for example, what happened with Payne Stewart's plane.

3) Bush had been told twice that we know of, including once by a reporter before entering the elementary school that morning, that a plane had hit the WTC at 8:37 that morning. A couple of minutes later, just past 9am, he would be told a second plane hit.

4) Now, at the time the second plane hit, there were still two planes in the air that were known hijacked/rogue planes. Eventually jets would be scrambled from Langley (about 120 miles away as opposed to the nearby Andrews) to protect the Washington, D.C. airspace, which was already a clear target on radar based on the third plane's flight path- but these jets weren't airborne until well after the plane hit the Pentagon anyway. This is not to even mention those belatedly scrambled jets from a Massachusetts base just before the second plane hit in time to do... nothing for the WTC at all.

5) The extraordinarily long delay in getting any planes into the air may have been the reason that the second plane was able to reach the WTC, and definitely the reason a plane was ability to enter Washington, D.C. airspace and hit the Pentagon before jets were there to prevent it from doing so.

Look... I'm not saying there was definitely an explicit stand-down order from Bush, or that he might know a lot more than is being let on here. But given that we now know the president among others had advanced warning hijackings might occur, given that by 9:05 two planes had not only veered off course and actually slammed into the WTC, and two more had been known for about half an hour to be well off-course and not responding.... why the hell did Bush get a whisper in his ear at 9:06 about a second collision and then go back to reading to school kids?!? Why did planes from Andrews Air Force base not get airborne immediately after the first plane hit WTC, instead of planes from Langley that didn't reach D.C. until after a second plane hit WTC and another hit the Pentagon?

If Bush & Co. had credible advanced warning that sometime, planes could be hijacked- wouldn't they have asked that alerts be sent to the White House or other security agencies about hijacked planes immediately? Or at least, when waking up on September 11th to hear one plane had already hit the WTC make the alarm bells go off in their heads and panic set in as they started to realize this might be the very thing they were warned about? Instead, even after a second plane hit, Bush "looked grim" but then continued to read books to school kids while planes were becoming missiles. That's damn near criminal negligence in my book.
posted by hincandenza at 11:28 PM on May 15, 2002


FOUND POSTING (I'm just a guy)

Just my two cents but...

The attacks were kinda sick and brilliant, as far as fu**ed-up, suicide bomber, attacks go. Hey, that's not an incitement to riot young man, just listen...

No one really thought that a crazy mother fu**er would pull this kind of stunt and fly a plane into a building. The guys did not pull up in a truck in front of a building or walk in with a briefcase, but they should have. I mean, at some point somewhere, someone came upon the *worst* level of human thought and dredged up the plan. And then some fucked up guy flew a fucking plane full of people into a building of fucked up people.... Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck

I'm sorry but the word does not lose relevance and I still feel...

Fuck fuck fuck...fuck...

Um, who is getting saved?

They caught us off guard.

Dude, they did.

Flame me and call me unpatriotic but I'm just saying that a weakness in our defense system was certainly exposed.

Oh, if you have a link to a report that does consider the possiblity?, don't send it to me. Send it to your Congressman. I'm just a guy, he's the tomato.
posted by Sr_Cluba at 12:25 AM on May 16, 2002


Uh, sorry about the last post. I thought I was arty.

dude, but the line, "he's the tomato" can be used with freedom...
posted by Sr_Cluba at 12:35 AM on May 16, 2002


It's easy to Monday morning quarterback. It's easy to ridicule Bush. But where is the security in a country with a prez in an elementary school during the most brazen of attacks on American complacence? Right there, Securing Bush's future. Right there, with what would foreshadow the singlemost supplanting of democracy in Corporate Controlled American History. What a perfect place an elementary school was, for the most underwhelming president in American history to be told whisperingly, that the most unthinkable of disasters in American history had occurred. And for none of his hawk advisors and old guard war-bent cabinet to call into action what America needed most: A show of military might. A show of unrequited protection. Of course, that would come later to distract us from the real crime. The real crime could be perhaps the reason why I'll be lambasted for this post. The crime of eschewing groupthink. The crime of seeming tin-foil-hattedly insane while asking reasonable questions. But who knows? Who is willing to put themselves out on any limb? That's the point. We're all potential "extremists". Some serve the purpose of the factors that control and some don't. The minute one is determined to get out of hand is the moment the "extremists" will be lept upon by the media and will be comfortingly patted upon the head as "doing a good job of coverage".

I'm NOT saying he did know any of the horrific carnage that would take place. It's easy, as I said to Mondaymorning quarterback, second guess etc. Regardless. Who has all this benefitted the most? Corporations and proxy civil control, or the people of this country (of this recently axis of evilified world) who must now live in fear? Fear engenders trust. Trust in whom?
posted by crasspastor at 1:05 AM on May 16, 2002


If you dig deep enough, you can find this article:



In it, you will see a reference to the memo, quoted in part here:

"Several lawmakers who have read the Phoenix memorandum described it as the most significant document to emerge in congressional inquiries into whether the government might have been warned about possible hijackings. Several senators said the letter represented a warning that went unheeded," the Times reported.

In August, an agent speculated in notes, made when investigators sought to explain why Zacarias Moussaoui was enrolled in a Minnesota flight school, that he "might be planning to fly a plane into the World Trade Center," the newspaper said."


This is the only reference that I have seen so far that specifically mentions the WTC as a possible target. If this information was available in August, the very least that should have been done would have been to alert the airlines to be on guard for "suspicious passengers." You know, one way tickets paid for in cash, no luggage, Middle Eastern types traveling in pairs or groups - that sort of thing. Even if we feared that we might only be targeted for a "traditional hijacking" (which would have been bad enough) I don't understand why this memo and Bush's briefing had zero impact on our actions. If the hijackers were spotted and stopped before the planes left the ground, the plot would have been foiled.

I don't see a conspiracy, unless it's the conspiracy of arrogant neglect. Before 9/11, we just didn't think that we were suceptible to this kind of massive, focused suicide attack. We did get caught with our pants down, in spite of the fact that we had warnings that our belt was very, very loose. Too many government agencies, with silo mentalities and some stupid need to protect their own turf led to this, and other information languishing without attention. And, I don't think that much has changed since 9/11. That's the real problem. I don't know how helpful it is to keep the nation on alert for "suspicious activity" when our government doesn't seem to pay much attention to the agents in the field that are paid to be our first line of defense.

Bush was ambushed. He and his arrogant cronies and swarms of military men just refused to believe that America, the mighiest nation ever, could be attacked at home. If it weren't so scary, it would be pitiful. How history views our smug, self-righteous attitude will be interesting to see.
posted by Corky at 3:10 AM on May 16, 2002


Terrorist attacks prevented by Clinton Administration = 8
Terrorist attacks prevented by Dubya Administration = 0

Perhaps arrogance of the "entitled" is the problem.
posted by nofundy at 5:09 AM on May 16, 2002


Nofundy: What are your sources for that? Not attacking you, just curious...
posted by Cyrano at 6:26 AM on May 16, 2002


why the hell did Bush get a whisper in his ear at 9:06 about a second collision and then go back to reading to school kids?!?

Because after the fact, there was nothing he could personally do in the few minutes it would take to wrap up the task at hand, and it was better to finish his commitment on the scene while security forces were mobilising to figure out where he would go to ensure his safety once the school visit was over and it was best to not alarm the children by jumping up and running out like Chicken Little saying "The sky is falling!" when, in fact, that wasn't true?

I'm not diminishing 9/11, but the most unthinkable of disasters in American history had occurred? More unthinkable than a nuke attack on a major city (or multiple major cities), or a coordinated serin gas release in the NYC subway during rush hour, or simultaneous street-level bombings of federal buildings in cities all across the heartland? There are a lot of things that could have been much, much worse and would have appeared to be much, much worse at first blush.

If this information was available in August, the very least that should have been done would have been to alert the airlines to be on guard for "suspicious passengers."

But we only know what qualifies as suspicious with regard to suicide hijackers after the fact. At the time, we didn't know that one way tickets paid for in cash by middle eastern men was a sign of potential suicide hijacking.

What could have been done with the information was that it could have been taken in correlation with the other memo which raised an alert about bin Laden linked men training at flight schools. Even if each of the men weren't looked at in depth, the simple act of gathering names and putting them on a watch list might have been enough to prevent part of the 9/11 carnage. But we say all of this with benefit of hindsight -- we could say that our failure to act was predicated on an arrogant belief that we were impervious to such an attack. Or we could say that it was a naivete that led us to believe that no one could be so depraved and debased as to undertake such a massive act of terrorism on civilian targets.
posted by Dreama at 6:55 AM on May 16, 2002


Suddenly, Cynthia McKinney doesn't sound so looney anymore, eh?
posted by muckster at 8:38 AM on May 16, 2002


This is a government that has allowed its military to test bio-warfare agents on unsuspecting civilians, several times over. This is a government that has allowed its intelligence agency to deal cocaine as a fund-raiser. This is a government that has allowed corporations to literally kill people through lower health and safety standards.

It isn't at all unimaginable that this is also a government that allowed the terrorists to smash the WTC towers in order to have a real good excuse to go to war. War is, for the government, A Really Good Thing.

War lets the government pass draconian laws on its citizens. It helps keep citizens distracted from what's happening to their rights and freedoms. It helps the government siphon money to the defense industry business. It helps the rich get richer, and helps subjugate the poor.

Follow the money and follow the power: that's inevitably leads to the truth.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:39 AM on May 16, 2002


Now I understand how the Bush administration knew so quickly that it was Osama Bin Laden behind the attacks.
posted by GernBlandston at 9:48 AM on May 16, 2002


five fresh fish: Don't be silly. Why bother to actually kill civilians, when the population could be scared more w/ a fake threat, like, IRAQ has poisoned the water supply! AFGHANS are engaging in sodomy of American children! (w/ AIDS, yet!)

Gov. has resources to fake the news. Why make real news?
unverifiable villiany.
Also: if they did just let it go, why hit the pentagon? Why not kill some more civilians? And why not follow up the attacks with a different variety? (don't say anthrax, anthrax is clown shoes terrorism. You gotta see guts to tap those deep-seated phobias. Crucify the children, say.)

Not to say Gov. does not do plenty of evil things. But if you mention real issues and silly conspiracies in one breath, folks won't take you seriously.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:00 AM on May 16, 2002


Dreama: Because after the fact, there was nothing he could personally do in the few minutes it would take to wrap up the task at hand, and it was better to finish his commitment on the scene while security forces were mobilising to figure out where he would go to ensure his safety once the school visit was over

Nothing he could personally do?! Who are you, Karen Hughes?! Jets for the D.C. area hadn't been airborne even by the second tower collision- and wouldn't be for some time further. Isn't a 'Presidential" type the kind of person who, instead of reading kiddie books while America is clearly being attacked by terrorists, politely excuses himself then sternly heads towards Air Force One while barking out orders and gathering information, ASAP?! Get me the Pentagon! Get me the FAA! Get me the Air Force! Get me... Maurice Sendak?

Besides, "nothing he could personally do" would seem to imply that Bush somehow knew that the attacks were winding down at the time. With hindsight, you might say that- but at 9:06am that morning, one thing Bush didn't have was hindsight. "nothing he could personally do" implies that Bush or his aides had reason to believe there were no more attacks waiting to happen that could be preventable, otherwise you'd assume (unless he knew something in advance) that there's a possibility dozens more planes were in the air and about to be hijacked and flown into buildings. I'd say the threat of that- unless he knew better- would prompt one to at least start worrying about it, the kids be damned.

Most of the tens of millions of people listening on the radio or watching on TV at the time when that second plane hit immediately assumed the worst: that it was terrorism for two planes to hit, and to wonder how many more were being hijacked, how many might be heading to their own cities. People in office buildings in Chicago and LA and Seattle were all nervously peering out the window, horrified that a plane could at that very moment be heading towards them. But our President didn't worry about these things? Nothing he could personally do?! Even the passengers on the "Let's Roll" flight had realized pretty quickly what was happening- but our President did not?

Look, the question here is- as Bill Maher often notes- why does Bush keep getting a free pass on this shit? "So glad we have Bush and not Gore" for example- why? This information further blemishes the way he behaved that day; knowing in advance a hijacking might occur, including some memos that specifically mentioned hitting the WTC with a hijacked planed; having 9 months ago a report on the possibilities of terrorism and how to prepare it; and still, on the day it happens Bush appears to act like there's "nothing he can personally do". Well- then why did the Supreme Court elect this guy, if there's nothing he can do even in those circumstances?

Sure, we don't know whether, behind the scenes, his advisors weren't rushing around like chickens with their heads cut off, planning and responding and gathering information and sending out orders. They probably were- to an extent. But jets were still very delayed in being scrambled, which is definitely why a hijacked commercial jet even managed to reach the most secure airspace in the nation, and possibly why that second plane wasn't shot down before it also hit WTC. His reading to kids was a sign that either he just didn't know or care to do anything (maybe his response was to say in a wispy voice about the people still trapped in the burning twin towers, "Please don't kill me!"), or that our "President" is so completely a figurehead that even during this situation, he simply wasn't needed for anything more than glorified storyteller. Neither is a flattering portrait.

and it was best to not alarm the children by jumping up and running out like Chicken Little saying "The sky is falling!" when, in fact, that wasn't true?

When in fact that wasn't true?! Again- how could he have known this at 9:06am- since we all know now that at least two other planes were hijacked and heading for targets. At 9:06, shouldn't his reaction to have immediately asked- like so many people around the country did- "how many more planes are out there?" Wouldn't the very worry that more planes were on their way- as they indeed were- prompt one to leap into action? So what are you saying, he did know the worst was mostly over? That he knew at 9:06am that bin Laden was only hijacking 4 planes, and then it would be all cool? Like I've said, when the second plane hit- hell, when the FIRST plane hit, given that the plane was known to have been hijacked before it even hit the WTC at 8:37- Bush should have been taking control and finding out what the hell was going on. The first plane hits, 3 more are now off course and not responding- why the fawk even go to the school at that point anyway?!? Might this be something so important it's even worth cancelling a photo op with some Florida voter's kids? I understand Florida is an important state to steal for the 2004 elections, but isn't that Jeb's job anyway?

As for "It was best not to alarm the children": bullcrap! He could have quietly excused himself and had a lackey simply explain that "the president is a very busy and important man, and often has to leave at a moment's notice", and then had Andrew Card do a puppet show or something. No one's saying Bush should have run around the room panicking like Johnny from "Airplane!" before leaving! Weighing the loss of 3,000 lives against whether a room of school kids starts murmuring about why the President is leaving is one of the "tough choices" a President has to make- hey, fuck the kids, and get to work saving American lives! The kids, they'll be ok- they'll have far freakin' worse nightmares if it turned out 100 planes were hijacked and Bush did nothing to prevent it...

Unless, again, what you're saying is that Bush could be calm and inactive because already he knew what was happening...
posted by hincandenza at 10:48 AM on May 16, 2002


Seen elsewhere:
Let's go even further: assume that the FBI had information on the exact date, time, flight number, and descriptions of suspects. So they raid all the planes, and arrest the 19 dirtbags.

...And then what? Not much, I imagine. Oh, CAIR and it's ilk would be having a fit, of course, complaining to everyone including George W. about profiling and unfair targeting of Arab-Americans. After all, just what did the FBI find? Some box cutters? Those aren't illegal on airplanes. Flight manuals? These men were all attending accredited flight schools, trying to achieve the American dream, etc. etc. So they had one-way tickets: is that a crime? Funeral shrouds? Are you honestly arresting these men for bringing white sheets onto a plane? Korans? So because these men are pious Muslims, you dare to assume...!

posted by darukaru at 10:53 AM on May 16, 2002


...intelligence sources tell TIME they have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet--a strike on Washington or possibly New York City in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. "We've hit his headquarters, now he hits ours," a State tells TIME. - 1998
posted by revbrian at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2002


This string it pretty far gone so I suspect that no one will see this, but doesn't it strike anyone as strange that the government was tracking, racially/ethnically/religiously, whom was appliying for pilot licenses?

that's is the first thing that jumped out at me...

makes me wonder what else is being monitored.....

(hmmm i hope this doesn't multiple post - i'm getting errors)
posted by folktrash at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2002


before the horrifying attacks on september 11, i'd read numerous theories on ways terrorists might attack new york, including via the water supply, the electrical system, or many other infrastructure targets, simply because they are difficult to protect.

the interesting thing is that it was always new york that was mentioned first. i guess it is that kind of thing—wondering what type of attack, and when and where the attack might come from—that perhaps threw everyone off guard.

and who knows how many times a threat was discovered, only to be found later to be a wild goose chase? i wonder if a "boy-who-cried-wolf" effect might have kicked in?

i know i don't like the way the media is slanting the headlines to make it seem as though bush knew everything and failed to stop it. i think he was caught flat-footed like everyone else.
posted by bwg at 11:54 AM on May 16, 2002


i think he was caught flat-footed like everyone else.

But he shouldn't have been. After the January 2001 report by the Hart-Rudman Commission, everyone in the Federal Government knew that a terrorist attack on the homeland was inevitable and that we were totally vulnerable. It was also common knowledge that our airline security was completely inadequate, and in light of that any threat of a hijaking, no matter how vague, should have been acted on. IMO, the logical and responsible thing to do would have been to reinstate the sky marshals. Again, there's no way to know if that would have prevented 9/11, but some kind of effort should have been made.

The first duty of the Commander in Chief is to protect the nation. That doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a chance to redeem himself, and you can argue that he has done so (though I personally think letting Saudi Arabia off the hook is a terrible mistake,) but he absolutely fucked up prior to 9/11.

I know I'm repeating myself, but I'm upset about all this. I'll move on now.
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM on May 16, 2002


Had this attack occurred during a Democratic presidency -- say, for example, that the guy who got more votes than Bush in 2000 had been president -- we would be going through impeachment proceedings again. Why do Republicans get a free pass? No one blamed Ronald Reagan for the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon and no one batted an eye when we turned tail and ran. But Republicans battered Clinton about the Khobar Towers attack. Now we're giving a free pass to a commander in chief who was president during the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since at least Pearl Harbor and maybe the Civil War, and yet the buck doesn't stop with him. Bush had warning and he is responsible and Congress should impeach him, if only to force him to ask pointed questions.
posted by Holden at 2:05 PM on May 16, 2002



posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 4:45 PM on May 16, 2002


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