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9/11 Report Cites Many Warnings About Hijackings
February 10, 2005 7:41 AM   Subscribe

9/11 Report Cites Many Warnings About Hijackings Rice claimed we were totally surprised by 9/11...not so! "In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission....
posted by Postroad (57 comments total)

 
Gee, I wonder why this information hadn't been released before now?

Does this mean Condi Rice is a bald faced liar? Among others in the Bush court, of course.

Will this get the serious discussion it deserves in the media and in the halls of Congress?

What is the recommended remediation for such brazen lying by our "public servants?
posted by nofundy at 7:54 AM on February 10, 2005


they're all worthless--and i wonder what's still not being done with current threats?

The Bush administration has blocked the public release of the full, classified version of the report for more than five months, officials said, much to the frustration of former commission members who say it provides a critical understanding of the failures of the civil aviation system. The administration provided both the classified report and a declassified, 120-page version to the National Archives two weeks ago and, even with heavy redactions in some areas, the declassified version provides the firmest evidence to date about the warnings that aviation officials received concerning the threat of an attack on airliners and the failure to take steps to deter it.
Among other things, the report says that leaders of the F.A.A. received 52 intelligence reports from their security branch that mentioned Mr. bin Laden or Al Qaeda from April to Sept. 10, 2001. That represented half of all the intelligence summaries in that time.
Five of the intelligence reports specifically mentioned Al Qaeda's training or capability to conduct hijackings, the report said. Two mentioned suicide operations, although not connected to aviation, the report said.

posted by amberglow at 8:08 AM on February 10, 2005


remediation?

Aside from a swift kick in the crotch by Janet Reno (wearing her mu-mu's)?

I recommend tarring and feathering in the court of echo-chamber opinion, followed by the immediate blustering and flub-hubbery of anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection, closely followed by chuckles and laughter, with snide remarks by poorly thought out comic logic, with a dizzying spiral of contempt and snarking until we all forget what we were so shocked and appalled by, immediately followed by a rehash of the whole affair next week when it makes it into the national media by way of a pre-emptive rebuttal from the blogosphere.

Oh, and we will have cake and tea with honey. No lemon this time, as the Queen has a mouth sore. I told her not to drink after Charles, but she thought I was kidding.



(Follow me, I know the way out of here?!)
posted by daq at 8:08 AM on February 10, 2005


So this is validating what we've all pretty well known all along?

Our government knew, didn't do anything and then lied about knowing while starting to go after the perpetrator and then changing course and engaging a sovereign nation in an illegal war based on a massive deception.

Got it. Now what do we do about it?
posted by fenriq at 8:13 AM on February 10, 2005


Drink heavily. It's clearly our only course of action at this point.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:15 AM on February 10, 2005


The Bush administration has blocked the public release of the full, classified version of the report for more than five months.

Hmmm....now what was going on five months ago that would make them want to keep this quiet?
posted by Cyrano at 8:28 AM on February 10, 2005


We'd known about bin Laden for years. It's easy to put the pieces together with the luxury of hindsight, but at the time, as the article repeatedly states, hijackings were seen as an overseas threat.

Imagine if they'd taken the threat of domestic hijackings seriously. Imagine if they'd implemented roughly the same security that we now have in airports with the TSA and Homeland Security and whatnot, before the 9/11 attacks happened. I can only imagine the uproar, the public furor.

That being said, I'm not happy that the full report is being blocked. But I also think that the causes of what led up to that day are a lot messier and more convoluted than any one report can pinpoint.
posted by m0nm0n at 8:32 AM on February 10, 2005


God this is horrible.

m0nm0n, have you read any of the reports so far?
posted by odinsdream at 8:35 AM on February 10, 2005


It's worth considering whether the acts of the bureaucracies involved were untimely & ineffectual and whether anything can be done to improve it. One should also recognize that it is often difficult for information to percolate up through bureacratic channels & be translated into action within any government, even a dictatorship. Combine this with the fear of any administration of taking actions/mandates that may entail significant cost/disruption of public services & it's easy to see how there's backpressure against doing so, unless the threat is known to be imminent & clearly & specifically identified in space/time.

Nothing, of course, excuses lying by politicos about it or withholding facts before or afterward. There are ample precidents for this kind of screw-up & by their nature they tend to foster conspiracy theories. Pearl Harbor & the failure of Office of Naval Intelligence & the establishment in D.C. to communicate with Hawaii comes to mind. The fact is, one should never accept much of anything at face value where human motivations and frailties are involved. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" - that sort of thing.

That being said & on preview, what Daz said.....
posted by Pressed Rat at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2005


some of you need to relax. any second now, the usual suspects will come to this thread to remind us that, far from being in the wrong, the bush administration is the greatest, glorious, and most noble government the planet earth has ever seen; and that any criticism of them is invalid, no matter its source; and that this means absolutely nothing because saddam gassed his own people and how could you possibly not be happy with seeing the iraqi people vote; plus, despite the warnings and the memos, how could anyone have possibly imagined something like 9/11 or taken steps to prevent it?

(we'll probably also see an "if the government had taken stringent measures based on these warnings, you would have complained about it" (as if our complaining about anything has stopped this admin from doing it). i also wouldn't be surprised to see an attempt to blame clinton and an accusation that kerry would'nt have done anything differently).

on preview: holy shit. i swear i wrote that before m0nm0n posted. unfuckingbelievable.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:41 AM on February 10, 2005


But I also think that the causes of what led up to that day are a lot messier and more convoluted than any one report can pinpoint.

not to mention, we're making progress in Iraq!
posted by matteo at 9:02 AM on February 10, 2005


Is this grounds for impeachment? At the very least, Rice's recent promotion should be reversed. She should be fired.
posted by willns at 9:04 AM on February 10, 2005


The admin. were probably chalk this up to intelligence failure. They'll say they were not aware of the FAA memos during the Fall of '01. However, it remains that they witheld these revelations for the sake of Bush's re-election effort. That is disingenuous and despicable.
posted by willns at 9:06 AM on February 10, 2005


willns, neither of those things are likely to happen under a GOP controlled legislature.
posted by caddis at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2005


This administration is so fucking punk rock . . .
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:18 AM on February 10, 2005


I guess whether she lied depends on your definition of what "totally" is.

While the myriad failures in stopping this before it happened prompt major anger, the whole "they lied" and the concomitant "if you don't believe that you're stupid" line is getting pretty stale.

The conclusion drawn in the initial post is unsubstantiated by either the referenced article or the alluded to Rice quote. The parallel with Pearl Harbor above is inaccurate because there was definite intelligence on the time and place and method of that attack sitting untranslated in a low-level clerk's in-box.

What seems to bypass the majority of Americans is that everyone is right on this one, at least to some degree. This cannot be blamed on one thing or one group of people and that should be kept in mind while bloodhounding the truth of the matter. It certainly doesn't excuse anything which failed, by intent or by neglect, and does not mean we should ignore these things, but a more holistic approach would better addressing what led to our being attacked.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:34 AM on February 10, 2005


We'd known about bin Laden for years. It's easy to put the pieces together with the luxury of hindsight, but at the time, as the article repeatedly states, hijackings were seen as an overseas threat.

I heard an exchange on the radio a while ago, and I believe it was testimony by Condi during the 9/11 hearings. One of the Senators asking questions read the transcript of an interview Condi gave to an Ohio radio station in October 2000 (just prior to Bush's election) where she said, in effect, that the greatest threat to the nation's security came from the ineffectiveness of various intelligence-gathering agencies to work together and that it would be a top priority of the Bush administration to change that, lest some terrorist plot the CIA knew about occur on American soil, which is the FBI's jurisdiction.

Fast forward 11 months to 9/11/2001: The administration had been on the job for almost 9 months, and the President's National Security Advisor had not yet begun to address the issue she herself identified as the biggest threat to the nation's security... and that same issue had contributed to the security failures that allowed the 9/11 attacks.
posted by Doohickie at 9:40 AM on February 10, 2005


Imagine if they'd taken the threat of domestic hijackings seriously. Imagine if they'd implemented roughly the same security that we now have in airports with the TSA and Homeland Security and whatnot, before the 9/11 attacks happened. I can only imagine the uproar, the public furor.

The administration has not been arguing that they had info but their hands were tied. They haven't been defending their inaction as necessary to keep the populace from going apeshit. To the contrary, Bush claimed that if only they'd had specific forewarning he would have personally "moved mountains" to prevent it.

The August memo gave the White House specific warning. No mountains moved. The steady flow of specific warnings to the FAA are more damning evidence that the White House either knew and chose to do nothing or else it was a grossly negligent manager of its agencies. Which is why the administration covered up this crucial information until after the election.

We had a right to see this before November. Especially all those swing voters who ultimately felt that Bush could be trusted just that little bit more to keep us safe. They were defrauded.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:45 AM on February 10, 2005


this isn't news - did you know (scroll down) that no one's visiting Clinton's Library???
posted by hellbient at 9:59 AM on February 10, 2005


Subvert the system that perverts the mind.
posted by jackspace at 10:00 AM on February 10, 2005


Captaintripps - my point in invoking PH was not as a precise analogue, but an instance where there was sufficient info and analysis avaialble to lead to an expectation of an attack at any time, but with a lack of specificity as to time & place, until after too late. Part of the issue comes from the "fatigue" of near-constant wolf-crying that leads one to discount the real instance when it comes.
posted by Pressed Rat at 10:03 AM on February 10, 2005


Especially all those swing voters who ultimately felt that Bush could be trusted just that little bit more to keep us safe. They were defrauded.

Willfully blind, I'd say.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:11 AM on February 10, 2005


I'm not surprised. I mean after we faked the moon landings and deliberately let Pearl Harbor happen so we coudl have an excuse for war this isn't a big shock.

But how can I square this with all that great "evidence" that the CIA actually bombed the towers? Oh, and since we all know that there was no airplane that hit the Pentagon, why would FAA warnings matter?

It's all so confusing, someone remind me which conspiracy theory we are advocating here? And is Neil Armstrong going to hit me?
posted by soulhuntre at 10:12 AM on February 10, 2005


I find it interesting that the right wing cabal here has nothing to say about these reports and findings. Almost as if it's too disgusting for words, to admit with any humility that the people in the White House are criminals and that our country was scammed. Perhaps they're too absorbed with sorting through Churchill's turds for commie muslim conspiracies.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:13 AM on February 10, 2005


Look out, it's the Right Wing Cabal!
posted by Captaintripps at 10:16 AM on February 10, 2005


Yeah, gee, what am I thinking?
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:22 AM on February 10, 2005


It's all so confusing, someone remind me which conspiracy theory we are advocating here?

Here, I'll help you out, soulhuntre. We're advocating reading the actual article in the New York Times about the actual report from the 9/11 commission. That's the conspiracy theory we're advocating.

I gotta say, that's one of the most desperate, transparent and ineffective red-herring rebuttals I've seen in quite a while.
posted by soyjoy at 10:25 AM on February 10, 2005


I find it interesting that the right wing cabal here

Now that was funny.

Almost as if it's too disgusting for words, to admit with any humility that the people in the White House are criminals and that our country was scammed

Or maybe they just disgree with you?

I know, I know--impossible that people could have varying interpretations of the story different than your own.

Yeah, gee, what am I thinking?

Per usual, I doubt any of us know. Are you thinking Mathowie & Jessamyn are part of the 'cabal'? Or that the insidious cabal don't care about irregularities in the Iraq election? Don't keep us in suspense!
posted by dhoyt at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2005


Read the article, ok...

The report, like previous commission documents, finds no evidence that the government had specific warning of a domestic attack and says that the aviation industry considered the hijacking threat to be more worrisome overseas.

[...]

The F.A.A. did not see a need to increase the air marshal ranks because hijackings were seen as an overseas threat, and one aviation official told the commission said that airlines did not want to give up revenues by providing free seats to marshals.

So... the FAA done screwed up by sucking up to the airlines more than being worried about planes being driven into the WTC. This report isn't exactly 'revelatory' -- or am I not reading the tea leaves as well as some of our more strident posters in this thread?
posted by fet at 11:01 AM on February 10, 2005


I guess it's time to go when discourse degenerates into the tossing of epithets
posted by Pressed Rat at 11:16 AM on February 10, 2005


Can we please get muthafuckin serious about IMPEACHMENT NOW PLEASE?????
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:25 AM on February 10, 2005


This administration is so fucking punk rock . . .

This New York Press book review lays a good case for why the Bush Administration is more death metal than punk rock.
posted by jonp72 at 11:33 AM on February 10, 2005


"The report, like previous commission documents, finds no evidence that the government had specific warning of a domestic attack..."

This is just rank out and out bullshit, right? I mean, given the amount of money that we have to spend on intelligence and security (no matter how fucked up the lines of communication are), this taxpayer expects his government to stop terrorist attacks when they have CONSIDERABLY less than a specific warning. I don't think that's asking too much. In fact, I think it's pretty much the FUCKING JOB DESCRIPTION.

(...takes deep breaths, thinks of bunnies, chocolate, and the Beach Boys.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:41 AM on February 10, 2005


It's all so confusing, someone remind me which conspiracy theory we are advocating here?

The one about how you managed to shove your head that far up your own ass.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2005


When the next attack happens and we find out later that current threats are also being ignored, will you defenders of the status quo still believe?
posted by amberglow at 11:46 AM on February 10, 2005


Not if the attack differs in one specific detail from the current threat. Then it'll be "how were we to know?" all over again.
posted by soyjoy at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2005


Once again, let's all try to imagine if something like this came out when Clinton was in the White House.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2005


Some would be saying, "There there, Bill, you're not clairvoyant, you had no way to know the attacks would play out like that--there's nothing that could've been done. It's just bad luck. Now put it back in my mouth."
posted by dhoyt at 11:57 AM on February 10, 2005


Hindsight is indeed an incredible luxury.
Now: let's focus on the inadequate and immoral RESPONSE to 9/11 instead of the failures leading up to it. Alternately: Focus on the fact that the government blocked release of this document for political reasons.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 12:19 PM on February 10, 2005


I get out of this that the Bush administration conflates national security with political security.
posted by effwerd at 12:26 PM on February 10, 2005


I'm a little confused. These documents were available to members of the 9-11 Commission, right? Then how come the germane section of the Final Report Institutionalizing Imagination: The Case of Aircraft As Weapons says that it was a "failure of imagination" not a "failure to heed specific warnings?"

It will be interesting to see if this story gets traction and hear what the former commission members have to say about it.
posted by Cassford at 12:27 PM on February 10, 2005


Some would be saying, "There there, Bill, you're not clairvoyant, you had no way to know the attacks would play out like that--there's nothing that could've been done. It's just bad luck. Now put it back in my mouth."

Ha ha! That's funny, you see, because Clinton had sexual relations with an intern!
posted by kableh at 12:34 PM on February 10, 2005


my what a coincidence. scroll down to aug.15 and read Jeff Wells theory
posted by hortense at 12:38 PM on February 10, 2005


THE ARABS ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE WTC ATTACK

THE GOVT DELIBERATELY LET IT HAPPEN


*note: capital letters not mine
posted by dhoyt at 12:56 PM on February 10, 2005


Dhoyt,

Stfu and put W's pudenda back in your mouth.
posted by nofundy at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2005


and a related note on the hijackers base of operations
see the video
posted by hortense at 1:13 PM on February 10, 2005


Fools. If the report hadn't been kept secret, we wouldn't have been able to concentrate on the really important thing, that thanks to George W. Bush, Iraq is now a free and modern Western Democracy completely free of the taint of Islamic fundamentalism.

And other important things, like making sure those fags can't marry.

By the way, let me remind you, John Kerry is a flip-flopper and only two of his three purple hearts were deserved; and he used those purple hearts to get out of Vietnam.

And John McCain has an interracial child, and he let himself be taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese in order to get out of Vietnam.

And Max Cleland is pretty much identical to Osama bin Laden, and he's a triple amputee because he blew himself up with his own grenade, to get out of Vietnam.

But George W. Bush proudly defended Alabama's skies from the Viet Cong.
posted by orthogonality at 1:21 PM on February 10, 2005


Per usual, I doubt any of us know. Are you thinking Mathowie & Jessamyn are part of the 'cabal'? Or that the insidious cabal don't care about irregularities in the Iraq election? Don't keep us in suspense!

Dhoyt...

That one thread that criticized the Iraq war got deleted for the reason that it should have been "kept in another thread". However, the same courtesy was not extended to the garbage FPP referencing Churchill.

Right-wingers here got a free pass on that one, and now when someone whispers that we're all "conspiracy nuts" and snickers whenever we point out the Bush administration's failures and culpability regarding 9/11, its just more of the same distractionary bullshit.

So don't refer to yourself in the royal "we". It's tedious and inaccurate. Speak for yourself, and address the points you disagree with.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:24 PM on February 10, 2005


I guess it's time to go when discourse degenerates into the tossing of epithets

Like, erm, throwing "liberal" together with conspiracy nut imagery. Yeah.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:28 PM on February 10, 2005


Most of the "conspiracy nut" snickers come from the fact that spinning the content of something one way and connecting things in another way and coming to a conclusion in a third based on what appears to me to be hearsay makes it look pretty legless. The so-called leftwingers do this same thing as well.

That's pretty much always been my problem with a lot of these discussions. You get something like the above, with one link and one supposition with no supporting fact and then opinions come out. Those opinions are generally unsupported in a forum where people have ample time and resources to look things up.

Rarely is anything referenced or built up on any evidence, it just presupposes that of course everyone knows this information and will decide accordingly with the opinion holder. This happens no matter what the subject or viewpoint.

Personally, addressing the issue doesn't involve saying what you think on its own. Sure, it's a discussion and one can assume people hold certain knowledge and can express an opinion without support, but it doesn't get one very far.

(I mean, look at the above post, did I provide you with links to evidence for this, no. I just assumed you knew what I was talking about.)
posted by Captaintripps at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2005


I love these kinds of threads. They always provide for a good laugh.
posted by Witty at 2:15 PM on February 10, 2005


I'm glad we can finally laugh about 9/11. Let's get over it. There is no credible terrorist threat, OK?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:35 PM on February 10, 2005


Bush...mandate....etc. Get over it!

No, wait, that doesn't work, those people are still dead aren't they?
Wouldn't it be nice if we held our leaders accountable instead of kissing their asses and jeering at those who don't like so many spoiled children?

I thought the Clinton administration should have taken a royal stomping after the Branch Davidian thing - but no, it's the Lewinski thing.

Similar stuff here.

Of course, this is on a grander scale.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:54 PM on February 10, 2005


put W's pudenda back in your mouth.

yeah, maybe there are wmd's there, who knows.

it's fantastic that after all the senseless carnage of the Bush years there's people who still care about the blowjob thing.

posted by matteo at 4:09 PM on February 10, 2005


i wonder what's still not being done with current threats?

Sorry, that's classified.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:54 PM on February 10, 2005


So now we know why Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial aircraft several months before 9/11. That makes at least one cabinet official who took it seriously.
posted by bradhill at 7:53 AM on February 11, 2005


Gets out stick.
Beats horse that is dead.
posted by vagus at 9:23 AM on February 11, 2005


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