Congress Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill [The New York Times] “Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama for the first time, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot. Democrats in large numbers joined with Republicans to deliver a remarkable rebuke to the president. The 97-to-1 vote in the Senate and the 348-to-77 vote in the House displayed the enduring power of the Sept. 11 families in Washington and the diminishing influence here of the Saudi government. The new law, enacted over the fierce objections of the White House, immediately alters the legal landscape. American courts could seize Saudi assets to pay for any judgment obtained by the Sept. 11 families, while Saudi officials have warned they might need to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars in holdings in the United States to avoid such an outcome.” [more inside]
"It's Al-Qaida!" I yelled. "We had a heads-up!" In an exclusive AlterNet interview, Judith Miller says (and her then-editor Steve Engelberg corroborates) that in July 2001 an intelligence source (maybe Richard Clarke?) told her about an intercepted communication between two Al Qaida operatives that were disappointed that the US hadn't responded more seriously to the October 2000 attack against the USS Cole. "And one Al Qaida operative was overheard saying to the other, 'Don't worry; we're planning something so big now that the U.S. will have to respond.'"
Slate's Today's Papers went the extra op-ed mile today to discuss an NYT front page story that alleges that DOD intelligence pegged 3 of the 9/11 hijackers as al-Qaeda agents in the U.S. back in 2000. Remember, this is the same DOD that, under Rumsfeld, wants to establish its own intelligence agency outside of the CIA, having bumbled an earlier incarnation. The problem? The article is primarily sourced to Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and the ubiquitous "unnamed defense official". Weldon's primary source is an associat of Manucher Gorbanifar, "a well-known Iranian exile whom the CIA branded as a fabricator during the 1980s but who was used by the Reagan White House as a middleman for the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran." Oh, and he's got a new book out. The NYT has apparently learned nothing.
The six finalists in the Pentagon Memorial design competition. The contest (official site) has "emerged as a kind of dress rehearsal" [NYT] for the upcoming World Trade Center competition. The Post reviewed the proposals, which will be narrowed to a winner on Feb. 21.
"Any further strikes against Americans will thus be a painful reminder that the war has not been won.
"Any further strikes against Americans will thus be a painful reminder that the war has not been won. Sadly, a main reason will be America's reluctance to focus on the political roots of the terrorist atrocity of Sept. 11." opinions on this piece from the original sponsor of the Mujahideen? username: metafilter46 password: metafilter
Is the New York Times rewriting history? This link claims (and an archives search backs up) that the Paper of Record deleted a bin Laden-related story published two days before 9/11, and now redirects searchers to a story written on 9/12. The story isn't damning, but it does point out how much we knew about him before the event. Is it bad journalism? Bad politics? Extra points awarded for Orwell quotes.
Recipe for Disaster? The World Economic Forum meets in New York this week, and the usual parties are going to converge on the city. With 9.11 so fresh in people's minds will things get way out of hand? It seems like a powderkeg to me.
Naipul thinks the causes of Sept. 11 are religious, not American foreign policy. (NYT) "There is a passage in one of the Conrad short stories of the East Indies where the savage finds himself with his hands bare in the world, and he lets out a howl of anger. I think that, in its essence, what is happening.The world is getting more and more out of reach of simple people who have only religion. And the more they depend on religion, which of course solves nothing, the more the world gets out of reach."
A European Dragnet captures new clues to bin Laden's network. They believe that for the sake of Jihad, or holy war, they can jettison the usual practices of devout Muslims. They call on adherents instead to burrow into the cultures they seek to eradicate. Let's have a block party.
Actually, They DO Dare Call It Treason. Criticize Bush and be shouted down as a traitor: "The despicable traitors have made it their mission to undercut the authority of President Bush during America’s darkest hour, proving themselves even more cowardly than the terrorist murderers who are the only beneficiaries of such contemptible conduct." It's a good thing that MeFi would never sink to such levels.