The New York Times posts an absolutely startling account by Kurt Eichenwald tonight, on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, charging that the infamous August 6, 2001 Presidential briefing memo was just one --- and a very late one at that --- in a series of dire warnings given to George W. Bush by the CIA.
While the famous "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." briefing was released "in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack," Eichenwald reports, and was publicly marginalized by the White House as "an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack," read along with other similar, even more dire, if still-classified warnings, that claim by the Bush White House was absurd.
Eichenwald, who says he has "read excerpts from many" of the CIA briefs prepared for Bush which preceded the 8/6/01 warning, details a number of them, and reports that the Bush Administration, and "the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon", were determined to ignore them. They even went so far, he says, as to believe that "the C.I.A. had been fooled."
"According to this theory," Eichenwald writes, "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."
"In response," to the months of ignored reports --- including a May 1 briefing warning that "a group presently in the United States" was planning an attack and that, as a June 22 brief noted, an attack by al-Qaeda could be "imminent" --- on June 29, "the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real."
"The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden," that briefing read. It warned that Bin Laden operatives were planning attacks very soon that would have "dramatic consequences" and major casualties.
Another brief from July 1, according to Eichenwald, warns that the operation was delayed, but "will occur soon." On July 9, according to "intelligence I reviewed", says Eichenwald, an extremist linked to al-Qaeda "told his followers that there would soon be very big news." But the report, even after all of the others, still failed launch the White House into action. There were more. All, it seems, were downplayed, marginalized or all but ignored, even leading "apoplectic" CIA Counterterrorism officials, at one point, to consider seeking "a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place."
The report is short and an actual news bombshell. Go read it. As a side note, it says quite a bit about today's New York Times that they decided to run this as an "Op-Ed". In any event, please read it, and keep it in mind when you hear the lie yet again, on this latest anniversary of the horrific 9/11 tragedy and beyond, that "Bush kept us safe."
He did anything but.