As 9/11 nears, a new revelation from the New York Times shows that the Bush administration had clear warnings that an al Qaeda terrorist group within the United States was planning an attack.
In an op-ed piece in the New York Times published Monday, Kurt Eichenwald reported that he was able to see many classified documents warning of a planned attack in the United States.
The 9/11 Commission pressured President Bush into releasing an August 6, 2001 daily memo that said Osama bin Laden was determined to strike a target in the United States. The briefing had the infamous title, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”
But, now, Eichenwald says there were other 9/11 warnings that went into greater detail than the August 6 memo, which mainly focused on al Qaeda’s history.
Eichenwald, the author of 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars, wrote:
“Administration officials dismissed the (August 6) document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.”
“That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.”
The 9/11 revelation cast more light on the blame on the Bush administration for failing to act against al Qaeda, The Atlantic Wire noted.
“Again, we already knew that Bush had some advance warning,” Adam Clark Estes wrote for The Atlantic Wire. “We just didn’t realize how much.
Eichenwald went on to write that Bush officials brushed off the 9/11 warnings, thinking that it was instead a smoke screen for Saddam Hussein.
“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.”
“In response, 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 Bush administration revelations have not been the only news of late that stirred up controversy surrounding 9/11. There has been new debate over the cost of the 9/11 Memorial, which was revealed to have a $60 million annual budget. Meanwhile, cancer among 9/11 responders is now being listed as an official condition cause by the terrorist attack.