If one were to judge by the statements made by former Vice President Dick Cheney after he slunk out of office with record low approval ratings , one would quite naturally assume that the mess created as a result of the war in Iraq was all the fault of Barack Obama. Conveniently, Mr. Cheney seems to have forgotten that the war in Iraq was created on the basis of flat-out lies about the danger posed to the American way of life by Saddam Hussein. Mr. Cheney also seems to have forgotten that invading Iraq won the approval of lazy Americans in large part due to the ramping up of jingoistic suspicion of all things Islam as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001 . Despite the fact that Saddam Hussein and Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with those attacks. And, finally, Americans apparently need to be constantly reminded in the face of a ruthless onslaught against the irrefutable facts of history that marks the content of virtually every single word that spews forth from Dick Cheney’s head hole. Especially when it comes to the allegedly “unexpected and unthinkable” stimulus that relentlessly led to the debacle that people like me tried to tell so many other people would be the result of invading Iraq.
They lied. We tried. Please see that you don’t let it happen again.
“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center.” Condoleezza Rice.
“No warnings.” Ari Fleischer, Pres. Bush’s 9/11 press secretary after being asked by a reporter “Had there been any warnings that the President knew of?”
“We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.” Dana Perino, Pres. Bush’s press secretary.
“We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we’ve had one under Obama.” Rudy Giuliani
“We inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.” Mary Matalin.
Well, at least there is some truth in Mary Matalin’s revision of history. While Pres. Bush did not inherit the 9/11 attacks, he did inherent plenty of security intelligence that pointed not just to an attack by Al Qaeda, but that they would hijack airplanes to fly into the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
1 . The National Security Agency’s electronic spy network system provided a warning that Islamic terrorists may be planning to hijack a commercial plane to use against America. This warning was provided in June 2001 . And the warning indicated that the target of the hijacked planes were iconic architectural structures that represented American evil. This particular warning is particularly troubling in light of Condoleezza Rice’s statement about nobody predicting 9/11 since she is quoted thusly: ” It is highly likely that a significant Al Qaeda attack is in the near future. ” CIA Director George Tenet tested the limits of crying wolf by becoming so frantic about the report that people started avoiding and ignoring him.
2 . Clinton appointee Richard Clark, the top counterterrorism expert in the Bush administration, informed several agency heads in a White House meeting held on July 5, 2001 that something truly monumental and disastrous was being planned by Al Qaeda and that it was going to happen soon. Each of those agencies was immediately put on high alert. Each of those agencies went off high alert after a couple of weeks.
3 . Another piece of evidence that makes Condi Rice’s “nobody could have predicted” statement….troubling. On August 6, 2001, members of the CIA met with George W. Bush personally to inform him that Al Qaeda planned to hijack commercial jets and attack within the United States. After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration decided not to release the information that this meeting had taken place. It only became public when CBS investigated and broke the story, thus placing Rice in a considerably uncomfortable situation. The White House responded by having Ari Fleischer lie about the title of the briefing memo. Fleischer said the title of the memo was “Bin Laden Determined to Strike the United States.” The actual title was more ominous by virtue of the one word that Fleischer left out: Bin Laden Determined to Strike In the United States.”
4 . Russia. Israel. Egypt. Morocco. Jordan. The intelligence agencies of all these countries warned US spies in the weeks leading to 9/11 that a large-scale attack against the United States could happen very soon. Warnings included information such as the attacks were being planned for late summer or early fall and that the targets of the attack might be located in New York City.
5 . As far back as 1993, intelligence agencies-one of which Condoleezza Rice was head of at the time of the 9/11 attacks-had issued a study that predicted terrorist hijacking of planes to be used in simultaneous attacks in multiple cities against targets representing American culture.
6 . Yet another piece of evidence that Condoleezza Rice was either totally unprepared and unfit to head the National Security Agency or that she is one of the coolest liars in American history. In 1995 police in the Philippines discovered plans by Al Qaeda that involved either exploding US jets in the air or hijacking them and flying them into the Pentagon and…the World Trade Center.
7 . Terrorism experts met with security officials employed by the FAA in 1998. The topic? How to deal with terrorists flying planes into the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Again, this is what the head of the National Security Agency told the world immediately following the events of 9/11: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center.”
8 . 1999. The National Intelligence Council issues a warning that Osama Bin Laden might be training his terrorist operatives to hijack planes and fly them into the White House or Pentagon.
9 . The Pentagon held a drill in late 2000 that simulated what the response would be…. to a plane crashing into the enormous building.
10 . As part of the transition from the outgoing Clinton administration to the incoming Bush administration, the new team was informed by the old team that the number one security threat facing America was Al Qaeda sleeper cells inside the United States. Part of the Clinton strategy to deal with this threat was to attack Al Qaeda. The Bush administration, deciding that the threat wasn’t immediate enough, abandoned the Clinton plan entirely so that they could come up with a plan of their own for dealing with Al Qaeda. The date of the Bush administration’s very first Cabinet-level meeting on the subject of terrorism: September 4, 2001.