9/11 Investigation - Not Good

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by David R. Remer, PoliWatch.Org, WatchBlog

Testimony today before the 9/11 Investigating Commission was shocking. Among those testifying were Generals, Mr. Armitage, M. Allbright, and C. Powell, D. Rumsfeld, and P. Wolfowitz. Overall, it appears that both administrations, Clinton's and G.W. Bush's governed over a history of intelligence from 1991 right up through the summer of 9/11 which gave a host of indications and warnings of airliners to be used as weapons against the U.S. There were even, though not during 2001, intelligence data indicating the Pentagon and World Trade Center may be targets. Despite this intelligence neither the Clinton nor the Bush administration took any steps to beef up security of our airline industry, or to warn Congress that such action might be necessary.

Particularly damning was testimony by Donald Rumsfeld acknowledging heightened intelligence activity warning of possible impending attack throughout the summer preceding 9/11. Mr. Rumsfeld's response was that he was not responsible for domestic security and his focus was on overseas threats. He stated he does not recall being directly informed of a possible threat to the Pentagon, an area of responsibility that was his.

The President, G.W. Bush today also stated very carefully that, had he known there would be an attack on the WTC on Sept. 11, he would have taken action. Note what he did not say. He did not say he was not aware of increased intelligence indicating a possible impending attack. He did not say he was not aware that the WTC was a potential target. He did not say he was not aware the attacks could likely come from hijacked airliners. Testimony by Rumsfeld indicates that our Intelligence officers and head of CIA were aware of all these facts. Rumsfeld stated however, he does not recall if he had been made aware by the intelligence community of this information.

What we can expect from this investigation is tough questions seeking tough answers as the panel appears to be serious in their endeavor to determine what happened, what didn't happen, and why 9/11 occurred at all. What we cannot expect is a confession by anyone that they messed up or were responsible in anyway for allowing 9/11 to occur. Their answers were calculated, and appeared at times rehearsed. Only Wolfowitz however, became defensive and testy when questioned. Cooperative attitudes appear to be the order of the day. We can also not expect to ever hear the whole truth. Their was reference made by one of the panel that certain information specifically about intelligence content would not be disclosed to the public.

The one inescapable fact that came out today, however, was that both administrations reigned over intelligence indicating that something like what occurred on 9/11 was very likely to occur at some point in time, and neither administration took a single step to beef up airline security. The Bush administration is particularly vulnerable on this point since the intelligence community and the head of the CIA were receiving a high volume of indications in the few months preceding 9/11 that something was very likely about to happen against the U.S. resulting from al-Queda actions.

Clark is scheduled to testify tomorrow. There is a very different story to be told between him and Wolfowitz, tomorrow regarding prioritizing Iraq over al Queda. Wolfowitz today denied Clark's charge that Wolfowitz in a meeting had indicated that Iraq was a greater priority.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on March 23, 2004 6:36 PM.

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