Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Responsible was Bush for 9/11?




On this 11th anniversary of 9/11, this is a question that must still be asked, as we observe the dramatic increase in military spending (nearly double the percentage of GDP since 2001) and the rise of a new national security state sucking up hundreds of billions of precious dollars each year. (See e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-biggest-spy-center-on-earth-lets.html )

Bush himself benefited, as did his administration in monstrous and costly ways. His security pandering after the attacks set the stage for passage of the Patriot Act which only a few senators read in entirety before hand. Now, of course, it's most draconian aspects are well consolidated, including allowance of 'black bag' searches, and tracking of everything a citizen does, so NSA knows when you sneeze or shit. Then there was the Iraq invasion itself, in March, 2003, fed by numerous stooge sources, including one Iraqi (with the code name 'curve ball'). At least one courageous citizen, Joe Wilson, had the guts to expose the Bushie's "yellowcake- Niger" fakery (part of what they claimed was the reason to attack Saddam, since otherwise we'd all be incinerated in a nuclear cloud). However, his wife Valerie (Plame) paid the price by being outed by the Bushies as a CIA agent. Talk about treason!

That war of choice may end up costing us over $3 trillion (See the book, 'The 3 Trillion Dollar War"), after all the vets that served have to be treated for their physical injuries, or psychological traumas. And none of this was paid for by any higher taxes. Indeed, Junior instead implemented two rounds of tax cuts! Thereby doubling down on deficits. They basically used the Treasury as their own piggy bank and even Bush's VP Dick Cheney was famously heard to assert: "Deficits don't matter!"

Really? Then how come they do now?

But what was eye opening this morning was NY Times investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald's interview on CBS. Eichenwald noted that Bush's White House received numerous ominous warnings as early as May, 2001. These continued to ramp up over the months following, and the Bushies' response was to do nothing.

As Eichenwald put it:

"What I've been able to see are the presidential daily briefs before August 6 of 2001. And they're horrific, and they are - our reports are 'an attack is coming,' 'there are going to be mass casualties.' The worst of them, the Pentagon, the neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, as the CIA was coming in saying, 'al-Qaeda's going to attack,' said, 'Oh, this is just a false flag operation. Bin laden is trying to take our attention off of the real threat, Iraq.' And so there are presidential daily briefs that are literally saying, 'No they're wrong, this isn't fake, it's real.'

I decided to check some of these claims by going to the official 9/11 Commission Report. I found the following, under the section: ‘The System was Blinking Red’

Page 254:

"Each PDB (President's Daily Brief) consists of a series of six to eight relatively short articles or briefs covering a broad array of topics; CIA staff decides which subjects are the most important on any given day. There were more than 40 intelligence articles in the PDBs from January 20 to September 10, 2001, that related to Bin Ladin. "

On page 255:

"In the spring of 2001, the level of reporting on terrorist threats and planned attacks increased dramatically to its highest level since the millennium alert. At the end of March, the intelligence community disseminated a terrorist threat advisory, indicating a heightened threat of Sunni extremist terrorist attacksagainst U.S. facilities, personnel, and other interests."

And further (ibid.):

"On March 23, in connection with discussions about possibly reopening Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, Clarke warned National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice that domestic or foreign terrorists might use a truck bomb—their “weapon of choice”—on Pennsylvania Avenue.That would result, he said, in the destruction of the West Wing and parts of the residence. He also told her that he thought there were terrorist cells within the United States, including al Qaeda."

Note: Such cells were indeed already in the U.S. doing training runs with mock -simulated aircraft.

Further (ibid.):

"In May 2001, the drumbeat of reporting grew louder with reports to top officials that “Bin Ladin public profile may presage attack” and “Bin Ladin network’s plans advancing.” In early May, a walk-in to the FBI claimed there was a plan to launch attacks on London, Boston, and New York.Attorney General John Ashcroft was briefed by the CIA on May 15 regarding al Qaeda generally and the current threat reporting specifically. The next day brought a report that a phone call to a U.S. embassy had warned that Bin Ladin supporters were
planning an attack in the United States using “high explosives
.”

Thus, Eichenwald's basis for blaming the Bushies was fully confirmed. Despite that, Nora O' Donnell, forever playing misplaced "Devil's Advocate" - even when it's obvious there no real reason for it, blabbed:

"Then when a lot of people hear this, aren't they going to say, 'This is another example of where, not just the Bush administration, but our intelligence community dropped the ball. They failed to heed the warnings that were in a number of these (documents) that went all the way up to the president of the United States.'"

Eichenwald promptly replied:

"Actually, the counterterrorist center of the CIA did a spectacular job, and that's what really comes down. You know, in the aftermath, the White House and others said, 'Well they didn't tell us enough.' No, they told them everything they needed to know to go on a full alert and the White House didn't do it."

Of course, the most sensational Daily Brief of all was that dated August 6, 2001 and headed: Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US . Bush received this while at his Crawford, TX retreat. (He took more vacations than any other president in his first year alone.) And how did Bush respond to this? He gave a quick glance then went to clear some ....bush. But what ought to have made his eyeballs pop out was the short paragraph reading (p. 255-56):

"An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [—] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the US to mount a terrorist strike."

I also found it interesting to read through the communication exchanges as the hijackings became apparent, especially for American Flt. 11. According to the transcripts in the Report (page 20):

FAA: Hi. Boston Center TMU [Traffic Management Unit], we have a problem here.We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to,we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.

NEADS: Is this real-world or exercise?

FAA: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

The reaction of NEADS (National Emergency Air Defense System), i.e. asking “Is this real world or exercise?” is instructional. Evidently, as came out later, no less than five different military “exercises” were planned and underway, including:

Operation Vigilant Guardian’ which simulated hijacked planes in the northeast sector-corridor. This definitely contributed to the confused response on the given day, as evidenced after NORAD received a phone call from Boston Center about a hijacking and Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins responded “It must be part of the exercise”.

Thus delaying critical response to the REAL attacks in NYC.

Then there was ‘Operation Northern Vigilance’ – planned months in advance of 9/11 (tracking to when the peak of terror warning were being issued in May, as reported by the 9/11 Report and Eichenwald) and for which jet fighters were removed from the east coast and sent to Alaska and Canada. Thereby, leaving a security hole at the precise date and region which would be most directly affected

As I learned more about these exercises, and the withdrawal of needed air security, the similarity to what transpired in the days before the Kennedy assassination was striking. Researchers learned only in the wake of that executive action that: 1) The Secret Service detail had been changed in the days leading up to the Dallas motorcade, with an inexperienced agent in Kennedy’s car, while the more experienced guy (Cliff Hill) protected LBJ, and 2) The usual Army security detail from Ft. Sam Houston, TX was removed so their presence was nowhere on Dallas’ streets on Nov. 22, 1963. Ordinarily they’d have had building oversight, ensuring no open windows and have had snipers posted themselves as a counter measure.

Were the 9/11 military exercises, planned in advance as a cover or distraction to make effective air defense response more unlikely? The basic answer is we don’t know, although the extent of withdrawn protection makes one suspicious.

Again, no one is saying the Bushies committed the attacks on the day, but they had to know the security bonanza that would fall their way if such attacks could be made to appear by “surprise”. Especially given Bush’s popularity was at an all time low before 9/11. Barely 36%. It shot up to past 90% afterwards as he donned the mantle of "national protector."

This is why the blizzard of security warnings, recounted by Eichenwald and documented in the 9/11 Report, assumes so much prominence, because it discloses the extent of omission of any serious reaction, or response by the Bush Administration. All they did is make endless excuses not to take action!

My German friends, former Wehrmacht soldiers, told me back in 1985 that the Reichstag fire attack was also known by Hitler beforehand. He allowed it to occur because he understood that the security bonanza that would fall into his lap, and enable police state measures to be implemented – was simply too much to ignore.

Did Bush do the same? Well, let's just say it's all very suspicious as several sources have reported, since the 9/11 Commission Report came out. For example, The Washington Post reported in its August 3, 2006 edition that:

"Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said."

Then there were the 'gaffes' occurring on several media interviews. (But which many at the time dismissed as "slips of the tongue").


For example, Tom Kenney of FEMA's National Urban Search and Rescue Team, told Dan Rather of CBS News that FEMA had arrived in New York on the night of September 10th. This was originally dismissed as a slip of the tongue. Giuliani was to use this post as a command post on 9/11 after he evacuated WTC Building 7. Evidently, Giuliani knew when to leave WTC 7 because he got advanced warning that the Trade Towers were about to collapse. "We were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was gonna collapse," Giuliani told Peter Jennings of ABC News. How did Giuliani know the towers were about to collapse when no steel building in history had previously collapsed from fire damage?

One thing we can say is that Bush and company reaped an enormous cornucopia in the form of a newly revived national security state and miltiary -industrial complex whose spending is now so out of control, they actually regard the coming "sequestration" budget cuts of $600b on January 2 as "unacceptable" despite the fact they're not REAL cuts! They only slightly slow the GROWTH in Pentagon spending.

Money that had been earmarked for domestic projects, like rebuilding infrastructure, is now being pissed away on weapons and useless "wars". Meanwhile, given these "wars" and toys haven't been paid for, any more than Bush's tax cuts, all austerity eyes are now trained on the nation's social benefits programs.

We have much to fight for, but one thing for sure: Even if Bush didn't direct those 9/11 attacks, he still has much to answer for, and certainly by ignoring the dire warnings that preceded those attacks. Thanks to Bush, our country may never be the same and certainly its citizens may never enjoy the same freedoms they did before 9/11. Equally disastrous, the cost of the misplaced military adventures resulting from 9/11 may forever bleed us into permanent austerity, and also destroy future quality of life for all but the very wealthy.. Like Mitt Romney!

2 comments:

. josé . said...

Copernicus,

You might be interested in this graphic which has gone viral on Facebook timelines in Latin America: http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/305006_281362145301467_1695090136_n.jpg

(Here's one source page: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=281362145301467&set=a.157400734364276.27069.157281707709512&type=1)

It has even crossed the Spanish-to-Portuguese language barrier to show up on some of my Brazilian friends' timelines.

The reference, of course, is to the US-led attack on the democratically-elected government of Chile on this same date (Sept 11) in 1973, establishing a dictatorship responsible for the killing of over 50,000 people. Almost forty years later, the memory of the event is still strong.

Copernicus said...

Thanks, Jose! I'd actually done a ton of research on CIA-assisted overthrows of democratically-elected governments through the years. The one to get rid of Salvador Allende was one of the worst.

Other include the ouster of Jacobo Arbenz (Guatemala) in 1954, and the removal of Mossadegh in Iran (1953) to pave the way for the tyranny of the Shah.

The U.S. carps and complains of political instability around the world but in many cases has incepted the bases for all of there, by grotesque interference in other nations' affairs.

If we truly accept the paradigm of democracy and democratically elected governments, we must be prepared to accept the results as well.