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nhp
03-24-2004, 09:06 AM
Saturday, Mar. 13, 2004
Bush and 9/11: What We Need to Know

The investigative panel is getting ready to grill the President. Here's what they should ask

By JOE KLEIN
George W. Bush's most memorable day as President was Sept. 14, 2001, when he stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center, holding a bullhorn in one hand, his other arm slung over the shoulder of a veteran fire fighter from central casting. Bush was pitch perfect that day—the common-man President, engaged and resolute. This is the image the Bush campaign is probably saving for the last, emotional moments of the election next fall. It is the memory the Republicans want you to carry into the voting booth. It is why the Republican Convention will be held in New York City this year. And it may also be why the White House has been so reluctant to cooperate with the independent commission investigating the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The commission, which will finish its work in midsummer, on the eve of the conventions, will soon question the President about his response to the terrorist threat in the months before 9/11. I asked a dozen people last week—some intimate with the commission's thinking, some members of the intelligence community, some members of Congress who have investigated 9/11—what they would ask the President if they could. Their questions fell into three broad categories.

Why didn't you respond to the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.S. Cole? The attack occurred on Oct. 12, 2000; 17 American sailors were killed. The Clinton Administration wanted to declare war on al-Qaeda. An aggressive military response was prepared, including special-forces attacks on al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. But Clinton decided that it was inappropriate to take such dramatic action during the transition to the Bush presidency. As first reported in this magazine in 2002, Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and counterterrorism deputy Richard Clarke presented their plan to Condoleezza Rice and her staff in the first week of January 2001.

Berger believed al-Qaeda was the greatest threat facing the U.S. as Clinton left office. Rice thought China was. What were President Bush's priorities? Was he aware of the Berger briefing? Did he consider an aggressive response to the bombing of the Cole or to the al-Qaeda millennium plot directed at Los Angeles International Airport—which was foiled on Dec. 14, 1999? Did he have any al-Qaeda strategy at all? Rice, who has not yet testified under oath, decided to review counterterrorism policy; the review wasn't completed until Sept. 4. A related question along the same lines: Why didn't you deploy the armed Predator drones in Afghanistan? The technology, which might have provided the clearest shot at Osama bin Laden before 9/11, was available early in 2001. But the CIA and the Pentagon squabbled about which agency would be in charge of pulling the trigger. The dispute wasn't resolved until after 9/11. Were you aware of this dispute, Mr. President? Why weren't you able to resolve it?

Indeed, the second category of questions revolves around the President's interest in and awareness of the al-Qaeda threat. As late as Sept. 10, after the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, Bush was asking in his national-security briefing about the possibility of negotiating with the Taliban for the head of bin Laden. "If he had studied the problem at all," an intelligence expert told me, "he would have known that was preposterous." As early as Aug. 6, Bush had been told that al-Qaeda was planning to strike the U.S., perhaps using airplanes. What was his response to that? How closely was he following the intelligence reports about al-Qaeda activity, which had taken an extremely urgent tone by late spring? Another intelligence expert proposed this question: "Did he ever ask about the quality of the relationship between the CIA and the FBI?"

Obviously, the President couldn't be responsible for knowing that the FBI was tracking suspicious flight training in Arizona or that the CIA had an informant close to two of the hijackers, but was he aware of the friction between the two agencies? Was he aware that John Ashcroft had opposed increasing counterterrorism funding for the FBI?

Finally, there are the questions about the President's actions immediately after 9/11. Specifically, why did he allow planeloads of Saudi nationals, including members of the bin Laden family, out of the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks? Who asked him to give the Saudis special treatment? Was he aware that the Saudi Arabian government and members of the royal family gave money to charities that funded al-Qaeda?

It is easy to cast blame in hindsight. Even if Bush had been obsessed with the terrorist threat, 9/11 might not have been prevented. But the President's apparent lack of rigor—his incuriosity about an enemy that had attacked American targets overseas and had attempted an attack at home—raises a basic question about the nature and competence of this Administration. And that is not a question the Republicans want you to take to the polls in November.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-24-2004, 09:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Saturday, Mar. 13, 2004
Bush and 9/11: What We Need to Know

The investigative panel is getting ready to grill the President. Here's what they should ask

By JOE KLEIN
George W. Bush's most memorable day as President was Sept. 14, 2001, when he stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center, holding a bullhorn in one hand, his other arm slung over the shoulder of a veteran fire fighter from central casting.

<font color="blue">He shows his bias in the very first sentence with this condescending remark. I think the firefighters like Dubya. Did you forget Hillary and Richard Gere getting booed off the stage at the concert for police and firefighters in NY? </font color>

Bush was pitch perfect that day—the common-man President, engaged and resolute. This is the image the Bush campaign is probably saving for the last, emotional moments of the election next fall. It is the memory the Republicans want you to carry into the voting booth. It is why the Republican Convention will be held in New York City this year. And it may also be why the White House has been so reluctant to cooperate with the independent commission investigating the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The commission, which will finish its work in midsummer, on the eve of the conventions, will soon question the President about his response to the terrorist threat in the months before 9/11. I asked a dozen people last week—some intimate with the commission's thinking, some members of the intelligence community, some members of Congress who have investigated 9/11—what they would ask the President if they could. Their questions fell into three broad categories.

Why didn't you respond to the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.S. Cole? The attack occurred on Oct. 12, 2000; 17 American sailors were killed. The Clinton Administration wanted to declare war on al-Qaeda. An aggressive military response was prepared, including special-forces attacks on al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

<font color="blue">This is the first I have heard of this. This is according to Sandy Berger? Madelaine Albright? I'll ask you, why did Clinton wait so long to resort to military action? Up to that point he just wanted to arrest these guys and bring them to trial, so worried was he about "international law" and "world opinion".</font color>

But Clinton decided that it was inappropriate to take such dramatic action during the transition to the Bush presidency. As first reported in this magazine in 2002, Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and counterterrorism deputy Richard Clarke presented their plan to Condoleezza Rice and her staff in the first week of January 2001.

Berger believed al-Qaeda was the greatest threat facing the U.S. as Clinton left office. Rice thought China was.

<font color="blue">Rice had a good point. Who's more dangerous? A country with nukes or a bunch of guys in the desert of Afghanistan? </font color>

What were President Bush's priorities? Was he aware of the Berger briefing? Did he consider an aggressive response to the bombing of the Cole or to the al-Qaeda millennium plot directed at Los Angeles International Airport—which was foiled on Dec. 14, 1999?

<font color="blue">If he had folks on the left would have accused him of going to war for oil </font color>


Did he have any al-Qaeda strategy at all? Rice, who has not yet testified under oath, decided to review counterterrorism policy; the review wasn't completed until Sept. 4. A related question along the same lines: Why didn't you deploy the armed Predator drones in Afghanistan? The technology, which might have provided the clearest shot at Osama bin Laden before 9/11, was available early in 2001. But the CIA and the Pentagon squabbled about which agency would be in charge of pulling the trigger. The dispute wasn't resolved until after 9/11. Were you aware of this dispute, Mr. President? Why weren't you able to resolve it?

<font color="blue">Clinton didn't need Predator drones to find Bin Laden. OBL was offered to Clinton on a silver platter by Sudan and he didn't have the cojones to take him. He tried to get the Saudis to take him. He was worried about what the freaking UN would think. </font color>

Indeed, the second category of questions revolves around the President's interest in and awareness of the al-Qaeda threat. As late as Sept. 10, after the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, Bush was asking in his national-security briefing about the possibility of negotiating with the Taliban for the head of bin Laden. "If he had studied the problem at all," an intelligence expert told me, "he would have known that was preposterous."

<font color="blue">Who's this "expert"? Clarke? or somebody else with an axe to grind? </font color>

As early as Aug. 6, Bush had been told that al-Qaeda was planning to strike the U.S., perhaps using airplanes. What was his response to that?

<font color="blue"> What the hell was he supposed to do? Invade Afghanistan and have people accuse him of being a war-monger? Isn't that's what's happening now?

nhp,

NOBODY PREDICTED 9/11....NOBODY. DON'T BLAME BUSH. </font color>

How closely was he following the intelligence reports about al-Qaeda activity, which had taken an extremely urgent tone by late spring? Another intelligence expert proposed this question: "Did he ever ask about the quality of the relationship between the CIA and the FBI?"

<font color="blue">The tension between CIA and FBI has been ongoing for decades. It took 9/11 to get those 2 agencies to cooperate. This is Bush's fault? </font color>

Obviously, the President couldn't be responsible for knowing that the FBI was tracking suspicious flight training in Arizona or that the CIA had an informant close to two of the hijackers,

<font color="blue">The first intelligent statement in the article. </font color>

but was he aware of the friction between the two agencies? Was he aware that John Ashcroft had opposed increasing counterterrorism funding for the FBI?

<font color="blue">John Kerry voted to decrease intelligence funding. </font color>

Finally, there are the questions about the President's actions immediately after 9/11. Specifically, why did he allow planeloads of Saudi nationals, including members of the bin Laden family, out of the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks? Who asked him to give the Saudis special treatment? Was he aware that the Saudi Arabian government and members of the royal family gave money to charities that funded al-Qaeda?

<font color="blue">That was not common knowledge until after 9/11 when people started tracking down the money trail. </font color>

It is easy to cast blame in hindsight.

<font color="blue">And here's a big f**king DUH ! </font color>

Even if Bush had been obsessed with the terrorist threat, 9/11 might not have been prevented. But the President's apparent lack of rigor—his incuriosity about an enemy that had attacked American targets overseas and had attempted an attack at home—raises a basic question about the nature and competence of this Administration. And that is not a question the Republicans want you to take to the polls in November. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">I really thought Joe Klein was smarter than this. </font color>

eg8r
03-24-2004, 10:20 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Why didn't you respond to the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.S. Cole? The attack occurred on Oct. 12, 2000; 17 American sailors were killed. The Clinton Administration wanted to declare war on al-Qaeda. An aggressive military response was prepared, including special-forces attacks on al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. But Clinton decided that it was inappropriate to take such dramatic action during the transition to the Bush presidency. <hr /></blockquote> I find this interesting also, thank you for posting this. Here is a classic example of Clinton not taking responsibility and hoping to pass it on to the next guy. If the military response was agressive, then it would have been taken care of, instead, Clinton rolled over and waited out his time. Do you know what he was doing during this time...He and shrillary were making a checklist of all the items they would be stealing out of the White House and Air Force one. They were also deciding which of the absolute worst criminals they could free from jail. Good job nhp for this wonderful example.

eg8r &lt;~~~Believes it is more important to remove the terrorists from the earth than to make an easy transition for the incoming President so that the incoming President can deal with the outgoing Presidents problems.

Predator314
03-24-2004, 10:52 AM
Election year politics. No matter what he does/says, it is going to get scrutinized by the Democrats. He could wake up tomorrow and capture Bin Ladin which causes world peace which in turn sends the economy into a uplifting fury which in turn creates enough jobs for everyone, etc, etc, etc and the democrats would find something to bitch about. You know why? Because anything that G.W. Bush does good causes less of a chance for a democrat being in the White House.

That's why I'm a registered Republican. It amazes me how low some of the democrats (not all... I do vote for some Democrats) will stoop to get elected. It seems to me that they are more interested in keeping their jobs than creating a better country to live in.

There are Republicans that will go low to get elected too, but in this election year, I look back and see what G.W. Bush has done in the past 3 1/2 years and I see a good President. I have more money in my pocket. My job is secure right now. We have Sadam Hussein in custody and have Bin Laden scared to death if not dead already. Democrats are putting these ideas in our head about the economy being bad. I'm just not seeing it. When 9/11 occurred, the stock market went into a downward spiral for a while. The market fell to below 8,000 for a while. Looking at the market right this minute, it's at 10,088.97 and climbing. I've been able to open start my own business. Sales have been better than expected.

Everything I hear from John Kerry or anyone else speaking on his behalf is negativity. The mentioned article shows more of that negativity. They focus on what they believe he is doing wrong instead of what he's doing right.

My vote is going for G.W. Bush again.

nhp
03-24-2004, 11:11 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Election year politics. No matter what he does/says, it is going to get scrutinized by the Democrats. He could wake up tomorrow and capture Bin Ladin which causes world peace which in turn sends the economy into a uplifting fury which in turn creates enough jobs for everyone, etc, etc, etc and the democrats would find something to bitch about. You know why? Because anything that G.W. Bush does good causes less of a chance for a democrat being in the White House. <hr /></blockquote>

Pfffffffffffft! Conservatives bitch about the Liberals bitching, Conservatives bitch about the media being Liberal, while Liberals bitch about the media being conservative, Conservatives bitch about this and Liberals bitch about that. I see equal bitching here, except for on this board, because the conservatives on this board bitch about everything.

"Hey man! You don't agree with Bush, THEN YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH!"

or

"Hey man! I worked hard for my money! You think the poor should be helped? YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH!"

or

"You think the poor black ghettos are the product of years of discrimination and racism? YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH!!"

/ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

It's nearly impossible to argue against them. You share your thoughts, make a suggestion, suddenly you're attacked by super-bitch 5000. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
03-24-2004, 11:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Predator314:</font><hr>
...Democrats are putting these ideas in our head about the economy being bad. I'm just not seeing it....<hr /></blockquote>

Thank you, thank you.

5.6% unemployment and 4% growth = good economy.

I was in Florida in 1975 when the unemployment rate in Broward was 14% /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif. It took me 3 whole weeks to get a job.

People have forgotten what a bad economy is.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-24-2004, 11:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>
...Liberals bitch about the media being conservative....

<font color="blue"> /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif Why in the world would they do that? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif </font color>

"Hey man! You don't agree with Bush, THEN YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH!"

or

"Hey man! I worked hard for my money! You think the poor should be helped? YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH!"

or

"You think the poor black ghettos are the product of years of discrimination and racism? YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH!!"

<font color="blue">Hmmmm... I don't recall anyone saying these things. Sometimes it's not good to generalize. Specifics make a much better argument. </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

Predator314
03-24-2004, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>Pfffffffffffft! Conservatives bitch about the Liberals bitching, Conservatives bitch about the media being Liberal, while Liberals bitch about the media being conservative, Conservatives bitch about this and Liberals bitch about that. I see equal bitching here, except for on this board, because the conservatives on this board bitch about everything.

<font color="blue"> I was not bitching. I was stating some facts along with my opinion of Bush being a good president. The Media liberally biased. That's a fact. I'm not bitching. I don't have to watch/read/listen to them if I don't want. </font color>

"Hey man! You don't agree with Bush, THEN YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH!"

<font color="blue">I don't agree with everything Bush does. I must be scum of the earth. </font color>

or

"Hey man! I worked hard for my money! You think the poor should be helped? YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH!"

<font color="blue">I do work hard. I work a steady job and run my own business. I live in WV where a LOT of people are on welfare. I see this first hand. A big portion of these people just want their check. They have no intentions of getting a job as long as the government keeps giving them money. </font color>

or

"You think the poor black ghettos are the product of years of discrimination and racism? YOU ARE THE DEVIL! YOU ARE SCUM OF THE EARTH!!"

<font color="blue">See my above statement. They don't try for a better life. We give them free money and they keep their hand out instead of putting that money to good use. The color of your skin makes no difference. </font color>

/ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

It's nearly impossible to argue against them. You share your thoughts, make a suggestion, suddenly you're attacked by super-bitch 5000. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

<font color="blue">Who attacked you? </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

eg8r
03-24-2004, 12:45 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Hmmmm... I don't recall anyone saying these things. Sometimes it's not good to generalize. Specifics make a much better argument.
<hr /></blockquote> Nobody has. I guess he feels attacked when someone does not agree with him.

eg8r

nhp
03-24-2004, 01:17 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Nobody has. I guess he feels attacked when someone does not agree with him. <hr /></blockquote>

It was worse than that. I was bitched at. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

eg8r
03-24-2004, 02:27 PM
What would you expect with such backwards thinking. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r &lt;~~~Wonders who ruffled nhp's feathers /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

nhp
03-24-2004, 03:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> What would you expect with such backwards thinking.

<hr /></blockquote>

If blindly believing a former frat-boy alcoholic coke-head president is fowards thinking, I'll stick with backwards, thank you.

nhp
03-24-2004, 03:45 PM
[ QUOTE ]
And here's a big f**king DUH ! <hr /></blockquote>

Speaking of ruffled feathers....sheesh, calm down man.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-25-2004, 07:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>
If blindly believing a former frat-boy alcoholic coke-head president is fowards thinking, I'll stick with backwards, thank you. <hr /></blockquote>

Don't talk about Clinton like that