What They Knew and When They Knew It…

Bush, Cheney and Rice knew 9/11 was imminent; they had intelligence warnings describing al Qaeda’s plan to use our commercial jets to attack the World Trade Center and Washington, D.C. The highest levels of the Bush administration repeatedly and intentionally lied about what they knew and when they knew it. The Bush administration failed to take appropriate action on numerous actionable intelligence reports and briefings, including a highly classified presidential daily briefing memo (PDB) dated August 6, 2001 entitled Bin Laden Determined to Strike inside the U.S. That PDB contained much “actionable intelligence,” including information about active al Qaeda cells in the U.S. and the training of prospective terrorists at military and commercial flight schools—high-level U.S. State Department permission is required for civilian pilot training at military flight schools. Why was such permission granted to the terrorists?

Bush, Cheney, and Rice chose to ignore the al Qaeda threat warnings; they failed to task and follow-up with the FBI and the CIA; and it is uncontested that they intentionally failed to warn and protect the American people. Prior to 9/11, only privileged government personnel like Attorney General Ashcroft were warned to avoid air travel; the AG cancelled his air travel plans; but the American people were not alerted; the American people were left fully exposed to the al Qaeda attack and 3,000 people were murdered. Who warned AG Ashcroft and failed to warn the American people? Why did AG Ashcroft tell FBI Director Thomas Pickard that he wanted no further briefings on terrorist threats?

The post-9/11 evidentiary record clearly shows presidential gross negligence, and perhaps even complicity in 9/11. The slowly unfolding tale of what really happened on and before 9/11 is an overwhelming tale of governmental dysfunction or worse. Why did Bush, Cheney, and Rice deliberately and repeatedly lie to us saying they had received no warnings that a 9/11-type attack was imminent? Why have they spent 2 ½ years deliberately covering up what really happened on and before 9/11? Was it because high-level Bush policy formulators had previously prepared the infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC) policy initiative suggesting that America needed another Pearl Harbor before it could launch a War of Terror on the world?

The Bush-Cheney-Rice cover-up of what really happened on 9/11 is steadily unraveling. The American people are intent on learning precisely what Bush, Cheney, and Rice knew about 9/11, and when they knew it. Yet for over two-years the Bush administration stalled every inquiry. Bush and Cheney opted for strict secrecy. They refused to testify and refused to let Rice testify before the official 9/11 investigating commission. Why were Bush and Cheney afraid to let Rice testify under oath? Why do Bush and Cheney refuse to testify under oath? Why has Bush refused to release nearly 70 documents that promise to shed even more light on what really happened on and before 9/11? Why did it take over two years of begging by the wives of the victims of 9/11 before Bush acceded to an official investigating commission? Why is Bush afraid to testify before the commission without Chen ey holding his hand? Why, knowing that 9/11 was imminent, did the highest levels of the Bush administration do nothing to alert and protect us? Was the Bush administration complicit in the attack? If so, many in the Bush administration, including Bush, Cheney, and Rice deserve long prison sentences.

We now know:
1. The PNAC makes clear that certain Bush war and foreign policy formulators were eager for another Pearl Harbor-type attack on the U.S.

2. Spending over $30 billion a year bought us much “actionable intelligence” regarding the imminent 9/11 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, the Bush administration chose to ignore that intelligence. On and before 9/11 our government should have been at the highest state of defense readiness.

3. Shortly after 9/11, and at a time when all U.S. commercial airliners were grounded and with Osama bin Laden under official criminal indictment, the Bush administration secretly spirited members of Osama bin Laden’s family and many Saudis who may have helped fund the 9/11 attacks out of the U.S. Thomas Kean former Republican governor of New Jersey, now chair of the official 9/11 investigating commission, confirmed this. On C-SPAN, on April 14, 2004 he added that the request for the evacuation of bin Laden’s family came from the Saudi Embassy. He added that the evacuees were officially questioned before boarding t he six jetliners.

4. Rice lied under oath when she said there was no “silver bullet” that could have prevented 9/11. The relatively simple task of hardening the cockpit doors would have prevented 9/11. Arrests of known Al Qaeda terrorists and financiers in the U.S. could have prevented 9/11. Capturing the al Qaeda terrorists and closing their training camps could have prevented 9/11. A credentialed national security advisor and a Bush administration that was “on the job,” could have prevented 9/11. Why were these and many other means for preventing 9/11 intentionally ignored?

5. Bush, Cheney, and Rice repeatedly lied about what they knew about al Qaeda’s determination to strike within the U.S. It is now clear that there were many credible warnings, including the now famous August 6 PDB and the “Phoenix memo.” The Bush administration knew al Qaeda was training five times the number of terrorists than the FBI and CIA were training as agents and analysts. Why did our government fail to realize the implications?

6. Unlike most of the rest of us, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, and Rice knew more than enough about al Qaeda’s plans to know that the first plane to strike the WTC was the work of the al Qaeda terrorists. Why do they say they did not realize America was under attack until WTC Building 2 was struck?

7. Rice was intentionally deceptive under oath when she said that “most of the intelligence chatter” regarding 9/11 was vague and did not specify time, place, and manner. She did not say that all such chatter was vague. She failed to mention that in previous testimony she said that on September10, 2001 a report stating that 9/11 was imminent sat on her desk unread.

8. The Bush administration failed to alert the American to the 9/11 attack. Prior to 9/11, AG Ashcroft, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, and other notables were alerted to the risks of flying on commercial airliners. Why were the American people, the Pentagon, the FAA, NORAD, the WTC, and the airlines and their crews not alerted?

9. The “official story” regarding why NORAD, our first line of defense, was looking “outward,” over the Atlantic (in Cold War posture), rather than inward to protect the homeland, is nothing but bureaucratic nonsensical cover-up. Why was our homeland defense posture nothing but leftovers from the Cold War?

10. Why is the “official story” about why the Pentagon was not protected not more deeply explored by the 9/11 commission? Many people believe it is even loopier than the “official story” regarding the collapse of Building 7.

11. On 9/11, “speculators” reaped vast profits selling short the stocks of the airline companies whose planes were hijacked? Who are these speculators? What did they know? When and how did they know what they knew?

12. Well before 9/11 Florida governor Jeb Bush authorized the drafting of an Executive Order 01-261 authorizing him to place the Florida National Guard under his command if warranted by a terrorist attack—the functional equivalent of martial law. The order was signed by Jeb Bush on September7, 2001. What prompted Bush’s brother to draft and sign that order?

13. Bush vacationed at his Texas ranch knowing the 9/11 al Qaeda attack was imminent. While our soldiers labor 24 hours a day, every day, Bush has effectively vacationed, golfed, campaigned, and watched reruns of old baseball games for fully ¾ of his presidency. On or about 9/10 Bush flew to Florida to visit with his brother Governor Jeb Bush. On 9/11, while the al Qaeda attack was in progress our Commander-In-Chief was busily engaged in a goat story with second-graders at the Emma E. Booker School in Sarasota, Florida.

14. According to Gwen Rigell, principal of the Booker School, Verizon installed 49 telephone lines at the school just prior to Bush’s supposedly routine visit. Is the installation of so many telephone lines at an elementary school prior to a presidential visit routine, or was the Secret Service expecting an attack?

15. At a press conference held at the Booker School on the morning of 9/11, Bush lied about when and how he learned about the terrorist attack on the WTC.

16. Rice lied when she said no one could have imagined that commercial airplanes could be used as guided missiles. The potential use of airplanes as missiles is exceedingly well documented. In fact, Bush had been threatened with a Kamikaze-type attack while attending a G-8 summit in Italy in July, 2001, and counter-terrorist chief Richard Clarke created detailed measures to prevent an 9/11-type attack at the summer Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia.

17. Bush and the highest levels of his administration have gone to great lengths to cover-up what really happened on and before 9/11. Osama bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in 1996 and again in 1998. The U.S. response to that declaration was timid and grossly insufficient. When President Clinton sent a strong counterterrorism bill to Congress, Republicans stripped it of its teeth.

18. Bush said he launched the War on Terror because he was “tired of swatting flies,” another blatant lie when you consider the fact that his administration ignored the al Qaeda threat and its previous attacks, including that on the USS Cole. Was NORAD also tired of “swatting flies?”

19. CIA Director George Tenet and the FBI knew of active al Qaeda cells in the U.S., they knew prospective terrorists were enrolled in flight training schools, and they knew of wire transfers to fund terrorist activity. Throughout August 2001, at the time “chatter” about an attack by al Qaeda was high, CIA Director Tenet and President Bush vacationed and were not in contact with each other. Why were they incommunicado? Why did the FBI and the CIA not act to crush al Qaeda when they declared war on us? For years after al Qaeda’s declaration of war, why was only 3.5% of the FBI budget spent on counterterrorism activities?

20. Rice lied under oath when she attributed the failure to prevent 9/11 to certain long-standing “structural problems” between the CIA and the FBI.” The August 6 PDB and much testimony before the 9/11 commission confirms regular cooperation and communication between them; thus, for Rice and others to blame 9/11 communication failures is pure cover-up. Rice said the August 6 PDB scared her; Bush said it comforted him; these are disturbingly diverse interpretations of the al Qaeda terrorist threat on our homeland.

21. Rice lied under oath when she said that following up with the FBI about al Qaeda was not her job. Helping to make America secure was her only job.

22. Rice lied under oath when she said she could not recall whether she had informed Bush that al Qaeda was operating in the U.S. It is simply not possible for people as bright as Rice to forget such conversations.

23. Yet unconfirmed by Bush, Bush’s brother Marvin was a principal in Stratesec, Inc, formerly Securacom. From 1995 to 2001, that firm provided security services at the World Trade Center and to United Airlines. Securacom was backed by a Kuwaiti-American investment company with ties to the Bush family.

24. World Trade Center (WTC) Building 7 collapsed in exactly the same way as WTC buildings 1 and 2 even though it was not hit by an airliner.

25. The collapse of WTC buildings 1, 2, and 7 looks to many more like professional demolition than the result of the al Qaeda attack.

26. Five hours after the collapse of buildings 1 and 2, one of the owners of the WTC says he had Building 7 “pulled” down. Yet, Building 7 could not be “pulled” down by its owner unless it had been previously wired for demolition, an illegal task that would require far more than five hours.

27. Perhaps the commercial airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania had been targeted for Building 7 and Building 7 was “pulled” down out of fear that the minor fires in Building 7 would set off the explosives or that the explosives would be found.

28. NORAD, America’s first line of domestic air defense, was not alerted in time to thwart the 9/11terrorist attack. Coincidentally, just three months prior to 9/11 responsibility for ordering NORAD into defensive action shifted to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. (See June 1, 2001 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction revision (CJCS3610.01A).

29. The Bush administration knew al Qaeda favored the WTC and buildings in Washington, D.C. as targets and knew of their predilection for revisiting targets. Why was nothing done to protect these targets?

30. We now know that the Bush family and Bush friends and supporters are pocketing staggering profits from Bush’s War on Terror.

31. After failing to protect us from the 9/11 attack, Bush had the audacity to launch his 2004 presidential campaign with a doctored TV ad that portrays him as the nations’ protector against terrorism when, as the facts clearly show, it was his administration’s inept leadership and his heavy vacation schedule that failed the American people on 9/11.

32. Thomas Kean said that with real leadership 9/11 would have been prevented. He said, “This was not something that had to happen.” Kean closed the interview promising additional revelations in the near future but, the next day, in a follow-up interview on ABC’s Nightline, he appeared far more cautious; if you looked closely, you could almost see Karl Rove’s and Dick Cheney’s heel prints on his face.

Conclusion: Many Americans and most of the world now view the Bush War on Terror as a War of Terror, an evolving global nightmare for everyone except for the few who personally reap vast profits from perpetual pre-emptive war. Bush’s former director of counter-terrorism, Richard Clarke, has testified under oath and said that Bush failed to take speedy action against al Qaeda, and that Bush’s invasion of Iraq has increased America’s risk of future terrorist attacks, making the world far less safe. There are now more than enough connected dots to warrant either immediate indictments or the commencement of impeachment proceedings. Concerned Americans and the Congress should demand nothing less.

The crucial question is: Will the official 9/11 investigating commission continue the cover-up and merely accuse the Bush administration of gross negligence, or will their findings lead to official charges of treason?

A public service project by Bob Zimmerman, author of: The American Challenge: Twenty-One Winning Strategies for the 21st Century
www.bookmasters.com/americanchallenge.

Contacts: Bobbi Pallas at 415-383-8481, or BobZimmerman@usa.com