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Gunsmoke: White House releases PDB

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It was almost exactly as Condoleezza Rice said. The presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the United States” did indeed summarize old news. As she insisted repeatedly, the PDB contained “historical information based on old reporting” about al-Qaeda. “It did not,” she said, “… warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.”

But what about the part where it says the FBI had detected “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.”

That sounds like a warning of a coming attack on the United States. And that was very new information. Rather specific too. This is what is called a bald-faced lie.

Historical information — would that include intelligence that was three months old, or is that considered history too? Because the memo did include information 3-month old information about al-Qaeda plans to enter the United States for an attack with explosives. It says here that the FBI was conducting “approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or Bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.”

Let’s hear it for the commission. Let’s hear it for truth. Let’s pick these people off one by one, if that’s how they want it.

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About CW Fisher

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    That sounds like a warning of a coming attack on the United States. And that was very new information. Rather specific too. This is what is called a bald-faced lie.

    No, it’s a statement of a vague fact. What would happen, where, and when? What should Bush have done, shut the entire state of New York down until they could figure out who was going to attack and where they were hiding. What, exactly, could the Bush administration have done? This is like saying to someone that there’s a driver on the road who doesn’t like you, and if they see you they’re going to drive their car into you.

    Why can no one understand that there is NO WAY the 9/11 attacks could have been predicted or prevented? There is and has been no testimony in any of the hearings that indicate ANYONE could have done a damn thing to stop this. Except, of course, for Clinton, who chose not to do anything at all about known threats in the middle east. But that doesn’t appeal to the anti-Bush folk, does it?

    What a waste of money this investigation is. All it’s uncovered is what we all already knew (unless, of course, you’re one of the tin-foil hat set) which is that we couldn’t have stopped the attacks.

  • JR

    Why can no one understand that there is NO WAY the 9/11 attacks could have been predicted or prevented?

    Well, because it’s simply not true. The least Bush could have done would be to enforce no-fly lists, that might have prevented 9/11 right there. He was warned of hijackings, how much more specific do you need?

    And keep in mind December 1999, when the Clinton White House went into high gear over increased chatter and the Millenium plot against LAX was thwarted. Given how many leads the FBI already had, a few inquiries from above could easily have uncovered the 9/11 plot too. Bush just wasn’t at all curious or interested.

    The fact is, we don’t know either way whether another President would have prevented 9/11. So believe what you want; I think a serious, engaged President could have prevented it.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Whether George Bush could have done something better is not the point. Everybody could always do everything better. That’s not the question, nor is the point of the 9/11 commission.

    My point, and the point of the bipartisan commission is this: Please, Bush Administration, be forthcoming and responsive to the process because you behave like you’re hiding something. Bush refused to let Dr. Rice testify in public before Congress because it was unprecedented, and he would not weaken the office of the presidency.

    The day before George Bush decided to release the smoking memo, the White House received a fax from the commission. It was a newspaper article from 1946. The National Security Advisor was giving public testimony before Congress in a inquiry into the attack at Pearl Harbor, a similar sneak attack by air.

    Attached to the article was a note advising the administration that unless they received the Aug. 6 PDB, the historical information would be leaked to the press.

    My article is an attempt to raise the question of why Bush went to such great lengths to conceal the somewhat benign document — yes, it mentions New York and buildings — and in my view Rice did perjure herself.

    But you know what? Big deal. She’s small stuff, irrelevant as hell now. And I don’t think anybody is seriously blaming George Bush for 9/11.

    There’s no doubt he could have done more before and after 9/11.

    What the commission has revealed is an administration out of touch with anything but Iraq, where they are equally powerless to do anything. It is this intense focus on Iraq coupled with a mysterious but distinct leack of interest in Afghanistan that is scratching the heads of the commission.

    Bill Clinton, who remains out of office and is not a threat to national security, continues to be lumped in with Bush as equally inept, and we’ll give him a brown star too.

    The reason I keep “bashing” Bush has nothing to do with Clinton. It’s not personal. I just happen to believe he’s a war criminal who belongs in federal prison, and I feel the same about Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rove and Ashcroft and Daschle and Lay.

    These guys stole another country and they’re paying for it with my money! They’ll walk away as personal billionaires, every last one of them. And it’s wrong, all of it wrong.

    Unless somebody says something, and somebody joins in.

    Lying to Congress, lying to the American people and to all the people of the world is high treason.

    And that’s what this commission is in the process of revealing, as we all know already.

    The real reason George Bush didn’t want to hand over that document can’t be found in the document but in the action of handing it over. That’s what he’s resisting.

    Because if Watergate taught him anything, and it might have, because it was on tv, it’s that once they start telling you to hand stuff over, they don’t stop until they’ve stripped the walls and transcribed and filed every videotape ever shot in the Bush WH.

  • Debbie

    “Well, because it’s simply not true. The least Bush could have done would be to enforce no-fly lists, that might have prevented 9/11 right there. He was warned of hijackings, how much more specific do you need?”

    The no-fly lists wasn’t even put in place until after 9-11…. I can’t believe that the people screaming the loudest about ‘lost liberties, living in a police state, etc’ even after 9-11 happened would have allowed this stuff BEFORE 9-11 happened.

    “My point, and the point of the bipartisan commission is this: Please, Bush Administration, be forthcoming and responsive to the process because you behave like you’re hiding something. Bush refused to let Dr. Rice testify in public before Congress because it was unprecedented, and he would not weaken the office of the presidency.”

    This ‘executive priviledge’ was not created with the Bush Administration. Every administration invokes it, the White House attorneys insist on it. The attempt to smear the Bush Administration even after they allowed Rice to testify, even after they release the PDB, etc. is just obvious partisanship.

    “My article is an attempt to raise the question of why Bush went to such great lengths to conceal the somewhat benign document — yes, it mentions New York and buildings — and in my view Rice did perjure herself.”

    What ‘great’ lengths did Bush go to. Invoking the same executive priviledge that every administration does? This was after Rice was questioned for 4 hours before the committee in private. WOW, That must be the ‘GREAT LENGTHS’ that Bush went to, he actually allowed stuff to be released and allowed Rice to be questioned before the committe. As for the fax the White House received, it is apples and oranges: The image, published in The New York Times on November 22, 1945, shows Adm. William D. Leahy testifying.

    But Leahy was not President Roosevelt’s liaison for national security during the time of the Pearl Harbor attacks – he was the American ambassador to France. There was no equivalent national security apparatus at the time, nor was there an equivalent position to the one Rice holds.

    “There’s no doubt he could have done more before and after 9/11.”

    If only his crystal ball was working….
    If only he could have had bi-partisan support, heck he can’t even get bi-partisan support now – even after we have been attacked and you want us to believe that he would have been able to put thru a no fly list, patriot act, etc BEFORE 9-11. Are you smoking CRACK or what?

    “It is this intense focus on Iraq coupled with a mysterious but distinct leack of interest in Afghanistan that is scratching the heads of the commission.”

    Lets see, we sent troops over there, we are working with Pakastan in rounding up the taliban and al Queada – and this is opposed by the previous administration not wanting to make any decisions about funding anti-taliban, not getting Pakistan on board to help, not taking Bin Laden when Sudan offered him because he hadn’t broken any laws in the US…. Oh yeah, I can see the distinct lack of interest…..NOT!

    “These guys stole another country and they’re paying for it with my money! They’ll walk away as personal billionaires, every last one of them. And it’s wrong, all of it wrong.”

    He isn’t stealing a country, we are turning it over to them after they have had a chance to form an interim government and work out details on a permanent government. Whether it’s wrong or not, we will have to disagree, I truly feel that we are doin the right thing, that this is an important part of the war on terror – I’ve explained reasons for beliefs on earlier threads so I won’t bore you.

    “Lying to Congress, lying to the American people and to all the people of the world is high treason.”

    I haven’t seen any lies, I have seen this administration go above and beyond by releasing documents and allowing unprecedented testimony before a commission.

    “The real reason George Bush didn’t want to hand over that document can’t be found in the document but in the action of handing it over. That’s what he’s resisting.”

    Once again, there is a seperation of powers issue here…can you imagine how quickly our government would come to a stand still if every committee could just demand every piece of paper, document, every tape or trascript of meetings and discussions taking place in the WH? There has to be a seperation of powers or the President would never get any ‘candid’ information, everything would be in political doublespeak and nothing would get done. EVERYBODY would be working from a CYA point of view —– you can’t run a country that way!

  • JR

    I haven’t seen any lies, I have seen this administration go above and beyond by releasing documents and allowing unprecedented testimony before a commission.

    Now who’s smoking crack?

  • Debbie

    “Now who’s smoking crack?”

    You are!

    Show me where a National Security Advisor has ever testified before a Committee under oath before…

    There have been numerous documents released to the committee to review….just because they aren’t released to the public has nothing to do with it. The committee’s purpose is supposed to be in the country’s best interest – if everything is released to the public then it is realeased to our enemy too….. or do you think that they don’t pay attention to our government. We are an open society, the exceptions are when it would interfere with National Security. There are some documents that shouldn’t be released – documents with the names of informants etc. Commonsense tells you that!!

  • Shark

    When it comes to information and the truth, the Bush believes the American people are ‘the enemy’.

    And I would amend your idealistic blather to: “We are an open society, the exceptions are when it would interfere with Bush, Cheney, and the Military-Industrial-Energy Complex’s goals to rape, plunder, and pillage this nation.”

    PS: Re. Bush’s level of COOPERATION: justify THIS

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