Before 9/11, the Bush administration’s national security focus was on missile defense, not terrorism. In fact, on 9/11, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was set to deliver a speech that focused “largely on missile defense.” Writing at the Huffington Post, Joe Cirincione — president of the Ploughshares Fund — recalls this quote from Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) on Sept. 10, 2001, warning against the Bush administration’s approach:
We will have diverted all that money to address the least likely threat while the real threats come into this country in the hold of a ship, or the belly of a plane, or are smuggled into a city in the middle of the night in a vial in a backpack.
Cirincione writes, “If George Bush had listened to Joe Biden instead of Donald Rumsfeld, the history of the past seven years would have been very different. We might have prevented 9/11.”