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SPECIAL REPORT

The 9/11 Timeline

By Dan Johnson  

"The 9/11 Timeline"

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    To mark the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ThinkProgress has created a comprehensive timeline documenting the key events since September 11, 2001. Our timeline charts five threads:

    – The steady increase in international terrorism and the growth of al Qaeda
    – The campaign to block and obstruct the work of the 9/11 Commission, and the failure to carry out the commission’s recommendations
    – The failure to stablize and rebuild Afghanistan
    – The downgrading of the hunt for Osama bin Laden
    – The steady decline of America’s image abroad

    Click HERE to comment on this timeline. Click HERE for ThinkProgress’ timeline on the war in Iraq.

    2001

    911timeline1.jpg SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: Terrorists strike the United States, killing 2973 people

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2001: Bush calls attacks “acts of war.”

    “The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require your country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack… But make no mistake about it: we will win.” [WH, 9/12/06]

    SEPTEMBER 17, 2001: Reporter to Bush: Do you want bin Laden dead?

    I want justice. And there’s an old poster out west, that I recall, that said, “Wanted, Dead or Alive.” [Bush Remarks, 9/17/01]

    SEPTEMBER 13, 2001: White House announces bin Laden-9/11 connection [WH, 9/13/06]

    SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 2001: Anthrax letters sent to media outlets, senators

    Beginning September 18, and occuring over the course of several weeks, letters containing anthrax bacteria were mailed to NBC, the New York Post, and Sens. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), killing five people and sickening seventeen others. [Wikipedia]

    OCTOBER 7, 2001: First airstrikes are launched against Taliban targets in Afghanistan [Guardian]

    OCTOBER 23, 2001: Anthrax discovered at White House mail machine

    “President Bush said confidently Tuesday that ‘I don’t have anthrax’ after biohazard testing at the White House and the discovery of anthrax on a mail-opening machine at a screening facility six miles away.” [Washington Post, 10/23/01]

    NOVEMBER 19, 2001: Warlords back in control of Afghanistan

    The galaxy of warlords who tore Afghanistan apart in the early 1990′s and who were vanquished by the Taliban because of their corruption and perfidy are back on their thrones, poised to exercise power in the ways they always have. [NYT, 11/19/01]

    torabin.jpg EARLY DECEMBER 2001: Bin Laden escapes at Tora Bora

    “The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda.” [Washington Post, 4/16/02]

    DECEMBER 13, 2001: Bin Laden admits guilt in tape

    “But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes.” [Guardian Unlimited, 9/14/06]

    DECEMBER 16, 2001: Bin Laden’s voice heard on radio in Tora Bora

    “American intelligence agencies have positively identified the distinctive voice of Osama bin Laden giving orders to his troops in the mountains of Tora Bora.” [Telegraph, 12/16/01]

    DECEMBER 19, 2001: Survey: Global opinion poll finds “love-hate” relationship towards U.S. and its approach to terrorism

    “[W]hile popular support is reported in most regions of the world, the U.S. is seen as overreacting to the terrorist attacks. Most important, a huge gulf of disagreement exists between American elites and opinion leaders in other parts of the world about the causes of terrorism and the sources of resentment and respect for the U.S.” [Pew, 12/19/01]

    DECEMBER 21, 2001: Senators introduce bill to create independent 9/11 commission

    “Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, a Democrat of Connecticut, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona, introduced legislation to create a 14-member, bipartisan commission with subpoena power to make a full accounting.” [NYT, 12/21/01]

    DECEMBER 27, 2001: Video on Al-Jazeera shows bin Laden alive [BBC, 12/27/01]

    2002

    JANUARY 25, 2002: Cheney “warns” Daschle about establishing independent 9/11 inquiry

    Vice President Cheney called Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) to “warn” him not to open hearings into the attacks. If Daschle pressed the issue, Cheney “implied he would risk being accused of interfering with the mission” against terrorism. [Newsweek, 2/4/02]

    cheney1.jpg JANUARY 27, 2002: Cheney: bin Laden “isn’t that big a threat.”

    CHENEY: And we want bin Laden, and I think we will get him, but I’m more concerned about disrupting all of these terrorist cells out there. Bin Laden by himself isn’t that big a threat. Bin Laden connected to this worldwide organization of terror is a threat. We’re going to go after him, but we’re also after the network. [1/27/02]

    JANUARY 29, 2002: Bush asks Daschle not to establish independent inquiry into 9/11 attacks

    President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of September 11. … He asked that only the House and Senate intelligence committees look into the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur, rather than a broader inquiry that some lawmakers have proposed.” [CNN, 1/29/02]

    FEBRUARY 5, 2002: Bush: bin Laden “not the issue.”

    BUSH: We are patient; we’re deliberate. Oh, I know the news media likes to say, “Where’s Osama bin Laden?” He’s not the issue. The issue is international terror.” [2/5/02]

    FEBRUARY 2002: Gen. Franks: Troops in Afghanistan being redeployed to prepare for Iraq

    Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) “was told by Gen. Tommy Franks that despite ongoing operations in Afghanistan, “military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq.” Franks denied making the comment.” [Knight-Ridder, 6/18/05]

    MARCH 13, 2002: Bush not concerned with bin Laden

    BUSH: And [Osama Bin Laden is] just — he’s a person who has now been marginalized. His network is — his host government has been destroyed. He’s the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match…So I don’t know where he is. Nor — you know, I just don’t spend that much time on him really, to be honest with you. I…I truly am not that concerned about him. [Bush Remarks, 3/13/02]

    LATE MARCH 2002: CIA secretly begins shifting resources away from Afghanistan to Iraq

    That announcement marked a year-long drawdown of specialized military and intelligence resources from the geographic center of combat with Osama bin Laden. … Task Force 5 — a covert commando team that led the hunt for bin Laden and his lieutenants in the border region — lost more than two-thirds of its fighting strength. [Washington Post, 10/22/04]

    MARCH 31, 2002: Al Qaeda operations chief captured

    “One of the suspected Qaeda fighters who was captured in Pakistan on Thursday is believed to be Abu Zubaydah, a top commander under Osama bin Laden, American and Pakistani officials said today. … American officials say Mr. Zubaydah [h]as been linked to the planning of the Sept. 11 attacks.” [NYT, 3/31/02]

    APRIL 17, 2002: Survey: Attitude towards Bush improves in Europe

    “Europeans have a better opinion of President George W. Bush than they did before the Sept. 11 attacks, but they remain highly critical of the president, most of his policies, and what they see as his unilateral approach to international affairs.” [Pew, 4/17/02]

    MAY 23, 2002: Bush voices opposition to 9/11 Commission

    Bush said the investigation should be confined to Congress because it deals with sensitive information that could reveal sources and methods of intelligence. Therefore, he said, the congressional investigation is “the best place” to probe the events leading up to the terrorist attacks. [CBS News, 5/23/02]

    SEPTEMBER 4, 2002: Majority of Europeans disapprove of Bush administration’s foreign policy [Worldviews, 9/4/02]

    SEPTEMBER 9, 2002: Bin Laden’s voice on video praises 9/11 hijackers

    As we talk about the conquests of Washington and New York, we talk about those men who changed the course of history and cleaned the records of the nation from the dirt of the treasonous rulers and their followers. [Guardian Unlimited, 9/14/02]

    bali.jpgOCTOBER 12, 2002: Bali terrorist attacks

    Islamic militant group al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on a Bali nightclub in which more than 180 people died. [CNN, 11/8/02]

    NOVEMBER 12, 2002: Bin Laden video praises Bali attacks

    They ignored our warning and woke up to the sound of explosions in Bali. [Guardian Unlimited, 9/13/02]

    NOVEMBER 27, 2002: Bush appoints Henry Kissinger as chairman of 9/11 Commission

    The New York Times opines that the White House chose him “to contain an investigation it has long opposed.” [CNN, 12/13/02]

    DECEMBER 4, 2002: Survey shows growing global discontent with U.S.

    “Despite an initial outpouring of public sympathy for America following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, discontent with the United States has grown around the world over the past two years.” [Pew, 12/4/02]

    DECEMBER 13, 2002: Facing potential conflicts of interest, Henry Kissinger resigns as chairman of 9/11 Commission [CNN, 12/13/02]

    DECEMBER 18, 2002: Rumsfeld declares Taliban, al Qaeda “gone” from Afghanistan

    Q: What’s the current situation in Afghanistan?

    RUMSFELD: It is encouraging. They have elected a government through the Loya Jirga process. The Taliban are gone. The al Qaeda are gone. [CNN, 12/18/02]

    2003

    FEBRUARY 11, 2003: Bin Laden audiotape calls upon Muslims to attack U.S. forces in Iraq [Guardian Unlimited, 2/12/03]

    MARCH 1, 2003: 9/11 mastermind captured

    With assistance from the Pakistani government, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man believed to be the key planner of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was among three terrorism suspects arrested in a CIA-led operation early in a house outside the Pakistani capital. [CNN, 3/1/03]

    MARCH 18, 2003: America’s image “plummeting”

    Anti-war sentiment and disapproval of President Bush’s international policies continue to erode America’s image among the publics of its allies. U.S. favorability ratings have plummeted in the past six months in countries actively opposing war­ as well as in countries that are part of the “coalition of the willing.” [Pew, 3/18/03]

    MARCH 2003: Bush opposes additional funding for 9/11 Commission

    “[T]he White House brushed off a request quietly made last week by the 9-11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, to boost his budget by $11 million. [Time, 3/26/03]

    APRIL 8, 2003: Bin Laden tape urges suicide attacks against Arab governments that support the US-led attack on Iraq.

    “All of them have been imposed upon you and jihad against them is your duty.” [Guardian Unlimited, 4/8/03]

    JUNE 3, 2003: U.S. image in the world continues to drop sharply

    “[I]n most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago. The war has widened the rift between Americans and Western Europeans, further inflamed the Muslim world, softened support for the war on terrorism, and significantly weakened global public support for the pillars of the post-World War II era — the U.N. and the North Atlantic alliance.” [Pew, 6/3/03]

    OCTOBER 18, 2003: Bin Laden releases series of tapes in “unparalleled propoganda offensive” [Guardian Unlimited, 10/19/03]

    riyadh11.jpg NOVEMBER 9, 2003: Riyadh terrorist attacks

    Terrorists stormed past security guards into an affluent, heavily secured residential neighborhood in the Saudi capital Saturday and set off three explosions, journalists and officials in Riyadh said. The attack, which Saudi officials said bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda, killed at least 17 people. [BBC, 11/9/03]

    2004

    JANUARY 4, 2004: Bin Laden urges uprising against US troops in audiotape, references Saddam’s capture. [Guardian Unlimited, 1/5/04]

    JANUARY 2004: Taliban “can now outspend and outman” U.S. forces

    “Flush with income from the drug trade (which previously the Taliban seems to have avoided and actively combated), the Taliban can now outspend and outman not just the weak central government in Kabul, but even the U.S. forces: In areas around the southern city of Kandahar, the Taliban is reportedly paying their fighters as much as $70 a week, going up to $120 a week for fighters who attack American forces. The United States is reportedly paying its local warlord allies $60 a week.” [Human Rights Watch, 1/04]

    JANUARY 19, 2004: Bush opposes giving extension to 9/11 Commission investigation

    “A growing number of commission members had concluded that the panel needs more time to prepare a thorough and credible accounting of missteps leading to the terrorist attacks… But the White House and leading Republicans have informed the panel that they oppose any delay, which raises the possibility that Sept. 11-related controversies could emerge during the heat of the presidential campaign. “[Washington Post, 1/19/04]

    FEBRUARY 5, 2004: Bush reverses position, backs 9/11 Commission extension

    “After resisting the idea for months, the White House announced Wednesday its support for a request from the commission investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks for more time to complete its work.” [CNN, 5/4/04]

    FEBRUARY 25, 2004: Bush, Cheney place strict limits on 9/11 Commission appearances

    President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel’s top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning. [NYT, 2/25/04]

    MARCH 1, 2004: Former Bush ambassador to Afghanistan blasts failed reconstruction effort

    Former ambassador to Afghanistan James Dobbins calls reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan “the least resourced, large-scale American reconstruction program ever.” “The numbers bear out Dobbins’s claim: between January 2002 and March 2003, Afghanistan has received only $67 per capita per year in reconstruction assistance, as compared to an average of $814 in Kosovo between 1999 and 2001, or $256 in East Timor during the same time frame.” [DPC, 4/26/04]

    MARCH 2004: U.S. government report warns of Taliban resurgence

    A United States Institute for Peace study reports, “nearly two years after their defeat by U.S. and allied Northern Alliance forces, the Taliban has re-emerged as a growing security threat along Afghanistan’s southeastern border with Pakistan.” [3/04]

    MARCH 2004: Warlords still control large swaths of Afghanistan

    NYU’s Center for International Cooperation reports, “little progress has been made in the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of militias,” and “local commanders (warlords) maintain control over large areas of the country, exploiting the illicit economy as a substantial tax base for their activities.” [CIC, 3/04]

    madrid-bombing.jpg MARCH 11, 2004: Madrid terrorist attacks

    “The group al-Qaida in Europe claimed responsibility for a string of bombs that hit commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people.” [Time, 3/14/04]

    MARCH 16, 2004: Survey: “Mistrust of America in Europe ever higher, Muslim anger persists”

    “Perceptions of American unilateralism remain widespread in European and Muslim nations….Doubts about the motives behind the U.S.-led war on terrorism abound, and a growing percentage of Europeans want foreign policy and security arrangements independent from the United States.” [Pew, 3/16/04]

    MARCH 28, 2004: Clarke: al Qaeda has “metamorphized into a hydra-headed organization”

    “If we catch [bin Laden] this summer, which I expect, it’s two years too late. Because during those two years when forces were diverted to Iraq…al Qaeda has metamorphosized into a hydra-headed organization with cells that are operating autonomously, like the cells that operated in Madrid recently.” [NBC, 3/28/04]

    rice22.jpg MARCH 28, 2004: Rice justifies refusing to testify before 9/11 Commission

    Rice claimed “it is a longstanding principle that sitting national security advisers do not testify before the Congress.” A Congressional Research Service report found numerous top presidential advisers had testified before Congress. [CBS, 3/28/04; 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, 3/23/04]

    MARCH 30, 2004: White House allows Rice to testify in exchange for no additional public hearings of Bush officials

    “President Bush bowed to growing political pressure on Tuesday and agreed to allow Condoleezza Rice, his national security adviser, to testify in public and under oath … In exchange for her appearance, the panel agreed not to seek testimony from other White House aides at public hearings, although it can continue to question them in private.” [NYT, 3/31/04]

    APRIL 1, 2004: Bush blocks 9/11 Commission from accessing thousands of documents

    News reports find the Bush administation “had not turned over about 75 percent of the almost 11,000 pages of Clinton records “that document custodians had determined should be released to the Commission investigating the terrorist attacks,” even though the records were vital to the panel’s mission. Clinton “had given authorization to the National Archives to gather evidence from Mr. Clinton’s files that was sought by the independent Commission… But the Bush administration…had final authority to decide what would be turned over.”" [Washington Post, 4/2/04; NYT, 4/2/04]

    APRIL 15, 2004: Bin Laden offers truce to European countries [Guardian Unlimited, 4/15/04]

    MAY 2004: Major study finds al Qaeda strong, growing thanks to Iraq war

    International Institute for Strategic Studies: “Although half of al-Qaeda’s 30 senior leaders and perhaps 2,000 rank-and-file members have been killed or captured, a rump leadership is still intact and more than 18,000 potential terrorists are still at large, with recruitment accelerating on account of Iraq.” [Time, 5/26/04]

    911report1.jpg JULY 22, 2004: 9/11 Commission releases recommendations, Bush resists quick action

    “The commission’s 10 members said they planned to spend the next 12 months traveling the nation demanding that politicians carry out most of their 41 recommendations. … Bush and his aides appeared to resist the commission’s plea for quick action.” [LA Times, 7/24/04]

    SEPTEMBER 8, 2004: New poll finds global public uncomfortable with Bush foreign policy

    “Asked how the foreign policy of President Bush has affected their feelings toward the U.S., in 30 countries a majority or plurality said it made them feel ‘worse,’ while in 3 countries more said that it had made them feel ‘better.’ In two countries views were evenly balanced. On average, 53% said it made them worse about the US, while 19% said it made them feel better.” [PIPA, 9/8/04]

    jakarta.jpg SEPTEMBER 9, 2004: Jakarta terrorist attacks

    Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network bankrolled the car bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, killing at least nine and injuring more than 180. [CNN, 9/9/04; Reuters, 8/2/05]

    SEPTEMBER 27, 2004: Bush: “As a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence.” [9/27/04]

    OCTOBER 1, 2004: Zawahri Still Free To Inspire Jihad, Attacks Against United States.

    Even after Bush’s purported successes in the war on terror, as the Associated Press reported that Zawahri yesterday released a new audio tape calling for terror attacks against the U.S. The authenticity of this tape is being determined, but the Associated Press reported, “The CIA determined with a high degree of confidence that the speaker in the previous message was al-Zawahri.” [Associated Press, 10/1/04]

    OCTOBER 9, 2004: Afghanistan’s first election held

    More than 10 million Afghans (41 percent of them women) registered to vote. Hamid Karzai won the first-ever presidential election with 55 percent of the total vote. [CNN, 10/24/04; WhiteHouse.gov]

    OCTOBER 10, 2004: Polls conducted in seven nations, including close allies Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, show waning worldwide opinion of the U.S. [St. Petersburg Times, 10/10/04]

    OCTOBER 29, 2004: New bin Laden videotape appeals to American voters

    “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands,” bin Laden said, referring to the president and his Democratic opponent. “Each state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security.” [AP, 10/29/04]

    DECEMBER 8, 2004: National database of terror targets “is far behind schedule and may take years to finish”

    Members of Congress who have seen parts of the classified list…say it’s a haphazard compilation that includes water parks and miniature golf courses but omits some major sites in need of security. [USA Today, 12/8/04]

    2005

    JANUARY 2005: Majority of French, Germans, and Britons believe the United States is a negative influence in the world [FP, 7/05]

    JANUARY 14, 2005: CIA think tank says Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as new terrorist breeding ground

    “Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of ‘professionalized’ terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director’s think tank. [Washington Post, 1/15/05]

    negroponte.jpg FEBRUARY 17, 2005: Bush selects Negroponte as first intelligence czar

    President Bush nominates Iran-Contra figure and Iraq war cheerleader John Negroponte as the first director of national intelligence, which will coordinate and lead all 15 partners of the intelligence community. [NYT, 2/17/05; TP, 2/17/05; Observer, 12/8/02]

    APRIL 15, 2005: Bush administration eliminates State Department’s international terrorism report

    The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government’s top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985. [Knight Ridder, 4/15/05]

    APRIL 26, 2005: Global terrorist attacks triple over past year

    “The number of ‘significant’ international terrorist attacks rose to about 650 last year from about 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides briefed Monday on the numbers by U.S. State Department and intelligence officials.” [Reuters, 4/26/05]

    MAY 2005: CIA finds Iraq may be more effective incubator for terrorists than Afghanistan

    A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda’s early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat. [NYT, 6/22/05]

    JUNE 13, 2005: 9/11 Commissioner warns Negroponte isn’t heeding recommendation to improve intelligence sharing

    “The new National Intelligence Director, John Negroponte, is not yet heeding a top recommendation of the Sept. 11 commission to tear down barriers that divided U.S. spy agencies, one of the panel’s Republican commissioners [John Lehman] said Monday.” [AP, 6/13/05]

    JUNE 19, 2005: CIA Director Goss says he has “excellent idea” where bin Laden is hiding

    “Asked whether that meant he knew where bin Laden is, Goss responded: ‘I have an excellent idea where he is. What’s the next question?’” [Fox News, 6/19/05]

    JUNE 23, 2005: Cheney says he has “pretty good idea” where bin Laden is hiding

    Q Let’s talk about Porter Goss, the CIA Director. He says he has an excellent idea where Osama bin Laden is hiding out. Do you?

    THE VICE PRESIDENT: We’ve got a pretty good idea of a general area that he’s in, but I — I don’t have the street address. [6/23/05]

    JUNE 23, 2005: The United States “remains broadly disliked in most countries surveyed”

    “[T]he opinion of the American people is not as positive as it once was” and “the perception that the United States conducts a unilateral foreign policy is widely shared across the surveyed countries.” [Pew, 6/23/05]

    JUNE 26, 2005: Rumsfeld “doesn’t know” if U.S. is eliminating more terrorists than are being created

    MR. RUSSERT: [On October 16, 2003, you said,] “Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than…the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?” What do you think now?

    SEC’Y RUMSFELD: Tough to know. I don’t know the answer to the question. [NBC, 6/26/05]

    JULY 6, 2005: New figures show major spike in global terrorist attacks

    “The Bush administration on Tuesday released new figures for global terrorism that showed there were almost 3,200 terrorist incidents worldwide in 2004,” compared to the 651 incidents found by the State Dept. [Financial Times, 7/6/05]

    londonbus.jpg JULY 7, 2005: London terrorist attacks

    Three bombs explode on three different London Underground trains in a coordinated attack killing at least 56 people. A fourth bomb exploded on a bus nearly an hour later. A group calling itself “The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe” posted a claim of responsibility for blasts in London, saying they were in retaliation for Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Guardian, 7/7/05]

    JULY 2005: New poll shows US-Europe relations strained

    Over 75% of Europeans surveyed believe relations between U.S. and Europe “have gotten worse” or “stayed the same.” [Transatlantic Trends, 7/05]

    AUGUST 4, 2005:Zawahiri warns of further attacks in the UK and America [Guardian, 8/5/05]

    AUGUST 2005: Taliban have reemerged in Afghanistan

    “Nearly four years after a U.S.-led military intervention toppled them from power, the Taliban has re-emerged as a potent threat to stability in Afghanistan.” [Knight-Ridder, 8/18/05]

    OCTOBER 5, 2005: CIA Director rejects discipline for 9/11 failures

    “The CIA will not seek to hold any current or former agency officials, including ex-director George J. Tenet, responsible for failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA Director Porter J. Goss said yesterday, despite a recommendation by the agency’s inspector general that he convene an “accountability board” to judge their performance.” [Washington Post, 10/6/05]

    OCTOBER 31, 2005: Review finds Bush administration has missed numerous homeland security deadlines

    “The Bush administration has missed dozens of deadlines set by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks for developing ways to protect airplanes, ships and railways from terrorists.” [AP, 10/31/05]

    LATE 2005: CIA closes unit focused on capture of bin Laden

    “The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. … Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official who was the first head of the unit, said the move…’will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda.’” [NYT, 7/4/06]

    DECEMBER 2005: Bush, Congress get “dismal” grades from 9/11 Commission members

    9/11 Commissioner James Thompson: “Earlier this month, the 10 former commissioners came together for the last time, to issue a “report card” grading action on those reforms. The results were dismal: five F’s, 12 D’s, nine C’s and only one A (an A-minus). Progress in many important areas has been slow or non-existent.” [12/16/05]

    DECEMBER 2005: Views of U.S. continue to fall

    “[R]atings of the US have also fallen from 2005 levels. Among the 20 nations polled at the start of 2005 as well as this year, on average positive ratings have dropped five points.” [World Public Opinion, 12/05]

    kean1.jpg DECEMBER 4, 2005: 9/11 Commission co-chair says homeland security is “not a priority for the government right now”

    Former Gov. Tom Kean: “You don’t see the Congress or the president talking about the public safety is number one, as we think it should be, and a lot of the things we need to do really to prevent another 9/11 just simply aren’t being done by the president or by the Congress.” [NBC, 12/4/05]

    2006

    JANUARY 19, 2006: Bin Laden warns of future attacks in audiotape

    “The mujahideen have been able, with the will of God, to overcome all security measures that the forces have taken, and the result of this is what you have seen in the explosions in major European capitals…And our delay on similar attacks in the US is not because we could not penetrate security measures. The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your houses as soon as they are completed.” [Guardian Unlimited, 1/19/06]

    JANUARY 2006: Screening technology at U.S. ports still inadequate

    “The radiation-detection technology currently used in the world’s ports by the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection Agency is not adequately capable of detecting a nuclear weapon or a lightly shielded dirty bomb.” [Far Eastern Economic Review, January/February 2006]

    FEBRUARY 3, 2006: U.S. ranks second behind Iran as the nation with the most countries giving it a negative rating, according to a new survey [GlobeScan, 2/3/06]

    spa.jpg MARCH 6, 2006: Report finds new intelligence czar spends hours each day at luxury spa

    “On many a workday lunchtime, the nominal boss of U.S. intelligence, John D. Negroponte, can be found at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the club’s library. ‘He spends three hours there [every] Monday through Friday,’ gripes a senior counterterrorism official.” [CQ, 3/6/06]

    MARCH 2006: GAO report reveals investigators were able to sneak bombs through every airport they tested

    “Despite the multibillion-dollar overhaul of aviation security since Sept. 11, 2001, congressional investigators were able to sneak homemade bomb components past federal screeners at all 21 airports they targeted in an exercise.” [Dallas Morning News, 3/19/06]

    APRIL 2006: GAO faults lack of progress on intelligence sharing

    Despite more than four years of legislation, executive orders and presidential directives, the Bush administration has yet to comprehensively improve sharing of counterterrorism information among dozens of federal agencies — and between them and thousands of nonfederal partners, government investigators have concluded. [Washington Post, 4/19/06]

    APRIL 20, 2006: House intel committee co-chairs warn Negroponte creating new bureaucracy

    Though they agree on little else, House Intelligence Committee co-chairs Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) and Jane Harman (D-CA) both fear that National Intelligence Director John Negroponte is creating “just another blanket of bureaucracy, muffling rather than clarifying the dangers lurking in the world.” [NYT, 4/20/06]

    APRIL 22, 2006: Global terrorist attacks exceed 10,000 over past year

    In 2004, the National Counterterrorism Center, the government’s new hub for monitoring terrorism, counted 3,192 terror attacks — including more than 28,000 people wounded, killed or kidnapped. The 2005 tally will exceed 10,000 attacks and kidnappings, according to a federal official familiar with the center’s work on the subject. [AP, 4/22/06]

    APRIL 24, 2006: Bin Laden on Sudan: “I call on mujahideen and their supporters, especially in Sudan and the Arabian peninsula, to prepare for long war against the crusader plunderers in western Sudan.” [Guardian Unlimited, 4/24/06]

    MAY 17, 2006: Opinion of the United States in Brazil and Russia declines significantly

    In Brazil, 52 percent held a favorable view of the United States in 2002; by the following year that had dropped to 34 percent. In Russia, the pro-America portion of the population dropped from 61 percent to 36 percent over a year. [Times Picayune, 5/17/06]

    JUNE 8, 2006: Al Zarqawi killed in Iraq

    “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, was killed early Wednesday by an airstrike.” [Washington Post, 6/8/06]

    JUNE 13, 2006: America’s image abroad slips again

    “America’s global image has again slipped and support for the war on terrorism has declined even among close U.S. allies like Japan. The war in Iraq is a continuing drag on opinions of the United States, not only in predominantly Muslim countries but in Europe and Asia as well.” [Pew, 6/13/06]

    JUNE 26, 2006: Violence in Afghanistan worst since 2001

    In their biggest show of strength in nearly five years, pro-Taliban fighters are terrorizing southern Afghanistan — ambushing military patrols, assassinating opponents and even enforcing the law in remote villages where they operate with near impunity. [Reuters, 6/29/06; USA Today, 6/19/06]

    zarqawi.jpg JUNE 30, 2006: Bin Laden mourns Zarqawi whom he describes as a “”knight…the fierce lion of holy war.” [Guardian Unlimited, 6/30/06]

    JULY 2006: Homeland Security inspector general finds major flaws in terrorist target database

    The federal anti-terrorism database today lists Indiana as the most target-rich state in the U.S., with “50 percent more listed sites than New York,” and includes potential “targets” like Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.” [NYT, 7/11/06]

    JULY 17, 2006: International opinion on U.S. leadership in human rights falls [WPO, 7/17/06]

    JULY 26, 2006: Six in ten Americans say President Bush is not respected by foreign leaders, according to a new poll [CBS, 7/26/06]

    AUGUST 14, 2006: Violence against women ‘widespread’ in Afghanistan

    “Violence against women in Afghanistan is widespread and mainly happens inside victims’ homes,” according to a report from the U.N. Development Fund for Women. “Acts of violence (against women) are happening with impunity,” the report said. [AP, 8/14/06]

    opium.jpg SEPTEMBER 2, 2006: Afghan opium harvest largest ever

    “Afghanistan’s opium harvest this year has reached the highest levels ever recorded, showing an increase of almost 50 percent from last year,” the U.N. announced, describing the figures as “alarming” and “very bad news.” [NYT, 9/3/06]

    SEPTEMBER 3, 2006: Terrorism prosecutions fall to pre-9/11 level

    “The U.S. government has fallen back to prosecuting international terrorists at about the same rate it did before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a study based on Justice Department data.” [AP, 9/3/06]

    SEPTEMBER 8, 2006: Released tape shows Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda members training for September 11th attacks. [ABC News, 9/8/06]

    SEPTEMBER 10, 2006: CIA officials report bin Laden trail has gone “stone cold”

    “The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years.” [Washington Post, 9/10/06]