An explosive new report in Politico reveals that the Bush administration ignored a dire, pre-9/11 warning that al-Qaeda was planning to strike inside the United States.
The August 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.,” was revealed in 2004. But today, Chris Wipple, who interviewed 12 former CIA directors for an upcoming documentary, reports on the details of an in person meeting on July 10 at the White House:
Tenet vividly recalls the White House meeting with Rice and her team. (George W. Bush was on a trip to Boston.) “Rich [Blee] started by saying, ‘There will be significant terrorist attacks against the United States in the coming weeks or months. The attacks will be spectacular. They may be multiple. Al Qaeda’s intention is the destruction of the United States.’” [Condi said:] ‘What do you think we need to do?’ Black responded by slamming his fist on the table, and saying, ‘We need to go on a wartime footing now!’”
As with the PDB, the warnings in the meeting were largely ignored:
“What happened?” I ask Cofer Black. “Yeah. What did happen?” he replies. “To me it remains incomprehensible still. I mean, how is it that you could warn senior people so many times and nothing actually happened? It’s kind of like The Twilight Zone.” Remarkably, in her memoir, Condi Rice writes of the July 10 warnings: “My recollection of the meeting is not very crisp because we were discussing the threat every day.”
Jeb Bush has made the Bush administration’s record on homeland security an issue in the presidential campaign.
How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked & my brother kept us safe.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 16, 2015
This argument was always complicated, considering the human toll of 9/11 and Iraq. The new revelations make Jeb’s argument even more difficult to maintain.