This just in from the Associated Press...

Discussion in 'Random Topic Center' started by SD PokeMom, Apr 9, 2004.

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  1. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    9/11 memo included al-Qaida threat

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    By John Solomon
    April 9, 2004 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's August 2001 briefing on terrorism threats, described largely as a historical document, included information from three months earlier that al-Qaida was trying to send operatives into the United States for an explosives attack, according to several people who have seen the memo.
    The so-called presidential daily briefing, or PDB, delivered to Bush on Aug. 6, 2001 – a month before the Sept. 11 attacks – said there were various reports that Osama bin Laden had wanted to strike inside the United States as early as 1997 and continuing into the spring of 2001, the sources told The Associated Press.

    The same month as that briefing of Bush, U.S. intelligence officials received two uncorroborated reports suggesting terrorists might use airplanes, including one that suggested al-Qaida operatives were considering flying a plane into a U.S. embassy, current and former government officials said.

    Those August 2001 reports – among thousands of varied and uncorroborated threats received by the government each month – weren't deemed credible enough to tell the president or his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, the officials said. Neither involved the eventual Sept. 11 plot.

    The sources who read the presidential memo would only speak on condition of anonymity because the White House has not yet declassified the highly sensitive document, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the United States."

    That declassification process is expected to be completed soon, allowing the Bush administration to make the document public in a historic disclosure of secret presidential intelligence briefing materials.

    The sources said the presidential memo included a series of bullet items that brought Bush through a history of mostly uncorroborated intelligence that cited al-Qaida's interest in hijacking planes to win the release of Islamic extremists who had been arrested in 1998 and 1999 as well as the travelings of suspected al-Qaida operatives, include some U.S. citizens, in and out of the United States. It suggested al-Qaida might have a support system in place on U.S. soil, the sources said.

    The document also included FBI analytical judgments that some al-Qaida activities were consistent with preparation for airline hijackings or other types of attacks, some members of the commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks said earlier this week.

    The second-to-last bullet told the president that there were numerous – at least 70 – terror-related investigations under way by the FBI in 2001 involving matters or people on U.S. soil, the sources said.

    And the final bullet told the president of a recent intelligence report indicating al-Qaida operatives were trying to get inside the United States to carry out an attack with explosives, the sources said. There was no specifics about the timing or target, the sources said.

    The sources said the briefing memo did not provide the exact date of that intelligence but made clear it was in the 2001 time frame, and that FBI and other agencies were investigating it. The information had been provided to intelligence and law enforcement agencies well before Bush's briefing, the sources said.

    They said final bullet in the presidential memo was based on an intelligence report received in May 2001 that indicated bin Laden operatives were trying to cross from Canada into the United States for an attack.

    A joint congressional inquiry report into the Sept. 11 failures first divulged the existence of the May 2001 threat report last year but did not reveal it was included in Bush's briefing. The congressional inquiry described the intelligence this way:

    "In May 2001, the Intelligence Community obtained information that supporters of Osama bin Laden were reportedly planning to infiltrate the United States via Canada in order to carry out a terrorist operation using high explosives."

    In her testimony Thursday to the Sept. 11 commission, Rice described Bush's Aug. 6 daily briefing as including mostly "historical information" and said most threat information in the summer of 2001 involved overseas targets.

    Rice also testified that she did not recall seeing any warnings before Sept. 11 that a plane might be used a terrorist weapon, though it was possible others in the White House did.

    Current and former government officials familiar with terrorism intelligence told the AP that in the same month Bush received his briefing, U.S. intelligence received two uncorroborated reports – among hundreds – suggesting terrorist might use planes but that neither reached the president or Rice.

    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said one report in August 2001 said there was uncorroborated information that two bin Laden operatives had met in October 2000 to discuss a plot to attack the U.S. Embassy in Nairaobi using an airplane.

    That report stated the operative would either bomb the embassy using the airplane or drive the airplane into it, according to information provided congressional investigators and cited in their report released last year.

    Separately, the CIA sent a warning to the Federal Aviation Administration in August 2001 asking the agency to advise commercial airliners that six Pakistanis in Latin America, not connected to al-Qaida, were considering a hijacking, bombing or sabotage of an airliner. That warning did not have specifics on a time or location but said it could involve Britain, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Cuba, among others, according to information made public by the congressional inquiry.

    Rice stated emphatically on Thursday she did not see any such reports about al-Qaida using a plane as a weapon until after Sept. 11, suggesting the intelligence may have reached someone lower in the White House.

    "To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Chairman, this kind of analysis about the use of airplanes as weapons actually was never briefed to us," she said. "I cannot tell you that there might not have been a report here or a report there that reached somebody in our midst.'
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2004
  2. Baboon

    Baboon New Member

    Since I haven't heard every last detail, I won't say anything too specific, but if what the testimonial says is in fact true, there is still little that could have been done to prevent any attacks. Yes, alert could have been raised and security could have been tighter, but how on earth are you supposed to prevent EVERY possible attack from happening? No matter what the alert, etc., they could have found a way around it. It's not like the alert was raised years prior, and everyone had time to prepare. These are people whose only intention are to kill Americans. Regardless of the restrictions or precautions taken, they could have gotten by somehow.

    I am NOT saying that Bush's officials did all they could (or much at all), or are defending them in any way, but just attempting to show the reality of the situation. Please, no personally attacking me. Not really in a good enough mood to get into a huge debate.
  3. RaNd0m

    RaNd0m New Member

    See, funny thing: I thought the commission's job was to identify problems and see how to correct them in the future. In actuality, the ranking democrats on the commission have just turned this into a Bush-bash, and are attempting to blame the President for 9/11.

    This is ridiculous. If he would've attacked Afghanistan before 9/11 based on a threat, the SAME LIBERALS OPPOSING THE WAR WOULD HAVE OPPOSED THAT. You liberals are unbelievable. Honestly unbelievable. Anything to take Bush out, and you're willing to go as low as possible.

    We KNEW there were problems pre-9/11 with communication between the intelligence agencies. NOW that we know there was a problem, I'd hope that that problem has been SOLVED. But honestly, nobody saw 9/11 coming, not President Bush, not Condoleezza Rice, not even Richard Clarke, and not us.

    *EDIT* Maybe they saw some sort of attack coming, but not in the detail of 9/11. I think the utilization of planes as weapons was there ALONG WITH hundreds of other possiblities. Either way, so we could've identified 2 of the hijackers, it doesn't mean a THING when there were 17 other hijackers that would've gotten the job done.

    Get back to the ISSUES of the election that you guys have legitimate concerns on: The economy, healthcare, and education. You have nothing on foreign policy except complaints, and you'll complain no matter what Bush does.

    ~ RaNd0m
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2004
  4. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    They are working to identify the problem. That's why it turned into a Bush-bash. ;)
  5. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    For C Rice to say, basically, that a Presidential Threat Memo titled something like "Al Quada Intent on Performing Terrorist Acts Inside the USA" (not the real title, but certainly the jist of it) didn't have any warning of a threat of Al Quada actions is, to say the least, incredulous.

    I'm willing to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt of whether they could have prevented 9/11. After all, it's all hind sight now. I just don't appreciate them saying "We did everything we could have". By definition, that's wrong. If they were just to say, "We thought we were doing the right thing, but in hind sight, we could have done this better", I think they'd get some slack.
    It's the way that they claim to have been perfect that's pissing a lot of people off.
  6. Adv1sor

    Adv1sor New Member

    It seems that the same people who criticized Bush for attacking Iraq are criticizing him now for not making a preemptive strike on Afghanistan.
  7. Moss Factor

    Moss Factor New Member

    See, I'm pretty liberal, but I think this whole thing is a losing battle for the Dems. If the terrorists wanted to strike they could have. The thing I'm edit about is what Bush's done now. For one, the whole Bush camp hasn't taken any responsibility, none whatsoever. Not even "we could have tried harder". If you tell me they did everything they could you're lying to me. If you tell me they tried but could have tried harder, I'll believe you... then again Bush hasn't said that so..

    Another thing, you'll NEVER kill all the terrorists. YOU CAN'T STOP THEM ALL. It's stupid to think you can. So what you have to do is get to the root of the problem: why do they hate us. Instead of bombing them, we need to increase positive relations with the middle east. Don't be surprised in a few years when a new wave of terrorists who's parents were killed by the US arises. Thanks Bush, you stalled the next 9/11 by a few years at the cost of it being twice as bad when it does come. Stop supporting dictators, stop stupporting ISRAEL!!!! We can save lives by befriending the middle east nations-- not by bombing them.

    Dude,I`ve about had it with telling people,especially you,about the use of starred out words of innapproriate words.There is a rule in place that we all agree to when you sign up(and I`ve told you and alot of other people about this dozens of times in the past).If you can`t respect the rules,then we can`t respect you and you can be banned from here again.End of story.Last time I warn anyone about this.-`Sensei
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2004
  8. Baboon

    Baboon New Member

    RaNd0m, good for you. Exactly what I was thinking. I didn't want to be the first one to open my mouth and get a lot of people here chewing me out. Recently, it seems like EVERYTHING that goes wrong in this country, people are finding a way to blame on Bush. No matter if it has anything to do with him or not. This is the typical American attitude. Can't accept anything that happens. Have to find someone to blame it on. Just like when someone eats fast food all their life and then ends up 400 pounds and with terrible cholesterol. Then they turn around and sue the fast food places.

    Remember back to September of 2001? How many people were blaming Bush and his board members for the attacks. Next to nobody. NOW, in 2004, months before the election, people are trying to find more and more things to blame on him, in an attempt to make him less appealing. Honestly... People who are blaming Bush and his board members for the attacks, just sit down and think what you're preaching. You're trying to make it sound like the President and his board members intentionally allowed some insane terrorists to hijack a number of planes and kill thousands of Americans. Do you really think that Bush's mind is that warped that he would want an attack to take place?!?

    And also one last thing, I'm not a person that wants war, but you also have to realize that historically, these Middle Eastern nations are NOT ones to give in to peace talks. They will shake hands and say they'll be friends with you, and once you turn around, lunge at you with a knife. (I am not trying to insult any particular kind of person, but the nations in general.) Do you really think we can defend our nation and keep our people alive by making worthless peace agreements with some of these warlords, if I may call them that...? I don't think so.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2004
  9. RaNd0m

    RaNd0m New Member

    The Middle East is a difficult situation. Historically, as Baboon mentioned, it's been hell there since before Jesus' time (and during). I don't know what to suggest in this situation. Moss, I'd agree with you, we shouldn't be conquering the Middle East if we want them to stop attacking us, but let's remember: We were attacked first. What had we done besides support Israel (which is our ally) to the Middle East? Nothing really.

    Israel is a mistake, but we won't be able to solve it. It's one the UN made because they felt guilty about the holocaust, and they wanted to reconcile with the Jewish community, so the UN kicked the Palestinians out of their lands to let the Jews settle there. Funny how somehow Europe, which was the area responsible for the holocaust, now suddenly abandons their decision, and we're the only ones left supporting it.

    You can't just stop supporting Israel and hope they fade out and die as a country. They are a nuclear power, I don't think they're going away.

    Now, I can't understand why Bush hasn't said "We tried. But we weren't successful." I agree with you guys that it has seemed that the Bush administration refuses to take fault. However, if they take ANY fault, the democrats will use that against them in the election. I can see the question now:

    "How can you politicize 9/11 if you took partial responsibility for its occurence?"

    And obviously Bush NEEDS 9/11 and his strength on Foreign Policy and Defense to win the election in 2004.

    I just want to point out something: As much as we can cite problems in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world, the question is: Can Kerry really do a better job than Bush? Is negotiations and treating terrorists as a law enforcement problem really going to work?

    Another question you should be asking yourself: Who do you think the terrorists would want in office?

    John Kerry appears to be very shifty and not a very principled man. He's not even a principled LIBERAL. He picks the side that's most popular. Look at this *** Marriage issue: He supported it, then realized 2/3 of the country was against it, so he now only wants civil unions, an issue where the country is 2/3 for. I don't want that kind of guy as the President. I want someone principled. Now whether Bush is principled, I don't know, I'm sure you can summize that from the past 3 years.

    Just my honest opinion...

    Oh, and Baboon, I love getting chewed out for my opinions! =D

    ~ RaNd0m
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2004
  10. Sensei

    Sensei Team Compendium Emeritus Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    OK,I`m posting this warning that I edited in Moss`s post.I feel this is warranted as I`ve repeated myself over and over about this(and sometimes several times to the same individual).I apologize that I have to come across harsh but as I mentioned above,I`m tired of people not respecting the rules.Rule violations on this situation will not be tolerated any longer.Break it,you get banned.End of story.Period.


    Dude,I`ve about had it with telling people,especially you,about the use of starred out words of innapproriate words.There is a rule in place that we all agree to when you sign up(and I`ve told you and alot of other people about this dozens of times in the past).If you can`t respect the rules,then we can`t respect you and you can be banned from here again.End of story.Last time I warn anyone about this.-`Sensei
  11. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Here's the deal. The entire "If we'd attacked Afghanastan before 9/11, liberal dems would be whining just like they did with Iraq" line of BS is exactly that, BS. While they probably would be complaining, the point is that we apparently had intel that there was problems in Afghanastan - and it was real. Our intel against Iraq was sketchy at best - horribly wrong at worst. We attacked them unprovoked and without justifiable reason. It's like this... John shoots and kills a cop, so the cops go after him. Meanwhile, John's friend, Moe doesn't like cops either, so, later, the cops go after him and shoot him too - because there's a chance Moe might come after them too.

    We cannot rightfully go after any and every country who's majority population or government doesn't rank the US high on their list of "happy people" - if we did, we'd end up doing a poor job of running the majority of every country in the world.

    We have to have good, solid evidence that a country is an direct threat to us before we should even try to justify an attack on them. And that's what this is about - was there sufficent evidence that Afghanistan was a threat? Because, apparently, we were dead wrong about Iraq.
  12. RaNd0m

    RaNd0m New Member


    A.) We weren't dead wrong about Iraq. Have weapons been found yet? NO. And that's what worries me. The entire international intelligence community had Saddam possessing numerous WMD's... and the fact that we haven't found any means he either gave them away (which can't be good), or he decided to hoist the middle finger at Bush and got rid of them (which would be hilarious).

    B.) This memo doesn't even mention any specifics. It just says that Osama Bin Laden wants to attack America, and you could've known that as an American citizen just by watching the media. Bin Laden released a tape back in 97 or 98 saying he wanted to "bring the fight to America". The only REAL issue here is the fact that they brought up hijackings as a form of attack... but they brought that up along with numerous other possibilities. There was no mention of Afghanistan, though, and a war over there would not have been justified at the time. Think about it: eradicating an entire regime over something that hadn't happened yet? Doesn't make sense.

    Mind you, Iraq was a country that almost everybody wanted gone... even these democrats in the Senate who opposed it. I'll look for something I heard on Rush Limbaugh about how like ten of the ranking democrats signed a petition asking Clinton to attack Iraq, and now all ten opposed war. *looks*

    Saddam Hussein may not have been "doing anything to us", but he was killing his own people, and he was financing terrorism in Israel. Israel IS our ally, and that there was enough grounds to attack Iraq.

    Um... so anyways, this whole 9/11 commission thing is really wearing down on my patience...
  13. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Or that they were never there in the first place....

    So let's go after every country with a government that falls into one of these two catagories.
  14. bullados

    bullados <a href="

    here here, but one at a time.
  15. RaNd0m

    RaNd0m New Member

    They were there UncleBob. He gassed the Kurds with chemical weapons back in the 80's, so we know he had at least chemical weapons.

    Intelligence isn't normally "wrong" either. When the entire world intelligence community has come to a consensus on something, it's generally right.
  16. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Of course he had them in the 80's.
    He had them in the early 90's.
    That's one reason we invaded in the 90's.

    Russia had nuclear missiles pointed at us in the 80's. Quick, let's invade them now!

    And by the way, even the administration is pretty much admitting that the intelligence was wrong last year.
    The only real question now is: why was it so wrong?

    Here's the bottom line:
    We can't leave Iraq now. If we do, it will just make a bigger mess.
    It's just that we shouldn't have gotten into it now when we needed to focus on Al Quaeda.
    And, by the way, that's the topic.
    Not Iraq.
    Al Quaeda.

    That's part of the problem, thinking they're the same.
    Of course, since we got rid of Saddam, Al Queada's been recruiting in there like there's no tomorrow, so I guess now they are the same. Wheeee!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2004
  17. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    >They were there UncleBob. He gassed the Kurds with chemical weapons back in the 80's, so we know he had at least chemical weapons.

    *Had* is the important word required for that particular sentance.
    And if we want to talk about countries that have used weapons of mass destruction, what is the only country to have used nuclear weapons?

    >Intelligence isn't normally "wrong" either. When the entire world intelligence community has come to a consensus on something, it's generally right.

    Which is, of course, why all those maps, charts, and diagrams that we showed the UN were *soooo* accurate.

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