Should one go back over my earlier blogs about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq he/she would note that there was a constant theme of criticism of the arrogance of the Cheney/Rumsfeld dominated Bush Administration.
That Waspish self centered concept that only they knew what was right led to their misconception about conducting a war in Afghanistan. I wrote that there could be no easy victory there; history had proven that many times in the past; yet these leaders expressed a belief that it would be a walkover.
It was that continued pretentiousness of the Republican far right that was one of the factors that resulted in my voting for Obama who not only represented a maturity in the American electorate; but promised an as yet undelivered reform in Washington politics.
Like all of us I had no knowledge of culpability of that leadership which led up to 9/11.
If one can believe and considering my opinion of the individuals involved, it is likely factual that there was a culpability of that administration.
Read these excerpts from two New York Times Op-Ed pages.
AUGUST '01 BRIEF IS SAID TO WARN OF ATTACK PLANS By ERIC LICHTBLAU and DAVID E. SANGER; Philip Shenon, Adam Nagourney and James Risen contributed reporting for this article
Published: April 10, 2004
“President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday.
The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a ''closely held intelligence report'' that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford.”
In Tuesday’s Times in on Op-Ed titles The Deafness Before the Storm KURT EICHENWALD# wrote
“That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.”
“The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.”
“But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster.”
“In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.’
“And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.”
“even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react”
Would a Democrat Administration have reacted differently? We cannot contemplate. If the present Administration’s actions in countering the economic crisis including the application of Stimulus are examples it seems possible that they too would misread the data presented to them.
In this election we should not decide on past roles but rather we feel that the present Candidates offer and can deliver.
#Kurt Eichenwald, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former reporter for The New York Times, is the author of “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars.”