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  •  I think CIA meant 'to protect' operational assets (0+ / 0-)

    I do not suggest that the CIA intentionally furthered the goals of the 9/11 hijackers to crash airliners into NY skyscrapers and the Pentagon.

    How can I be any clearer about than this than in the article linked:

    As the clock counted down to 9/11, intelligence information given to senior officials showed that US intelligence continued to expect an imminent al-Qaeda attack on US interests. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02 , Washington Post, 9/19/02 ]

    On August 6, George W. Bush was briefed by his national security advisor, Condaleeza Rice at the President’s Crawford, Texas ranch. The ominous title of that still-classified briefing read to him was "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US". The memo focused on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US. [Newsweek, 5/27/02 , New York Times, 5/15/02 , Die Zeit, 10/1/02 ] The White House denied the President had warnings about terrorist attacks inside the US, keeping that briefing secret until Congressional investigators learned about it in May of the following year. The White House has fiercely resisted all subsequent efforts to obtain a copy of that memo or to release its contents. A Congressional report later describes it as based on the memo discussed in July by Clarke and other high-level national security decision-makers. The Senate Intelligence Committee summarized that memo, as follows:

    "[M]embers of al-Qaeda, including some US citizens, had resided in or traveled to the US for years and that the group apparently maintained a support structure here. The report cited uncorroborated information obtained in 1998 that Osam bin Laden wanted to hijack airplanes to gain the release of US-held extremists; FBI judgments about patterns of activity consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks and the number of bin Laden-related investigations underway; as well as information acquired in May 2001 that indicated a group of bin Laden supporters was planning attacks in the US with explosives." [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02 ].

    Meanwhile, that August, FBI investigators in New York and Minneapolis were trying desperately to gather sufficient evidence to obtain FISA warrants to track down four al-Qaeda members known to be at large in the country and information for a warrant to open the computer files of a fifth suspect, Zacarias Moussaoui, who had been arrested at a Norman Oklahoma flight school. FBI requests that summer to the CIA for information contained in the Agency’s files were repeatedly stonewalled.

    On August 23 2001, the CIA finally informed the Bureau that two intending terrorists– Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar -- had entered the US in January 2000 – information it had in its files for some 17 months. As they tried to get evidence for warrants, FBI agents in New York and Minneapolis were particularly in need of what

    the CIA knew about these two al-Qaeda members. In refusing to turn over information the previous month, a CIA officer told FBI investigators attached to the FBI’s New York National Security office he would not turn over “operational” information. In a now famous e-mail message, one of the New York Bureau investigators remarked about the seeming meltdown in US counterterrorism, “Someone is going to die”. Colleen Rowley, a lawyer in the Minneapolis FBI office frustrated after the CIA refused to provide materials supporting warrants to open Moussaoui’s laptop -- and by the obstruction of FBI headquarters – later conjectured that her own investigation was being sabotaged by “moles”.

    For reasons that have not yet been satisfactorily explained, the federal terrorism alert was relaxed after Bush received his briefing. Five weeks later, 19 hijackers armed with box cutters were able to board four commercial airliners, flying them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and into a crash site in western Pennsylvania.

    Three thousand people died in what was possibly, at high levels of the US Government, the most widely anticipated mass murder in American history.

    Why did the President and his senior national security officials behave as they did in the face of these warnings? Was US intelligence simply deceived into believing that any al-Qaeda attack would occur abroad, as has been claimed, or was there an unstated reason officials took the enormous risks they did? What were top
    Administration officials thinking?

    I ask the same here, again, in conjunction with the Liquid Bomb plot: Why did the President and his senior national security officials behave as they did in the face of these warnings?  What were top Administration officials thinking?

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