When Condoleeza Rice recently spoke at the RNC convention to thundering applause, I was flabbergasted. Here is the first US Secretary of State to preside over a deadliest attack on US soil and who not only ignored warnings that 'Bin Ladin (was) Determined To Strike in US' but was also a key player of the introduction of torture into the United States' acceptable war policies.
The same goes for her boss, George W. Bush. Here is also the first president of the US to allow the deaths of 3000 people in the US at the hands of a known but ignored enemy of the country. Yet, it is not fashionable in the MSM to criticize either Bush or Rice for their dereliction of duty. That is, until this opinion piece in the the NY Times yesterday, which lays out the short-sighted, arrogant and lazy manner in which the Bush administration blew off warnings of Bin Laden's intentions.
In a political climate where Obama is blamed for just about every failure of the United States since George Washington, where pre-election anti-Obama movies and the de rigeur Bob Woodward expose all designed to make the president look bad and influence the election abound, it is refreshing to see some factual and dispassionate reportage of the reality of the run-up to the biggest military blunder of US history.
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. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
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.
Go ahead and read it. It's about time. Americans have a short memory. Lest they not forget all those who died or remain disfigured and permanently injured because of the arrogance and sloth of the Bush bluster.
X-posted at Let Freedom Rain.