Skip to main content

Kurt Eichenwald's op-ed at the New York Times and his subsequent appearances on CNN and MSNBC serve as a reminder, welcome or not, of an elephant that remains in the room even after being acknowledged and discussed in public.

The consensus view of how the events of 9/11 came to be are generally and politically filed under ... "failure of intelligence"   i.e ... a failure of those in the intelligence community.

If someone, if something  has to "carry the can" into the pages of History for the slaughter in New York City it will have to be CIA, NSA, FBI, "firewalls", political overseers...

It would make sense to me that guilty or not.. the "intel community" would have reason to fight back, to rectify, to squirm if duty implies that they will wear the sackcloth with resignation.

What Eichenwald has reminded us of, what we need to rethink is that the conspiracy that brought about 9/11 was penetrated.  It was compromised.

Somebody, or a number of somebodies,  knew, saw, found out, reported, got cited and finally got included in presidential security briefings.

So ....

The repeated warnings from the spring of '01 on  as Eichenwald reveals and/or reminds  "logically"  indicate one of the following as to their provenance:

1) The intelligence community was making shit up that unfortunately happened to come true.  Odds..  very long.  Can we dismiss option 1?

2) The American government's and military's  intelligence communities    had  "HUMINT" [ people/agents penetrating the plot to some degree ]  ... SIGINT.. taps of whole or parts of telephone calls, emails, that revealed the plot to some degree.  A combination of the above?   Odds, given the secret budgets and range of NSA and CIA ops...  better than even?  

3) Gifts from other/allied governments... Intel from the list of countries who claim or are claimed to have sent warnings. The other governments sources being human or signals.  The motives for sharing good intel or disinformation of the foreign states may vary.
Odds that some of those reports are accurate or useful ... high?

You can challenge my odds ratings.  But it's hard to come up with other sources for the ramped up series of warnings.  Somebody somewhere was on to something.

 The MIHOP theory would be that senior conspirators inside the USA had no option than to bury, discourage, undermine and deny evidence that the intel community was on their tail.  And yet the intel turns up in the PDB's ?  Odds.. very low?

And yet one has to needs to ask... just how penetrated was the conspiracy to attack the USA in the way that unfolded on 9/11.  

(Is it at all possible to argue that the conspiracy to commit the acts we call "9/11" were never penetrated or never compromised by the intel services of any country? That seems untenable and has never been asserted.)

So.  We all need to comtemplate.   How deeply was the 9/11 plan penetrated?  By whom?  (foreign or domestic)
How "actionable" was the intel from that penetration?
What would one deduce if the record were to show that the 9/11 conspiracy was highly compromised and penetrated?  Significantly compromised and penetrated?  Somewhat compromised and penetrated?

Answers to those questions would go pretty much all the way to answer the questions of "legitimate historians" and investigative journalists,  9/11 "truthers", partisans of America's two political parties and members of the gobsmacked horrified public.

Ari Fleisher accused Eichenwald of being a "truther" on the grounds that he did not include Bill Clinton in the list of failures.  Is Fleisher suggesting that the 9/11 consensus is a bi-partisan "no blame game" deal that Eichenwald has violated?

To me, everything about understanding 9/11 rests on who generated the warnings and on what grounds the warnings were based.  No one argues today that there were no warnings.  That there were no war-gamers who looked at the implications of hijacked aircraft and skyscrapers, that there were no "cells" identified inside the USA.

"Firewalls" and intel community vanities currently carry the freight.  Public servants fail us.  Professional employees of various agencies.. the likes and classmates of Valerie Plame.   Dana Carvey might have opined... "howww conveeeenient".

Given that foreign connections to 9/11 got redacted and black inked, given that PDB's were onto something big... and behind those PDB's were sources... an informed American public, an informed American electorate deserves and should demand to be treated as grown-ups now.

We have spent 4000+ lives, trillions of dollars and bled out America's perception of itself as generally virtuous.   Obama has a repaired the optics while Guantanamo and Hellfires from drones continue.

Ought we not demand, ought we not insist that 11 years after the initial shock,  days after Eichenwald's reminder...   to know  who and what entities  were providing how much detail about how 9/11 was going to go down in the months preceding.

Can we not put the  " intel/political failure thesis"  that sticks it to the CIA agent, the FBI agent, the grim NSA listenter/analysts  to test?

Who's "hair was on fire" according to Richard Clark? The intel community or the Bush admin?   How did the people ringing the alarm bells, yelling and pointing to intel we don't even appreciate end up being blamed?

Thank you so very much Kurt Eichenwald.  Thank you so much teacherken.
Public servants and their friends in this political climate might see the slow boil coming to a froth. They have been blamed for a failure to see that which they saw and reported.
Democrats may wish to rethink Max Cleland.... and Jamie Gorelick?

What did the Bush administration know and when did they know it?
What did the Clinton administration know it and when did they know it?
Why would Clinton warn Bush who to keep his security focus on bin Laden if he wasn't being sincere?

Why have the Democrats signed on to a 9/11 history that spreads culpability so widely as to be no culpability?  Why did the purveryors of intel failures all get promoted upwards?

As US taxpayers, as the funders of the massive intel communities in the NSA, the CIA and the myriad of Defence Department intel agencies.. should you not demand to know who was reporting what to the president and his administration based on what degree of penetration of the 9/11 plot had been achieved, and by whom?

Is the 9/11 historical consensus a Linus style comfort blanket?  It didn't work for me.  I don't think it worked for the 9/11 widows who insisted there be an investigation.

( Do you remember when not investigating the 9/11 event was executive department policy?  Do wish that had prevailed?    Do you remember that Bush was not under oath and accompanied by his chubby brain/friend?  Do you remember that 9/11's investigation was underfunded compared to  Whitewater/Lewinsky...  

You can't have repeated warnings over two seasons delivered to the president (as Eichenwald restates) without the plot having been compromised.  Who got inside the plot and how deeply?  I think you deserve to know.  It's our intel community that's on the hook, blamed.  Yet they were the ones screaming "emergency".  And we pay for them.  Maybe they were working for you.


I am entitled to know, as citizen and taxpayer

9%4 votes
0%0 votes
90%39 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  this is the ultimate IOKIYAR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Twocents

    The biggest lie they have is that they are the party of personal responsibility, and that is entirely the point of all this.  If the Democrats have signed on (and yes, there is ample evidence that this has happened) it's because the one place there has always been the vaunted bipartisanship the Broderites fetishize it's the various intelligence committees.

    But ultimately you have to look at who would be the most embarrassed by things.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:35:20 AM PDT

  •  I read this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike

    but I still don't understand the desire to prove that this was something beyond Bin Laden's NGO (so to speak).  You have enough money and enough desire to do something you can generally do it, and they had the brains to accomplish it as well as the hatred.  That was helped by the sheer volume of material, understaffed intel groups and stubbornness on the part of the Bush admin which was fixated on China and tax cuts.  I honestly don't think there was a conspiracy beyond Al Qaeda.  Just a bad set of circumstances and some serious culpability at the top of the heap.

    •  I think you deserve to know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      followyourbliss, tle

      why the intel community is held up for blame when they were the ones delivering the warnings.

      I think you deserve to know how the intel community knew what they then knew.

      I just thought that seeing as you pay the salaries of the intel agents,  you pay the salaries of the politicians and you paid the salaries of the investigators of 9/11... you might want to see the sources.

      This diary scrupulously avoided asking you to consider anything larger than Bin Laden and A Q.

      This diary asks you to demand to know how deeply OBL and AQ were penetrated...and by whom.  You can assume that there is nothing of interest to you in the answer to those two questions.

      Please allow me to find the answer to those two questions to be crucial.
      In 40 years your grandchildren will be reading History textbook explanations of 9/11 that will blame your public service employees in dangerous agencies.

      And yet you know, as I do, that they were the ones ringing the alarm bells and being ignored.

      If you are OK with that ... fine.

  •  Perilously close to 'truther' diary. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie, annetteboardman, GDbot, LI Mike

    Intelligence is not brain surgery or nuclear engineering. By that I mean it's not a dead-solid, A-connects-to-B, logical and reliable venture. To the contrary, it's a nebulous, messy, complicated mish-mash of guesswork, rumor, signals intelligence, human intelligence, comparing notes, cross-referencing, over and over, until a reasonably useful 'product' or conclusion can be drawn. You're implying that the CIA had dead-on certain evidence and the Bush people intentionally ignored it, not out of incompetence but perhaps out of malevolent intent. There's no evidence for that, anywhere.

    Intelligence is not like TeeVee or James Bond, where a daring secret agent makes off with the double-secret plans and foils the plot. Instead it's a constant process of collecting, sifting, parsing, guessing, ruling out, refining, and hoping not to miss signs of something big. In this case Eichenwald makes it abundantly clear that the CIA had ample if vague warnings of something big afoot, and tried quite hard to pass that along to the clueless Bush people, only to be rebuffed time after time, even as the evidence strengthened and their warnings became more emphatic.

    The post-9/11 investigations, such as they were, placed most of the blame on the admittedly horrible relations between the CIA and the FBI, and the repeated dropped balls (things like the female FBI agent in Minnesota being ignored in her frantic request to investigate one of the conspirators just weeks before the event). Eichenwald just makes it clear that the overwhelming failure was the ignorant, negligent refusal of the Bush Administration to take multiple warnings seriously. Because they were arrogant and stupid.

    None so blind as those who will not see.

    •  you infer.. i don't imply. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think I drew attention to... not away from... the various sources of intel and the varying degress of reliability.

      There is no suggestion of "truther" intentions in my if it's important to deny seeking the truth.  Assuming OBL and AQ is the premise.  So what is your problem?

      You say yourself that :

      In this case Eichenwald makes it abundantly clear that the CIA had ample if vague warnings of something big afoot, and tried quite hard to pass that along to the clueless Bush people, only to be rebuffed time after time, even as the evidence strengthened and their warnings became more emphatic.
      I simply ask if you and me are  not entitled by now to see why you can use words like "ample and vague" with such confidence and no sources.

      How did that happen?  How about we agree to use your terms  "ample and vague intel"  after we are allowed to review it?

      While it comes comfy are you with redacted and blacked out pages dealing with funding of  OBL AND AQ.

      Your fear of "truthers" is screwing up your mind methinks.

      •  No, honestly, I don't think we are entitled to rev (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (to review this -- sorry -- I ran out of space above).  Not entitled to review this for a long time.  People who are sharing info with the intelligence forces of various governments are still going to be sharing or if not are still going to be in danger.  I would argue there are reasons for sealing records to the public for 50 years or so.  Yes, I understand that this can be misused.  But if you don't protect your assets (which you seem to be arguing should be blown eleven years after the events) you will get no more.  

        If you were considered safe and appropriate to review these records, perhaps it would be a different thing, but you would not be writing your comments here.  

        •  OK.... I understand (0+ / 0-)

          your honest assessment.
          There might be important and valuable sources revealed.

          Just keep in mind the state of the treasury, the budget, 6000 American deaths, tens of thousands of physical and mental injuries, destroyed marriages and suicides ...

          and then remember there are non Americans who have suffered far greater losses based on the Bush administrations manipulation of intel.

          I suspect that intel agents from several countries would breathe a sigh of relief to have the record reviewed.

          I suspect that it is politicians who fear such a review.

          I respect your preference.  Please don't impugn the motivations of mine if they differ.

          50 years sounds like a good idea for sealing records.  I will be dead.  You?

    •  if you have a pic (0+ / 0-)

      of your pet dog or cat wearing a tinfoil suit or hat... please feel free. Post.
      In fact I invite you to.  

      I put up with that kind of crap for asking legit questions for a long while.  

      I have asked you to SEE the ample and vague intel... that you happily assume is ample and vague.

      Can I ask you who informed you about how ample and how vague it is?

    •  to annette.. (0+ / 0-)

      I seriously object to you endorsing a comment that accuses me of being "perilously close to a truther diary".

      I specifically replied to you....

      This diary scrupulously avoided asking you to consider anything larger than Bin Laden and A Q.
      If you see any...ANY evidence of anything beyond that.. cite it.

      I am asking you to be a complete citizen and ask to know if the public servants in the intel community really failed YOU.

      After that... go Google "Able Danger"  and come back and tell me how I invented that "content" and put it on the internet.

      What peril am you facing from "terrorism" that I am not?
      What peril am I in for writing this diary here?

  •  I just wonder how those towers got packed with (0+ / 0-)
    •  yep... I saw that doc. (0+ / 0-)

      Physics and the collapse of towers are topics of interest.
      You might have noticed that my diary is about the degree of penetration of the OBL AQ actions.

      You might have considered how your comment does not help me.  If you noticed ... I am in PERIL of ... offending Ralphdog's rules of debate.

      You can't have PDB's with warnings without some degree of penetration.  My diary is simply and only about the public right to know about that penetration.

      How much is from domestic agencies.. how much foreign?  How much from listening much from having a contact or agent inside?

      If Bush's admin can risk a then current agent like Valerie Plame... maybe after 11 years we can be let in behind the curtain of the PDBs.

      •  I rather thought my question was an extension of (0+ / 0-)

        you own query. How and why those three buildings were rigged for demolition in advance of the attacks is certainly germane to the question of penetration, and it arguably speaks to far greater specificity of intelligence than we have been led to believe. As for Ralphdog, I am unfamiliar.  My rules of debate simply call for honest discourse.

  •  In reply to a comment above (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    where it is asserted that a 50 year curtain is appropriate to shelter those foreign agencies that may have shared pre 9/11 intel ... given that they may be of service again.

    I am hoping that a certain "boardman" is a cover for Henry Kissinger online.

    After 6000 US military deaths in two wars derived from 9/11,  both of them criminally mismanaged, the near bankrupting of the state, tens of thousands of permanently maimed physically and mentally, marriages strained to the breaking point, suicides competing with battlefield casualties...  

    we have a brave contributor at this liberal-democratic website who would defend the intel agents in regimes that may no longer exist... ( Mubarak's Egypt) or  with no love for the USA  ( Assad's Syria)... thoroughly self-interested ( Turkey).. over an American citizens right to know who knew what when.

    I am appalled.  50 years of silence ensures that critically thinking adults will never review or understand the actions of the democratic state they claim to steer.

    Annetteboardman.... do you belong here?   Did your high school have a Henry Kissinger school of Civics that you aced?

    You think I am in perilously close to some kind of hersey?

    You reject the essence of democracy and stoop to scold?

  •  In reply to Ralphdog above (0+ / 0-)
    You're implying that the CIA had dead-on certain evidence and the Bush people

     Can you find the sentence or paragraph that suggested that?  Please point me to it.

    Yet you tell me that:

    The post-9/11 investigations, such as they were, placed most of the blame on the admittedly horrible relations between the CIA and the FBI, and the repeated dropped balls (things like the female FBI agent in Minnesota being ignored in her frantic request to investigate one of the conspirators just weeks before the event). Eichenwald just makes it clear that the overwhelming failure was the ignorant, negligent refusal of the Bush Administration to take multiple warnings seriously. Because they were arrogant and stupid.
    So those post 9/11 investigations... "such as they were".. did indeed blame public servants, agents, agencies and I suggest it's the politicians at fault as YOU do....and somehow I am in peril of breaking what code of yours?

    So if I suggest we demand to review and check those intel sources....... which by the way we did post Iraq... "Screwball" Chalabi etc..... I am not a valid poster here.  I am a truther.

    I don't understand your line of response to my diary... your motives outshine your case.  You would like to expose a Truther !! TA DAHHH !!!

    Well done Ralphdog.  I am not comfy with Kean Hamilton...which makes me... a lot like Kean and Hamilton.

  •  I think FBI agent, Ali Soufan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    gets as close as you need to get to understand intelligence gathered and..ignored.

    •  note that Soufan (0+ / 0-)

      is interviewing characters rounded up after the fact.

      Who were the sources of the "hair on fire"  intel that seems to have ignited in the spring of 2001...and carried on until September 11?

      But replacing Soufan with interviewers embracing techniques perfected in N Korea and China to nail down false confessions  should be informative of something.

  •  Logic....? (0+ / 0-)

    You can't hold George W Bush and his admin responsible for missing the point of his PDIntel Briefs unless you concede there was something of interest in them.

    You can't have something of interest in a PDB unless someone has gained knowledge... faint or clear, precise of vague, voluminous or slim.

    Asking to review that process... as has been done re: Iraq... is fair game.

    Foreign or domestic, governmental or free agent, well placed or mere interested observations.... knowing who and what shaped the pre 9/11  PDB's that  Eichenwald cites is vital.  It  was capable of having your son or nephew spend repeated tours in Iraq of Afghanistan. It was capable of bankrupting your nation.

    That intel was assessed, presented and in some cases collected by your employees working in the interests of your security.

    You are allowed to ask.  You are allowed to know.
    How good was the intel?  Where did it come from?

    The answers to those two questions re Iraq were informative.  Awful and informative.

    I think in the case of 9/11 the answers are your property.
    Claim it.

    Take ownership of your citizenship.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site