Neoconservatives Ignored CIA Because They Had Other Priorities
It has been thoroughly documented that 9/11 was entirely foreseeable … including Al Qaeda’s plans to fly planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
It has been extensively documented that the White House decided to invade Iraq before 9/11:
- Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.” And see this.
- Cheney made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Herald reported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)
(Indeed, neoconservatives planned regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa 20 years ago; sorry, Obama fans, the neoliberals are not very different).
Right after 9/11, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld accused Iraq of having a hand in the attacks. People may not remember now, but – at the time – the supposed Saddam-9/11 link was at least as important a justification for the Iraq war as the alleged weapons of mass destruction.
Bush and Cheney then launched a systematic program of torture in an attempt to create false evidence – through false confessions – of a link between Iraq and 9/11. The torture techniques used were Communist techniques specifically designed to produce false confessions.
The 9/11 Commission found that the White House and its Defense Department obstructed justice in numerous ways to deflect blame for 9/11.
Today, the New York Times adds a bizarre new wrinkle to this story:
I have read excerpts from many of [the still-classified Presidential Daily Briefs] … 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. 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.
“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence ….
And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed.
Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.