Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Seven Years Ago Today

"During the spring and summer of 2001, President Bush had on several occasions asked his briefers whether any of the threats pointed to the United States. Reflecting on these questions, the CIA decided to write a briefing article summarizing its understanding of this danger. Two CIA analysts involved in preparing this briefing article believed it represented an opportunity to communicate their view that the threat of a Bin Ladin attack in the United States remained both current and serious. The result was an article in the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief titled 'Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.' It was the 36th PDB item briefed so far that year that related to Bin Ladin or al Qaeda, and the first devoted to the possibility of an attack in the United States." --The 9/11 Commission Report

Too bad Condoleezza Rice, then the National Security Adviser, didn't realize it was her job to make recommendations regarding these briefs. From The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Philip Shenon:
Domestic issues seemed to bore her. Her deputy, Stephen Hadley, had told the commission something remarkable in his private interview the month before: He and Rice had not seen themselves as responsible for co-ordinating the FBI and other domestic agencies about terrorism. But if they weren't responsible, who was? There was no separate domestic security adviser in the White House. They had just demoted Clarke.
Seven years later, Bush, Cheney, and Rice are still in the White House, and bin Laden is still free. Happy Anniversary.

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