The House Select Committee on Benghazi will begin in earnest after the November Elections. And now there is “new, shocking evidence” which is not so new, not so shocking and not really evidence, just claims from an unhappy former employee.
Before we go there again, and again and again…. I want to remind, well, everyone that, 9/11 has created the world in which we live- a world in which several thousand Americans died in NYC, in which the U.S. feels beseiged, in which hundreds of thousands went off to war and several thousand died and many more thousands were injured for life returning home to too little care, begrudgingly given. In the name of those wars we have lost a lot of our privacy; we have spent trillions of dollars; we have been major players in the destabilizatoin of one the most troubled areas on the globe accompanied by horrendous loss of life, of limb, of sanity, and now we stare into the face of yet another mideastern war.
I got a call a few nights ago from the older brother of a young man who I taught in college. He said he just wanted to talk about his “little brother”, a 180 lbs weightlifter, history major, and ROTC cadet, who did three tours in Iraq and died during the last one. His older brother, kept asking “Why?”
I want to be clear. I do not know if the Bush administration could have stopped 9/11 from happening but the editorial that follows makes the case that the opportunity was there and the Bush leadership team took a pass on it
While there were some rumblings about the culpability, responsibility and accountability of those at the top of our National Security establishment in the months that followed the most horrific attack on the United States by agents of a foreign power in history, in the rush of self-protective Americanism, Mr. Bush and his associates basically got a pass.
There are those who proudly proclaim themselves as true Americans and Consersatives who are happy to make a lot of Benghazi but make nothing of 9/11 whose costs will continue to pile up year after year.
I cannot imagine how reasonable and just people could create a standard to which they want to hold Barack Obama and not apply the same one to George W. Bush.
But, of course, they do.
The Deafness Before the Storm
By KURT EICHENWALD
Published: September 10, 2012
New York Times
IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.
On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.
On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.
That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, 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, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.
And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.
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.
That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.’s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn’t sound.
On July 24, Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied, but that it had been postponed, perhaps by a few months. But the president did not feel the briefings on potential attacks were sufficient, one intelligence official told me, and instead asked for a broader analysis on Al Qaeda, its aspirations and its history. In response, the C.I.A. set to work on the Aug. 6 brief.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.
Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.
Kurt Eichenwald, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former reporter for The New York Times, is the author of “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars.”
I am often asked what could Bush have done?
I look to the commentary of people like Richard Clarke , Bush’s anti-terrorism “tsar”, who also served Clinton, and George HW Bush in similar capacities.
Here is what they say that Bush and his national security team should have done:
1) Take the reports seriously.
2) Convene an intelligence, both external and internal, summit.
3) Send out an alert featuring the warnings about an imminent attack and ask that all agencies, federal/state/county/local, pool all reports of behavior fitting the emerging profile.
4) Place the airlines, and trains on high alert with additional screening and security precautions (both on and off the planes like those in place during the hijacking era).
5) Set up an inter-agency coordinating office (Clarke’s might have been the logical choice)
Benghazi investigations are a waste of time and money at this point. There were over a dozen of these incidents during the Bush reign of errors and very little was said or done about those occurrences. We still have never been told why Stevens was 400 miles away from his embassy with 3 mercenaries in a CIA run consulate out building. We never will find out either. Libya will revert back to a Muslim theocracy anyway. So what?
HEY KIDS! IT’S HOWDY GOWDY TIME! LOL So the Repube-lie-baggers have nothing after 7 special Benghazi investigations over nearly 2 years but are passing the whip to Howdy Gowdy to continue beating this dead horse of Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi so his sidekick Grand Theft Issa can go back to beat the dead horse issue of the IRS, ACORN and false non profit organizations of baggers!? Anyone even remotely connected to this has already testified on record multiple times on either of these dead issues. What are they going to do other than re-read literally tons of old transcripts that have all been entered into the records during testimony? I guess baggers will think it’s all new! BWAHAHA I’m sure that the cast will include Crash McCain as Chief Thunderthud and Michelle Bachmann as Princess SummerfallWinterspring. Lyin Ryan could be Phineas T. Bluster and Louie Gohmert as Dilly Dally. Of course the Peanut Gallery will be full of assorted wingnut baggers. The non speaking role of Clarabell the Clown has been reserved for Boneher or Clarence Thomas. KOWABUNGA!!
Was it 911 or was it:
Arms sales: $2.3 billion
Total profit: $107 million
Arms sales: $2.2 billion
Total profit: $579 million
Arms sales: $2.4 billion
Total profit: $9 million
Arms sales 2.4 billion
Total profit: $223 million
Arms sales 2.5 billion
Total profit: $125 million
Arms sales: $2.6 billion
Total profit: $8.7 billion
Arms sales: $2.7 billion
Total profit: $86 million
And this is only six of the top 25 Arms merchants in the nation, and these btw are number 19 through 25, in other words there are others who made even more profit.
“President Eisenhower warned of the rise of the military industrial complex in his 1961 farewell address.
It’s impossible to know for sure if he was thinking of companies like these, selling about $235 billion in arms every year, but it’s possible.
Making weapons has become a U.S. specialty, with 47 American companies filling the top 100 grossing slots in the world. ”
All it takes is a couple of idiots in the White House with an agenda, a disaster like 9/11 real or fake and the greed machine begins rolling. What’s the difference…Benghazi, 9/11 or our new nemesis…..ISIS (btw, be afraid, be very afraid), the end is always the same, the greedy pull up a chair, sit down and feast until the next “ordeal.”
I find it amazing how some people in this nation and around the world keep falling for the same old tricks over and over again, why some continue to be led by the MSM who’s job appears to be fanning the flames during the run up to and duration of these events. My question is, if we know these companies are profiting from this, we should know that as long as they are we will continue to have a fire to put out somewhere, what’s the difference ISIS, Al Qaeda, Benghazi, 9/11? All these events do is continue to make our congressmen millionaires, our elite arms merchants billionaires, and the majority of the people in this nation more poor by the day. None of this makes any sense if you really take time to look at it. As long as there is profit in war/conflict, we will have war/conflict…no matter who started it, how it started, who did it, or is threatening to do it, the greedy will find a way to continue to rake in the profits, so name it what you will but don’t expect anyone dem or repub to do anything about it. They have Citizens United as a guide and take their cue from lobbyist.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/top-25-us-defense-companies-2012-2?op=1#ixzz3Dl3P8w00
Monica, if there were a thumbs up , I would give it.
Ike was way ahead of his time. He knew that the MIC would grow exponentially. He was correct.
Thanks Nirek…What happened to the thumbs up or down symbols?
They are back.
The symbols are back to thumbs up away.
Yes Murph they are.
live long and prosper!!
and now are we at the start of another round of war for fun and profit?
I hope not.
Congress ran for the hills.
The president does not SEEM (cuz I do not really know) really pressing for REAL commitment from regional powers.
We have spent 80 million on ordnance so far- A merry christmas for some maker of devastation.
Your list brings it all home.
When one country drops bombs on another what is it called? When one group of nations take sides against an armed force, what is it called. Let’s stop the BS, this is WAR. We are at war with ISIS and have called in “40 nations” to help us with the ordeal. Sugar coat it all they will to try to make it appear that this is just a dalliance in Superpower ed 101, subtext: How the superpowers whip the rest of the world into shape, rather than call it what it is, NATO declares war to protect the interest of the rich.
This is WAR, not a game, not an exercise, not a conflict.
War is an organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states or non-state actors. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, social disruption and economic destruction. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of (collective) political violence or intervention. The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace.
HI MA, two excellent post.
War/police action, etc etc etc on the name is still war and yes for the rich.
Yes the military suppliers get rich.
From the song ( ONLY MONEY )
“Only money can be all the things that we make it.
and only money breeds greed and the war to sustain it.
War should be fought by the leaders in the country being on the front line no exceptions for age now a days. Although these cowards will claim some physical problem. Wars would be very few if this happened.
America Indian tribes did go to war also but not that often because the leaders did have to lead the charge. At least that was the way in My tribe. Many other solutions where found in competitions non lethal.
My Wife and i had a great time in the gulf on a five day cruise. She needed it for the loss of her mother a couple of months back.
I hope everything is going well for you and yours also.
A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not been created yet.
Prosper my friend!!
Great article but remember:
It’s Ok If You’re A Republican
Now as far as the Democrats not having endless hearings on the Bush Iraq fiasco it may be because they too voted for the most part along with the Repubs on that one. It seems there are too many in Congress who just love the “military option”.
Correct on both counts.
The rules do not apply to Dems.
The Dems were accomplices.
BUT they were unwitting accomplices.
Bush and his cadre…knew the truth and hid it.
HI Murph, Great article and the links are good to know. I will read them again.
You see Bush 2 thru his arrogance did not believe they could attack and did not care if they did.
You see he needed a reason to get into the middle east for the oil and minerals nothing else.
Most republican officials will send the military citizens into harms way without blinking an eye. It does not matter how many republicans or anyone else gets injured or killed.
The military is second only to subsidies as pure spending and waste to the USA tax payer!!
Sayings of ( the child of nature )
” On the earth there is peace for all that live on it.
Why humanity does not live it, is all a function of religious beliefs. For their is no cure for religion and all need to be the only one.”
Live long and prosper Murph!!
Bush was so focused on Iraq, in his mind his father’s unfinished war, and his desire to become the Reagan of his time by stabilizing and westernizing the Middle East and making inroads into Asia.
It was not to be.
But he allowed himself to be misled by some of his closest advisers because he really wanted to believe them.
And the result? Costs beyond imagination then, now and into the future.
Yes Murph again your correct. you left out one very important person.
Phil Carrol CEO of shell oil and then former CEO but still on the board as an advisory. He was the man behind the big oil push for refineries in Saudi and expansions into the other countries at war at that time.
His vision is still in Saudi Arabia for shell has many interest in there still.
Oh i did not get a notification of your reply.
just got back from a cruise in the gulf.
This Benghazi thing is just a smokescreen to cover the stupidity of the GOP. Not working as far as I’m concerned.
And conveniently forgetting the attacks under Shrub…
Agreed fine friend. Glad to see your posts again.
Ya we got back a few hours a go from the gulf and sailing/cruising. SO relaxing NO internet for all those days.
Tell you more about it later in an email to you soon.
Sayings of ( the child of nature )
” The sea is home to all things life on earth needs. It is large but will not survive with out care. For the law of sevens and the heat,cooling engines and magnetic engines can be broken.”
And 9/11 was one of about 15.
They have to create scandal to cover their own failure to engage in responsible government.
Creating and hyping fake scandals is a GOP specialty.
It is and their base buys it all.
This whole Benghazi thing is so obviously a right wing hammer to destroy any credibility concerning Obama and Hillary. It’s just a preemptive strike against dems for the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
The GOP has never had any shame in throwing accusations at dems’ failures, even when their own are a hundred times worse.
I believe there were some 52 embassy attacks during the Shrub’s 8 years in office, with more than one hundred people killed. Don’t hear much about that, do we?
52 embassy attacks and 15 domestic acts….I am very serious about the need to press the GOP on 9/11 again…that is the REAL scandal of the last 15 years at the root of the many scandals of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
P.S. good to see you at yabberz
Not sure what is going on.Tried twice to give ten stars to Murph but the site takes me directly to tweeter…And I do not have one neither do I have any intention to open up an account there…..
Magnificent article, as usual!Sharing on my FB!
Same here EXFAN. I don’t much care for it. I did sign up with Twitter, but I don’t actually use it.
Kilgore…never did, never will. I already only use FB as a political machine and, much to my surprise today, I’ve gotten a message from a long time friend, stating the private one I’ve sent her 4 days ago, got “marked as spam” and was deleted from FB..WTF?
Ex, it did the same to me when I tried to give 10 stars to another article. I just hit the back arrow. Have no idea what a tweeter is any way unless it’s a bird.
So we are both on the same level….BwahahaahaahahaahahI’ve trained my adopted cats to NOT kill birds!!!!!!!!
HI Exfan, Cats again. OK they do have soothing effects.
Bush 2 did not believe those reports because of his arrogance and the need to get to the oil in the middle east.
prosper always!! THe ghost!!
I notice that the thumbs up and down option is gone from the reply windows too. Hmmmmm….gremlins.
Knowing you wanted to give me 10 is good enough. Thanks. Demons and Gremlins in the machines. I have twitter but not facebook. I thank you for your good words.
You always deserve it, Murph…SEAMOREMONSTER, from Huffie, is also joining us..Remember him? Great mind, haad to be dispatched to Australia otherwise they would kill him for his actions against the Nam war?
I do not recall this person but I will be most pleased to meet him or her.
It’s a him….Have a great w/e.
ExFan, I’ve had to troubleshoot that problem, same thing happened for me! Our star ratings on posts and thumbs up on comments should all be working well now (and are even a little tricked up now too!).
Ad, nobody is getting ANY replies from the follow ups.My friend from the Aussie country is also having issues commenting here….Sowwy.:)
ExFan, I think I solved that issue too. Did you get a notification from this reply?