An anonymous ‘top CIA counterterrorism official’ has written a book slamming the Bush administration on the war on terror. An interesting quote from the article:
What? Bush decided to wait? Is that true? I always figured we attacked Afghanistan on October 7 because that’s as soon as we could formulate a plan and get forces mobilized in the area. Could we really have attacked the afternoon of the 11th? With what, ICBMs? Did the government even know who did it on the 11th?
Osama’s name was being connected to the attack in media reports on day 1. I can’t say how long it took the US government to be certain. There was lots of data available early, howver. For instance the phone calls from flight attendants on some of the doomed planes gave them several names to start looking into.
It seems plausible they could have a very high degree of confidence about who ordered the attack within 24 hours.
The context of the interview is lost on that quote. “Anonymous” was talking about how many senior officials in various bureaucracies had underplayed the threat of bin Laden prior to 9-11. His implication is that the DOD was caught with its pants down on the 11th, because they had no war plans for Afghanistan, the home of the major international terrorist who had declared war on the United States in 1998.
It was pretty clear from the interview that he was not talking about a decision by Bush to wait; he was complaining that lazy DOD breaucrats didn’t bother to draw up a war plan for Afghanistan until we’d been attacked.
It appears that abc.com doesn’t yet have the full interview posted yet. I’m sure it will be along shortly.