PDB from AUG 6 is out..full text in OP

Can’t believe this is the first thread dealing with this---------

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to America.”

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a – -- service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told - - service at the same time that bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of bin Laden’s first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S.

Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that in —, Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack.

Ressam says bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation. Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveyed our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al Qaeda members – including some who are U.S. citizens – have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.

Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

I find the next to last paragraph particularly interesting.


Not sure why you find the last paragraph any more interesting than the rest of the document.

After reading, I have to agree with the Bush administration, there is nothing here that pinpoints anything specific. Certainly nothing that would steer you to preventing 911 (even viewing this with hindsight advantage). No smoking gun here.

Where’s the document image? What they showed on ABC news had bits blacked out.

The parts that are ---- are the blacked out bits…full text can be found on several websites now…including CNN

flick–i said the 2nd to last paragraph…that states that evidence shows activity in the U.S. consistent with preparations for hi-jacks, as well as RECENT surveillance in NYC…

so we knew they were preparing to hi jack planes, and they were in NYC looking at potential targets.

I would assume that’s what the hyphenated sections are. The blacked-out sections are text that could not be released for security reasons.

FEDERAL buildings in NYC, which implies an Oklahoma City type attack. This, considering the Cole attack, the two Embassy bombings, the Khobar Towers attack, and the first WTC bombing, was probably presumed to be the al-Qaeda modus operwhatsit.

And, at least before September 11, hijacking did not equal “airliner flown into building”.

And ‘i’ should be capitalized. And “hijack” is (usually) one word.

“Federal buildings in NYC, which implies an Oklahoma City type attack.” is not a sentence. It therefore should have no period at the end.

It is also considered incorrect grammar to start a sentence with “and”.

It’s interesting that to deflect attention from the information in the PDB you want to attack my grammar. Perhaps your even worse grammar in response is done intentionally to further draw our focus off the issue in the OP.

Sorry, I mis-read.

However the paragraph does not say they were going to crash planes into buildings. It says preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York. While it may be easy to try to link hijack and buildings in New York (especially in hindsight) that’s not what the sentence says. Up until 911 hijackings consisted of holding a plane & passengers hostage until your demands were met.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t say they were going to fly the planes into buildings…I just found it interesting that those particular two items of info ended up in the same paragraph.

The ACTUAL debate I wanted to see in this thread is how will this affect Joe Q. Public’s vote…we all know people who are voting against or for Bush regardless of what is in this PDB…but how bout voters who are on the fence? I wonder how their opinion will be swayed(if at all).

All of this is beside the point. The Bush administration is complaining that they were not given specific information about exactly what sort of attack. Rice’s testimony ammounted to complaining that nobody told her (the boss of national security!) to take any action.

But the question was never whether or not they had specific information. The question is why, given all these growing threats and all that past history, why didn’t they do something more than decide that they’d better get around to holding that meeting about maybe taking the bold step of giving some money to the Northern Alliance? Why not fast track all information about potentially terrorist linked recent immigrants? Why not quietly go into crisis mode to root out what the heck was going on?

I mean, what the hell? This is our national security we are talking about. No one concerned about this issue could get a meeting with the administration, but now they are demanding that terrorists must please make a proper appointment before they’ll pay attention to them?

As John Stewart said: does the buck stop even anywhere NEAR you guys?

Apos, pre-911, considering the information in the released document what would your suggested actions have been (other than the following)

Yeah, because obviously if we did not know exactly what they were going to do, there is nothing that can be done to stop it. I guess that’s why we don’t bother with any security now unless we know exactly how terrorists plan to attack.

Of course, this memo in combination with all the other information that was known (terrorists had wanted to use planes as weapons in Europe, Zacarias Moussaoui’s arrest on August 16th 2001) couldn’t have possibly given us an idea what was going to happen either.

The FBI’s response…

But airport security had already been beefed up by Al Gore

I’ve heard of releasing things you want to bury on a Friday, but on a Saturday?

See my sig. :slight_smile:

But I dunno: maybe something, anything more than what was already being done, considering that 1) they hadn’t caught a lead and they were getting more and more threats and 2) they themselves seemed to understand prior to coming into office that there were serious problems with coordinating our intelligence that could only be mediated at the top (i.e., by them) and 3) people were begging them to listen about all sorts of new proposals and plans, which they by and large scoffed at.

But wait, specifics from an uninformed layman instead of the experts who are supposed to be the ones understanding specific decisions? Well, I guess I might not have CUT counter-terrorism funding. But then, that’s just me.

The same thing that stunned me then stuns me now. The cockpit doors were unlocked. After almost forty years of hijackings and attempted hijackings, the goddamn llama-humping cockpit doors were unlocked!

We werent attacked by sophisticated international men of mystery, we were attacked by the Keystone Kops of Terror! If you had tried to sell the plot to Tom Clancy for a book, he would have laughed you out of the room! Guys preparing for the attack by signing up for flight school but asking only to take the part of the actual flying, no take-offs and landings? WTF?

No way in Hell this dipshit plot should have worked. But try to imagine the grin on thier swarthy faces when they realized that they could simply walk right in to the cockpits.

We were stupid, and complacent, and we paid. No, I don’t lay the blame on any particular administration, stupid is stupid, it has no parentage. I don’t need to try to blame Bush for it. But I’m screwed, blued, and tattooed if I’ll let him claim to be the Vigilant Defender. He gets his share along with everybody else. His fair share, no more, and damn sure no less.

The cockpit doors were unlocked because locking them would do NO GOOD. I take it you aren’t familiar with the old style cockpit door latches? It’s like a piece of aluminum that slides out. It would slow a hijacker down long enough for him to raise his foot and kick it in. Useless.

And let’s say they had armored doors. Before 9/11, when people didn’t realize airplanes would be used as missiles, and the rule of the day was, “If you get hijacked, cooperate”, what do you think would have happened if the terrorists grabbed a flight attendant, cut her throat, and then told the pilots to unlock the door or they’d kill another one?

They would have unlocked the door.

So let’s not get all enraged because completely useless measures weren’t undertaken in response to an attack that no one could predict.

And I can’t believe this memo is being spun as an indictment of the administration. Well okay, I can believe it - at this point, if the White House released George Bush’s grocery list, you guys would be screaming that his purchase of large eggs instead of medium was a sign of gross incompetance.

Let’s scroll back a bit. The only reason this PDB exists at all was because George Bush was worried about al-Qaida, and asked for further background. So much for his being uninterested. So he gets a one-page memo that details threats going back five years. And from this, you guys want to hold him responsible because he didn’t launch every force the government had and break the back of the plot within a month, based on a single paragraph which suggests that there is are signs of current activity?

Rice was exactly right - there’s nothing ‘actionable’ in that memo. It IS a historical document - it’s a summary of what the government knew about al-Qaida in the U.S. over the last five years. Bush may have gotten from that, “Jesus, these assholes are dangerous. We’re going to have to make it a priority to do something about them.” But no one would have suspected he only had weeks until a major attack. After all, there have been heightened alerts off and on since 1993.

So where does the action bar truly belong? Should so-called “historical” threats to Americans be ignored, or should we take out Saddam on the basis of faerie tales?

Hey, I saw McClellan’s lips move while Sam wrote that!

"Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.’ is hardly “historical information”, and it is not possible for a reasonable person to dismiss it like that. It’s a warning, about which Bush did nothing and about which Rice thought nothing could be done. Vague, yes, but one can act in a general way about vague information to make it more specific - “shaking the tree”, as we’ve heard it said in other testimony. This was dereliction of duty, pure and simple.

I would agree with every one of Sam’s points, except I cannot get past that next to last paragraph. You can say it is a historical document all you want…that paragraph talks about CURRENT threats…Al Quada is preparing to hijack planes, and have “recently” scouted targets in NYC.