MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
At the time of 9/11, BuzzFlash was one of the extremely few major progressive websites on the Internet.
In the months and years following the suicidal hijacking attacks on the Twin Towers, BuzzFlash relentlessly exposed the negligence of the Bush administration in preventing the massacre from happening. (This is not to be confused with the 9/11 conspiracy movement, not at all.)
One of the biggest smoking guns was that Bush had received a CIA briefing while he was in Texas on vacation (in August of 2001), as currently recounted in a Salon article about a recent document dump:
Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency. One from June called "Bin-Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats" writes that "[redacted] expects Usama Bin Laden to launch multiple attacks over the coming days."
The famous August brief[ing] called "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US" is included. "Al-Qai'da members, including some US citizens, have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure here," it says. During the entire month of August, President Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Texas - which tied with one of Richard Nixon's as the longest vacation ever taken by a president. CIA Director George Tenet has said he didn't speak to Bush once that month, describing the president as being "on leave." Bush did not hold a Principals' meeting on terrorism until September 4, 2001, having downgraded the meetings to a deputies' meeting, which then-counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has repeatedly said slowed down anti-Bin Laden efforts "enormously, by months."
As BuzzFlash recalls, Bush curtly dismissed the CIA briefer discussing the secret document headlined "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US" by telling the Langley liaison that "You have covered your ass, so now you can go (paraphrased)."
Futhermore, Condi Rice admitted later to having seen the same document, but neither she, the CIA, nor Bush did anything - absolutely nothing - about it. The document and others like it specifically mentioned hijackings, but the Bush White House did not heighten security at airports (not even notifying them) of the likelihood of imminent hijackings. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers were hijackings, such an action could have prevented the deaths of more than 3000 people.
This is what is best called governmental and personal negligence. Bush laughably - in a tragic sort of way - once conceded that if he had known that terrorists had planned hijacking planes into the Trade Center specifically, they might have done something to prevent it. But the mainstream corporate media failed to challenge him on the notion that he failed to issue any security measure to prevent hijackings, in general, which could have prevented the horrible debacle.
And Condi Rice claimed that no one had ever thought that planes would have been flown into buildings, when there was ample intelligence information that this was to be an expected strategy of Al-Qai'da and perhaps other terrorists groups. (In fact, Bush stayed on a boat during a world economic conference in Italy just shortly prior to 9/11 out of concern of an airborne terrorist attack on hotels.)
Salon furthermore points out that the newly released documents indicate that when the Bush administration took over from the Clinton administration it downgraded the hunt for Usama bin Laden. Translation: the Bush administration put the US more at risk.
It is hard to believe after a decade that Bush, Rice and the whole crew who - if they were in the military likely would have been court martialed for their negligence - are walking freely around the US at this time, as if they bear no responsibility for failing to prevent what happened on 9/11.
The newly released declassified CIA documents, sought by the National Security Archives under Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests, make the case that the US was betrayed by laziness (including Bush on his month long vacation interrupted by photo ops of him clearing brush) and egregious incompetence.