WASHINGTON , Feb. 9 - In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission…
The report discloses that the Federal Aviation Administration, despite being focused on risks of hijackings overseas, warned airports in the spring of 2001 that if "the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable…"
The Bush administration has blocked the public release of the full, classified version of the report for more than five months, officials said, much to the frustration of former commission members who say it provides a critical understanding of the failures of the civil aviation system. The administration provided both the classified report and a declassified, 120-page version to the National Archives two weeks ago and, even with heavy redactions in some areas, the declassified version provides the firmest evidence to date about the warnings that aviation officials received concerning the threat of an attack on airliners and the failure to take steps to deter it.
Among other things, the report says that leaders of the F.A.A. received 52 intelligence reports from their security branch that mentioned Mr. bin Laden or Al Qaeda from April to Sept. 10, 2001. That represented half of all the intelligence summaries in that time.
Five of the intelligence reports specifically mentioned Al Qaeda's training or capability to conduct hijackings, the report said. Two mentioned suicide operations, although not connected to aviation, the report said.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Prior to September 11th, the FAA reviewed dozens of intelligence reports “that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations.
The FAA. Dozens. Hijacked planes. Al Qaeda. Suicide operations. The FAA was aware that planes might be hijacked for no other reason than to blow them up.
And what did our highest ranking intelligence official in the country, our National Security Advisor, tell us about this?
Are you ready for it? It’s from May of 2002.
Bush administration officials have repeatedly said no one in government had imagined such an attack.
"I don't think anybody could have predicted that ... they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.
The FAA had dozens of reports that not only “they” but Al Qaeda specifically was planning to hijack planes and use them for suicide attacks, and Condi Rice, our National Security Advisor, got on television and told the American people that she didn’t think anybody could imagine such a thing!
Not only could someone imagine it, but they put it in a fucking report. Dozens of them, apparently.
But Condi regretted those comments. Like she told the September 11th commission:
In four hours of private discussions with the commission in January, Ms. Rice was asked about statements she made in 2001 and 2002 that "we could not have imagined" that terrorists would use aircraft as weapons by piloting them into buildings.
She told the commission that she regretted those comments, because at the time she was not aware of intelligence, developed in the late 1990's, that some terrorists were thinking of using airplanes as guided missiles. She told the commission in the private session that she should have said, "I could not have imagined," according to one official familiar with the testimony, making it clear that some in the intelligence community knew about those threats but that she did not.
"Information about possible use of airplanes as missiles to destroy buildings was not briefed to her prior to that statement in May 2002," Mr. McCormack said.
She should not have said “nobody could have imagined”. She should have said “I couldn’t have imagined”.
Then, Condi, you suck. You were uniquely unqualified to be the National Security Advisor. And:
Two, you didn’t have to imagine, you freaking worthless, know nothing, do nothing lump of clay in a pant suit. You could have read the dozens of reports the fucking FAA had! Billions of dollars every year spent on intelligence and this moron--if you take her meaningless word—relies on imagination rather than reading the intelligence.
Though, of course, she wasn’t briefed about the dozens of reports about terrorists hijacking planes and blowing them up. She, once again, as National Security Advisor, the highest ranking intelligence official in the country, had no idea what American intelligence was saying!
Like with the aluminum tubes. Like the with African uranium. She isn't the worst National Security Advisor ever because she was wrong! She was fantastic because she didn't know!
What kind of a fucking excuse is that??? Even if you believe it??? It was her job to know, for Christ's sake! That's the one and only thing she got paid for!
Who gives a fuck about your imagination, Condi??? Read the goddam reports.
Give me a fucking break. Even if you believe that stupidity, you gotta admit, terrorism must have been real high on her priorities if she didn’t have time to read or hear about the dozens of reports of Al Qaeda planning to blow up Americans on planes.
But, of course, that isn’t true. Because, as we all know Condi lies like regular people like you and me eat or drink, or breathe. But beyond that: [t]he Bush administration has blocked the public release of the full, classified version of the report for more than five months.
A little bit more of that “openness” Condi was just lying about in Europe.
Why on earth would the Bush administration block the public release of the report? Why?
There's only one answer.
My God. The War President and his Dream Team of national security superstars, they could have prevented September 11th, without breaking a sweat.