Mounting Evidence on 9/11 that Bush Administration Blew It

WASHINGTON – There’s a reason Barack Obama bests Mitt Romney on foreign policy by double digits, and it begins with the presidency of George W. Bush. The evidence is easy to tick off, which Mitt Romney added to this summer in a foreign policy trip that allowed him to become John Kerry’s punchline at the Democratic National Convention.

The video above is old, condensed, too, with the pictures, tale and music I wove together now burned into our history and our memories, so the quick flip from scene to quote and back again seen in a rush simply reminds us of how quickly we lost what we once cherished, when fear replaced all sense.

It brings back the memory of traveling the moment flights continued, no hassles, 5 people in a huge jetliner, everyone still in shock as we puddle jumped cities in a weird route to my destination from Los Angeles. After that it was lines and nonsensical airport “security” that likely makes Israelis laugh.

I had no intention of uploading the video, or going back to the interview I did with Kristen Breitweiser or her writings here, until I read the op-ed today by Kurt Eichenwald in the New York Times titled “The Deafness Before the Storm.”

Echenwald brings back the PDB titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and why Condoleezza Rice can never run for national political office and she knows it.

That PDB was written on Aug. 6, 2001, but as Eichenwald recounts in his op-ed, other documents just prior to this date that have not been made public, but which he has seen and read excerpts, reveal the leadership malpractice at the very heart of the Bush administration: “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.”

From Eichenwald:

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.

It’s a reminder of what we learned this past June, when newly released declassified NSA docs on 9/11 attesting to what Eichenwald is writing about today surfaced.

“I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials. [Salon]

A lot of things are said around 9/11, no matter the year.

One of the most offensive came from infotainment yakker Joe Scaroborough on Monday, who actually suggested that Republicans should have invited George W. Bush to Tampa to honor him, citing him for his particular leadership after 9/11.

Through a cloud of amnesia, rewriting of the historic events of what happened on the eleventh of September in 2001, but especially in the aftermath, is how our country lost its soul after we were hit.

We’ve yet to recover it.

When more PDBs surrounding 9/11 are made public and declassified, what we’re likely to learn will finally put the Bush presidency where it belongs and it will never amount to honoring the man and his vice president for much of anything.

Anyone can stand on rubble and use a bullhorn, but it takes spectacular hubris to take a country to war using the emotions of the citizenry to give lies flight.

Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.

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  • ShannonLeee

    Bush was too worried about the war on drugs. He was very ignorant of the world outside of America and was basically clueless when it came to terrorism. His cabinet people should have known better…Condi for one. Condi stood in front of the podium and said that no one could have ever imagined that terrorist would fly commercial airliners into the WTC.

    Oddly enough… that is how a NYT best selling book ended (flew it into Congress and killed the President). People imagined it and millions had read the book…apparently not Condi.

  • dduck

    Ok, I see what kind of a day this is going to be.

  • ShannonLeee

    it has been 11 years… do we need to wait 50 to have this conversation on a day that is pretty much made for this conversation?

  • zephyr

    Thank-you Taylor for having the courage to speak the truth about a subject so many people only want to remember selectively. Oh sure, they want to be solemn and honor the dead and honor the firefighters, etc. but they don’t want to know it might have been prevented and why because that means pointing the finger at people who were negligent and lord we can’t have that! It’s just not politically correct! But damn all that. The truth is the truth and if people don’t like it tough.

  • dduck

    Sorry, I feel deeply about this day and this article and the advertorial was way over the top, IMHO.

  • http://taylormarsh.com TAYLOR MARSH, Guest Voice Columnist

    It’s not my job to make people comfortable, whether it’s 9/11 or October 11th.

    Kurt Eichenwald’s editorial is backed up by the other link I offered from Salon.com.

    I’ve studied foreign policy for years, attending think tanks in Washington, D.C., listening to experts on both sides of the aisle.

    The truth is that George W. Bush began the slide of Republican prowess on foreign policy. It’s not political, it’s a fact and there are reasons why, many of them.

    As always, appreciate the comments, though the Nazi slur is inappropriate and beneath any adult discussion.

  • http://taylormarsh.com TAYLOR MARSH, Guest Voice Columnist

    zephyr, ShannonLeee – It is a seminal shift in our political landscape that Democrats now own foreign policy, which a CNN poll just revealed, with Romney down by double digits. After a Republican convention where Bush-Cheney weren’t seen or invoked, it’s quite a shift.

    That Mitt Romney ignored Afghanistan and our troops during his acceptance speech has received widespread criticism, no matter the political affiliation.

    It’s 11 years after the murder of so many people. It’s long past time that more classified documents were released so we learn the truth. Getting attention for this information is critically important. Today, that’s exactly what’s happened, which is a positive development.

  • ShannonLeee

    You have to wonder if certain fractions of the Rep party are simply becoming isolationists. Romney has to understand how the world economy works, yet he seems so oblivious to what is going on in the world…including the fact that we are fighting a decade long war. Is this American Exceptionalism take to the extreme? Are we so much better than the rest of the world so that it simply does not matter? Or maybe they have taken their competitive streak too far? Competition is good, but so is cooperation. The world is not our enemy..not Russia nor China.

    I don’t understand what drives the Rep party foreign policy and they are in no hurry to help me understand.

  • http://taylormarsh.com TAYLOR MARSH, Guest Voice Columnist

    I don’t understand what drives the Rep party foreign policy and they are in no hurry to help me understand.

    That’s a great line that should be important to Republicans.

    Republicans are in disarray on foreign policy, with Romney adopting the neoconservatives because he has no compass or voice on it that’s authentic. As we saw with Clint Eastwood who hinted about getting out of Afghanistan “tomorrow,” there are many who agree with Ron Paul about foreign misadventurism.

    William F. Buckley was one of the leading lights on the right and he torched George W. Bush for Iraq before he died. Empire is anathema to true conservatism.

    Whatever Republicans had during the GHW Bush – James Baker era no longer exists.