NY Times: Bush White House Dropped the Ball on Intelligence Briefings Leading Up To 9/11 Terror Attacks

George Bush - Caricature
NY Times:  George Bush Dropped the Ball on Intelligence Briefings Leading Up To 9/11 Terror Attacks (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The ghost of George Bush past rears its ugly head with evidence his administration dropped the ball on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The presidential briefing he received August 6, 2001, will go down in history as the biggest blunder in his administration because they did nothing to act upon the threat:

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief  in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.


That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: 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. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it. Source

So, when you ask who has kept us safe after 9/11, the answer should be resounding — Barack Obama. Will Mitt Romney keep us safe? Considering how he tripped up on his overseas trip and has insulted Russia, that remains to be seen. Who would you rather get that 3 a.m. call, Mitt Romney or President Obama? Back in 2008, I would have said Hillary Clinton, but now, I will have to go with President Obama.

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