Administration apologists say that these warnings were lost in the noise of countless other false warnings, but this contention is rendered highly questionable by the nature of some of the warnings – most notably the 2001-08-06 Presidential Daily Briefing titled "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US".
Whether or not this is the result of honest error, the fact that this happened does not seem to have been investigated; a reasonable expectation would be that there would be a significant amount of recrimination and political infighting over the assignment of blame for these errors, but there does not appear to have been any. This in itself is highly suspicious.
- investigations (to be written): There is also evidence that the administration actively worked to block investigations which might have prevented the attacks
Clinton's outgoing national security team warned Bush's incoming National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that she was going to spend most of her time dealing with terrorism and Osama bin Laden. She did nothing to act on this advice, possibly because "do the opposite of what Clinton did" was the major ideological creed of the incoming administration.
In March of that year, the bipartisan Hart-Rudman study was issued, which argued that America was likely to face a large-scale terrorist attack in the near future and recommended some steps to protect against it (many of which, had they been in place, stood at least a chance of doing something to thwart 9/11). Bush ignored the report, and instead had Vice President Cheney convene an antiterror "task force" to come up with its own set of recommendations.
As of 9/11, Cheney's task force had never met. But it's not because Cheney didn't have the time for task forces; his energy task force met a bunch of times during the same period. The administration just didn't take the threat of terrorism seriously. Clearly, Gary Hart and Warren Rudman did. As had the previous administration.
But the Bush Administration dropped the ball. Even that infamous August 6, 2001, national security briefing, titled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike Inside the United States," failed to raise any alarm bells or rouse Bush from pretending to be a cowboy on his "ranch."
(This is not cited here as evidence, but rather as a set of allegations to be investigated.)
- Report of the National Commission on Terrorism, June 2000
- 2006-10-01 New book by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward claims CIA warned Rice before 9/11
- Presidential Daily Briefing, 2001-08-06: bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US (declassified 2004-04-10)
- U.S. and Allied Intelligence Services Had Penetrated The Very Highest Levels of Al Qaeda Prior to 9/11: a good collection of links, including a possible smoking gun where the White House blocked efforts to interview one of the eventual 9/11 hijackers in 2000.
News & Articles
- 2006-10-04 Would Al Gore have prevented 9/11? by Daniel Shaviro, Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation at New York University Law School
- 2006-05-19 Wiretapping Wouldn't Have Prevented 9/11 by Larry Beinhart, BuzzFlash: "History shows that it was secrecy and incompetence that helped the hijackers get on those planes."
- 2004-04-02 'I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa'ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes': whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, a former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance, says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.
- 2002-05-16 Armed pilots banned 2 months before 9-11: "A 40-year-old Federal Aviation Administration rule that allowed commercial airline pilots to be armed was inexplicably rescinded two months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks": really unlucky timing?
- 2001-10-19 The failure of government alleges (citing news items in the mainstream media as sources):
- In August, Israeli intelligence agents traveled to Washington to warn the FBI and Central Intelligence Agency that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the American mainland were imminent. The Israelis warned that as many as 200 terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden and Iraq were preparing a big operation.
- The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies knew that two of the hijackers, were on a terrorist watch list at the time, were in the country; the airlines were not notified.
- the FBI and CIA were well aware of bin Laden's plans to hijack U.S. airliners. The plot was uncovered six years earlier in the Philippines when police found detailed information on a laptop computer belonging to a bin Laden operative, Ramsi Youssef. The plan called for hijacking U.S. airliners and crashing them into U.S. buildings including the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
- Yossef Bodansky's book Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America spells out a plan calling for the hijacking of 11 airliners at once.
- The FBI had several terrorists under surveillance. They intercepted communications just prior to Sept. 11 that suggested something very big was about to happen.
- Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested after flight trainers tipped off the feds that he wanted to learn how to fly a 747 but wasn't interested in takeoffs or landings. Zacarias was traveling on a French passport. When contacted, the French government reported that he was a suspected terrorist.
- 2001-09-12 Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel
- There are repeated mentions of Salman Rushdie receiving a similar warning, but the only link I've found so far is no good
- 2001-06-01 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction CJCSI 3610.01A:
- Intercept Authority Was Restricted 3 Months Prior to the Attack: more really unlucky timing?
- Keys to 9/11 by Michelle Mairesse