A few days ago we had a squabble over Donald Trump’s Bush-to-blame-for-9/11 statement. Leon pointed out, quite correctly, that his statement was a rehash of Michael Moore’s propaganda. I was inclined to be a bit more charitable and accept it as an inartful rendition of ‘the buck stops here,’ the credo I lived as an infantry officer of ‘a commander is responsible for all his unit does or fails to do.’
I’m afraid I was wrong.
It looks like that Trump is a dyed-in-the-wool 9/11 Truther who simply let the mask slip for a moment. This is from Trump’s appearance on CNN’s New Day on Monday. What Trump says in the clip is:
“Look, his brother gets hit on, he’s a loyal person, he’s loyal to his brother. But his brother made some mistakes. His brother could have made some mistakes with respect to the actual hit becuase they did know it was coming. George Tenet, the head of the CIA, told them it was coming. So they did have advanced notice.”
He goes on to say he doesn’t blame Bush. This is patently insane. If Bush knew the attack was going to happen and did nothing then he is unambiguously complicit in the murder of thousands of Americans. Not only was he to blame but he should be prosecuted for his inaction.
Let me go back to my very first post on Redstate, from August 4, 2004, called The System Was Blinking Red. (No longer available online on RedState because our corporate masters decided tossing several years of RedState content in the digital crapper was a very smart financial move). Here I am relying on the 9/11 Commission Report chapter of the same name. These are the “blinking lights” that the 9/11 Commission identified:
March 23, Richard Clarke warns Condoleezza Rice that domestic or foreign terrorists might use a truck bomb–their “weapon of choice”–on Pennsylvania Avenue. That would result, he said, in the destruction of the West Wing and parts of the residence. (p. 255)
In May 2001, the drumbeat of reporting grew louder with reports to top officials that “Bin Ladin public profile may presage attack” and “Bin Ladin network’s plans advancing.” (p. 255)
[May also] brought a report that a phone call to a U.S. embassy had warned that Bin Ladin supporters were planning an attack in the United States using “high explosives.” (p. 256)
Late May brought reports of a possible hostage plot against Americans abroad to force the release of prisoners, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh.” (p. 256)
On May 24 counterterrorism officials grappled with reports alleging plots in Yemen and Italy, as well as a report about a cell in Canada that an anonymous caller had claimed might be planning an attack against the United States. (p. 256)
Threat reports surged in June and July, reaching an even higher peak of urgency. The summer threats seemed to be focused on Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, and possibly Rome, but the danger could be anywhere–including a possible attack on the G-8 summit in Genoa. (p. 256)
On June 22, the CIA notified all its station chiefs about intelligence suggesting a possible al Qaeda suicide attack on a U.S. target over the next few days. (p. 257)
On June 25, Clarke warned Rice and Hadley that six separate intelligence reports showed al Qaeda personnel warning of a pending attack. (p. 257)
On July 18, 2001, the State Department provided a warning to the public regarding possible terrorist attacks in the Arabian Peninsula. (p. 259)
On July 27, Clarke informed Rice and Hadley that the spike in intelligence about a near-term al Qaeda attack had stopped. He urged keeping readiness high during the August vacation period, warning that another report suggested an attack had just been postponed for a few months “but will still happen.” (p. 260)
On August 3, the intelligence community issued an advisory concluding that the threat of impending al Qaeda attacks would likely continue indefinitely. Citing threats in the Arabian Peninsula, Jordan, Israel, and Europe, the advisory suggested that al Qaeda was lying in wait and searching for gaps in security before moving forward with the planned attacks. (p. 260)
The idea that the US knew the 9/11 attacks were coming with enough specificity to even place the attack on the right continent is freakin absurd. The famous President’s Daily Brief titled Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US is a monument to the idea of a nothingburger (read it for yourself at the link).
It is also a testament to what Trump’s off-the-wall pronouncements have accomplished. If, a few months ago, you had told me that a statement by the leader of the GOP presidential primary accusing President Bush of knowing in advance of 9/11 would be made on a major (well, sorta, it was CNN) television network and it would NOT be front page news I would have though you to be a lunatic. But there we are.