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White House Admits Pre-9/11 Warnings; Bush Still Denies It
Date: Tuesday, December 16 2003
Topic:


[FYI: the August 6, 2001 Presidentilal Daily Briefing papers is what everyone wants to see because (supposedly) that has all the details about what kind of attack they could expect - NSay]



December 16, 2003 | Daily Mislead Archive

White House Admits Pre-9/11 Warnings; Bush Still Denies It



At his press conference yesterday, President Bush was asked about charges that he had received warnings prior to the September 11th attacks that a terrorist incident was imminent. He answered that even asking such a question was "an absurd insinuation." It was the same sentiment expressed by Bush's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who said in May of 2002 that "[no one predicted] that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane."


The problem for the president and the administration is that the White House has previously admitted that the president had personally received such specific warnings. As ABC News reported in May of 2002, "White House officials acknowledge that U.S. intelligence officials informed President Bush weeks before the September 11th attacks that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network might try to hijack American planes." As Condoleezza Rice said at a hastily called press conference to spin these revelations, the President specifically received an "analytic report" on August 6th, 2001 at his Crawford mansion that "talked about Osama bin Laden's methods of operation" and "mentioned hijacking." According to Reuters, that report was congruent with "intelligence since 1998 that said followers of bin Laden were planning to strike U.S. targets, hijack U.S. planes.".



While the administration claims that the president's pre-9/11 warning was actually "not a warning," the threat was specific enough for Attorney General John Ashcroft to stop flying commercial airlines. While no warning was issued for the general public after Bush's personal intelligence warning, Ashcroft was flying exclusively by leased jet instead of commercial airlines because of an official "threat assessment by the FBI."


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