Today being 9/11, I note that the New York Times has fired a last broadside across the bow of George W Bush. On the Op Ed page, Kurt Eichenwald, who has written extensively about the ‘war on terror’, claims to have read a number of Presidential Daily Briefings from the days leading up to 9/11 and concludes that Bush and company were completely ignoring the mounting evidence (beginning in May of that year) that Osama Bin Laden was planning a major attack against the United States. CIA analysts were completely apoplectic about their warnings being ignored, and many fought to be transferred out of Counterterrorism, fearing that they would have to shoulder the blame should an Al Qaeda attack take place.
It’s hard to place this in the context of my post yesterday regarding the many inconsistencies about that day. One of the problems in dealing with a question as thorny as “what really happened on 9/11?” is that there are many parties who welcome distraction. The rise of a 9/11 truth movement actually helped the Bush administration–many adherents of the 9/11 truth movement are promoting ideas that defy logic (the planes were holographic images?). Bush and the mainstream media could dismiss such arguments out of hand, and the 9/11 truthers became known for outlandish theories rather than the real questions around the events of the day. Indeed, anyone who remembers COINTELPRO knows that the best way to disarm one’s opposition is sometimes to promote its fringes.
And there’s also the possibility that multiple things were going on–was Bush ignoring the CIA because his administration needed a Pearl Harbor event in order to justify an attack on Iraq?
Bush’s lassitude about Al Qaeda and its intentions in the US is one interesting piece of a mosaic. we’d need a Congressional hearing to determine whether Eichenwald’s allegations are true. That won’t happen as long as the Republican control the House. And it probably wouldn’t happen even then–the Democrats were quick to throw Representative Cynthia McKinney overboard when she started talking about 9/11 too often.
Again–sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the cynicism.