The Left continues with its attempts to rewrite history. The always popular subject is that Bush did nothing to prevent 9/11. Of course that is pure BS, and deserves to be scorned. In addition I note that that doesn’t track with what Richard Clarke, Clinton’s NSA who was retained by Bush, has said. From an interview:
RICHARD CLARKE: Actually, I've got about seven points, let me just go through them quickly. Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.
Second point is that the Clinton administration had a strategy in place, effectively dating from 1998. And there were a number of issues on the table since 1998. And they remained on the table when that administration went out of office — issues like aiding the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, changing our Pakistan policy -- uh, changing our policy toward Uzbekistan. And in January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. They were also briefed on these series of issues that had not been decided on in a couple of years.
Clarke rambles a bit here, but there are two key points. There was no PLAN but their was a STRATEGY. But since they could not solve the Northern Alliance, Pakistan, etc., and had not for over two years, they couldn’t produce a PLAN.
And the third point is the Bush administration decided then, you know, in late January, to do two things. One, vigorously pursue the existing policy, including all of the lethal covert action findings, which we've now made public to some extent.
And the point is, while this big review was going on, there were still in effect, the lethal findings were still in effect. The second thing the administration decided to do is to initiate a process to look at those issues which had been on the table for a couple of years and get them decided.
So, point five, that process which was initiated in the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda.
Clarke rambles again, but the two key points is that within days of the start of the start of the Bush administration it was decided to increase resources in going after al-Qaeda, “five fold.”
The second point is that nothing Clinton had started was stopped. “…the lethal findings were still in effect.”
So Bush kept Clinton’s CIA going and decided to increase the resources 500%.
Now you can argue that this wasn’t enough, but the facts are that this was 7 months before 9/11 and demonstrates Bush’s belief that there was a problem and pledged to increase the resources.
Plus, the problems with the Northern Alliance and Pakistan that Clinton could not solve for over two years still remained.
ANGLE: So, just to finish up if we could then, so what you're saying is that there was no — one, there was no plan; two, there was no delay; and that actually the first changes since October of '98 were made in the spring months just after the administration came into office?
CLARKE: You got it. That's right.
Now the Left likes to make much over the Presidential Daily Briefing that Bush received on 8/6/01 that said that al-Qaeda was going to attack. Bush’s response was less than nice, dismissing the briefer with an “Okay, now you’ve done your job” type comment.
Why was he grumpy? Most likely because there was nothing new in the report and he regarded it as a CYA by staff. Why do I say this? Because he already knew it.
"At the special meeting on July 5 were the FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration. We told them that we thought a spectacular al Qaeda terrorist attack was coming in the near future." That had been had been George Tenet's language. "We asked that they take special measures to increase security and surveillance. Thus, the White House did ensure that domestic law enforcement including the FAA knew that the CSG believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming, and it could be in the U.S., and did ask that special measures be taken."
The above is from an interview with NSA Rice and shows that 32 days before the meeting Bush knew about it and had his NSA warn all the agencies. And there was little more he could have done outside declaring martial law and taking control of all entrances into the US and all movements within the US.
So there you have the facts. Clinton dithered and Bush took action. It may not have been enough but it was all he could have done, and should have done based on the information he had.
To my friends on the Left, no charge for the education.