Republicans selected New York City for their national convention, clearly in reference to 9/11. George W. Bush tells campaign faithful he demonstrated presidential leadership up to, and during, the attacks on 9/11. The facts presented in the 9/11 Commission Report show Mr. Bush failed Americans on the most horrific day of our nation's history.
Upon being declared the winner of the 43rd presidency, Bush and key administration staff, specifically NSA director Condolezza Rice, received many alerts, warnings and intelligence briefings on the growing danger of Al Qaeda and Usama bin Laden (UBL).
Watch Bush in a Florida classroom on 9/11:
Bush and "The Pet Goat"
(12.2M Quicktime movie)
Visit the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission at Complete 911 Timeline.org
Read the Complete 9/11 Timeline at Complete 911 Timeline.org
What really happened to the Pentagon on 9/11? See:
Conspiracy Theory or Reality?
Covert operatives had long warned that Bin Laden's network was planning attacks on American interests. President Bush received 40 highly classified intelligence briefings from the time he entered the Oval Office up to the 9/11 attacks. A reiterated theme warned UBL was seeking targets outside the United States.
Yet George W. Bush received a report, less than five weeks prior to September 11th, that specifically warned UBL was planning to attack Americans at home.
Titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," it was one of our nation's most classified documents, a Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), dated August 6, 2001. The PDB noted:
"F.B.I. information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."
Aug. 6th PDB
Click on pages to download
Bush did not alert the FAA or FBI. In fact he did nothing.
The PDB is a presidential "eye's only" report. While Clinton preferred written formats, George W. Bush received his daily updates verbally. The director of the Central Intelligence agency (DCI), George Tenet, provided the daily briefing.
Yet on the day of August 6th, just weeks prior to the attacks, George W. Bush was on vacation at his Crawford, Texas ranch. George Tenet was in Washington, D.C. How was the daily briefing managed?
Bush failed to study the PDB. There is no evidence that George W. Bush, or Rice, fully considered the warnings included in the August 6th PDB.
"We [9/11 Commission] have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisors of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States." [p.262]
George W. Bush and National Security Advisor Rice claim the August 6th PDB was insufficient intelligence information. They argue the document was simply a "historical report." Yet it was the first to warn Bin Laden was targeting the U.S. directly. It included that Bin Laden was interested in hijacking aircraft, and mentioned government buildings in New York City were suspected targets.
Bush opposed the formation of the 9/11 Commission. Due to the outcry by families of 9/11 victims, Bush changed his position.
Bush initially refused to allow Condolezza Rice to testify before the commission. Bush withdrew his opposition due to public pressure.
Bush refused to testify "under oath" before the commission. He consented to appear before the body on the condition that Vice President Dick Cheney be present.
Bush continues to deny public review of twenty-eight pages related to Saudi Arabia's involvement in the 9/11 attacks that are contained in the Congressional Investigation into the 9/11 attacks.
The following consists of facts taken from the 9/11 Commission Report, as compiled by five Republicans and five Democrats, respected women and men who devoted their lives to this public undertaking.
Bush Missed Warning in August 6, 2001 PDB
p.200: President Clinton, a voracious reader, received his daily intelligence briefings in writing. He often scrawled questions and
comments in the margins, eliciting written responses. The new
president, by contrast, reinstated the practice of face-to-face
briefings from the DCI. President Bush and Tenet met in the Oval
Office at 8:00 A.M., with Vice President Cheney, Rice, and Card
usually also present.
DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas on August 17 and participated in PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period.
On August 6, 2001, Bush was at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. George Tenet was in Washington, D.C. Bush likely "read" a printed copy of the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB).
The August 6, 2001 PDB
p.260: During the spring and summer 2001, President Bush had on several occasions asked his briefers whether any of the threats pointed to the United States... The result was an article in the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." It was the 36th PDB item briefed so far that year that related to Bin Ladin or al Qaeda, and the first devoted to the possibility of an attack in the United States.
p.260: The President told us the August 6 report was historical in nature... He did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so. He said that if his advisors had told him there was a cell in the United States, they would have moved to take care of it. That never happened.
p.260-262: Although the following day's SEIB [Senior Executive Intelligence Brief] repeated the title of this PDB, it did
not contain the reference to hijackings, the alert in New York, the alleged
casing of buildings in New York, the threat phoned in to the embassy, or the fact that the FBI had approximately 70 ongoing bin Laden-related investigations. No CSG or NSC meeting was held to discuss the possible threat of a strike in the United States as a result of this report.
p.262: [From the PDB] Nevertheless, FBI information since that time
indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.
p.262: We have found no indication of any further discussion before
September 11 among the President and his top advisors of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States.
George Bush's Reaction on 9/11
p.38: The President was seated in a classroom when, at 9:05, Andrew Card whispered to him: "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."
p.38-39: The President remained in the classroom for another five to seven minutes, while the children continued reading. He then returned to a holding room shortly before 9:15, where he was briefed by staff and saw television coverage.
p.39: The Secret Service told us they were anxious to move the President to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.
p.39: Between 9:15 and 9:30... The only decision made during this time was to return to Washington.
p.39: The President's motorcade departed at 9:35, and arrived at the airport between 9:42 and 9:45. During the ride the President learned about the attack on the Pentagon... at about 9:45 the President told the Vice President: "Sounds like we have a minor war going on here, I heard about the Pentagon. We're at war... somebody's going to pay."
p.41: On Air Force One, the President's press secretary was taking notes; Ari Fleischer recorded that at 10:20, the President told him that he had
authorized a shootdown of aircraft if necessary.
ATTACK TIME LINE
America Airlines Flight 11 hits North Tower at 8:46:40
United Airlines Flight 175 hits South Tower at 9:03:11
American Airlines Flight 77 hits Pentagon at 9:37:46
United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in field in PA at 10:03:11
MOBILIZAION TIME LINE
p.289: Mobilization: The FDNY began within five seconds of the crash.
Bush didn't move for seven minutes... He did not give the final shootdown order until after the attacks were over.
Rise Neglected Clarke's Warning
p.201: Clarke submitted an elaborate memorandum on January 25, 2001. He attached to it his 1998 Delenda Plan and the December 2000
strategy. "We urgenty (underline) need... a Principals level review
on the al Qida network," Clarke wrote.
p.201: The national security advisor did not respond directly to Clarke's memorandum. No Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda was held until
September 4, 2001 (although the Principals Committee met frequently on
p.203: Rice deferred a Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda until the deputies had developed a new policy for their consideration. The
full Deputies Committee discussed al Qaeda on April 30. CIA briefing
slides described al Qaeda as the "most dangerous group we face," citing
its "leadership, experience, resources, safe haven in Afghanistan,
[and] focus on attacking U.S." The slides warned, "There will be more
p.205: In May or June, Clarke asked to be moved from his counterterrorism portfolio to a new set of responsibilities for cybersecurity. He told us
that he was frustrated with his role and with an administration that he
considered not "serious about al Qaeda."
Transition of Power: Clinton to Bush
p.174: President Clinton was deeply concerned about Bin Laden. He and his national security advisor, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, ensured
they had special daily pipeline of reports feeding them the latest
updates on Bin Laden's reported location.
p.198: Bush and his principal advisers had all received briefings
on terrorism, including Bin Ladin. In early September 2000, Acting
Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin led a team
to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and gave him a wide-ranging,
four-hour review of sensitive information.
Ben Bonk, deputy chief of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, used
one of the four hours to deal with terrorism... Bonk told Bush
that Americans would die from terrorism during the next four years.
p.199: In December, Bush met with Clinton for a two-hour, one-on-one discussion of national security and foreign policy challenges.
Clinton recalled saying to Bush, "I think you will find that by far
your biggest threat is Bin Laden and the al Qaeda."
p.199: In early January [Richard] Clarke briefed [Condolezza] Rice
on terrorism. He gave a similar presentation [as Clinton gave Bush]
-- describing al Qaeda as both an adaptable global network of
jihadist organizations and a lethal core terrorist organization --
to Vice President-elect Cheney, Hadley, and Secretary of State-
designate Powell. One line in the briefing slides said that al Qaeda
had sleeper cells in more than 40 countries, including the United
States. Berger told us that he made a point of dropping in on
Clarke's briefing to emphasize the importance of the issue. Later
the same day, Berger met with Rice. He says that he told her the
Bush administration would spend more time on terrorism in general
and al Qaeda in particular than on anything else.
p.208: The commander of Central Command, General Franks, told us that he
did not regard the existing plans [to attack Bin Laden in Afghanistan] as
serious. To him a real military plan to address al Qaeda would need to go
all the way... with this directive still awaiting President Bush's
signature, Secretary Rumsfeld did not order his subordinates to begin
preparing any new military plans against either al Qaeda or the Taliban
p.209: In February, Clarke briefed Attorney General Ashcroft on his
directorate's issues. He reported that at the time, the attorney general
acknowledged a "steep learning curve..." Neither Ashcroft nor his
predecessors received the Presidential Daily Brief.
p.212: The Principals Committee had its first meeting on al Qaeda on
September 4. On the day of the meeting, Clarke sent Rice an impassioned
personal note... He wrote, "are we serious about dealing with the al Qida
threat?... Is al Qida a big deal?... Decision makers should imagine
themselves on a future day when the CSG has not succeeded in stopping al
Qida attacks and hundreds of Americans lay dead in several countries,
including the US," Clarke wrote.
p.213: Clarke could not understand, "why we continue to allow the existence of large scale al Qida bases where we know people are being trained to kill Americans."
Invoking President Bush's own language, Clarke wrote, "You are left with a
modest effort to swat flies, to try to prevent specific al Qida attacks by
using [intelligence] to detect them and friendly governments' police and
intelligence officers to stop them. You are left waiting for the big attack,
with lots of casualties, after which some major US retaliation will be in
A Nation Facing Attack: President Bush Goes on Vacation
p.254: Ch. 8 - "THE SYSTEM WAS BLINKING RED"
p. 254: There were more than 40 intelligence articles in the PDBs
Daily Briefs] from January 20 to September 10, 2001, that related to Bin
p. 255: On March 23, ... Clarke warned National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice that domestic or foreign terrorists might use a truck bomb -- their
"weapon of choice" -- on Pennsylvania Avenue... He also told her that he
thought there were terrorist cells within the United States, including al
p.255: [About May 15] The next day brought a report that a phone call to a
embassy had warned that Bin Laden supporters were planning an attack in the
United States using "high explosives." On May 17, based on the previous
day's report, the first item on the CSG's agenda was "UBL: Operation Planned
p.256: A June 12 CIA report... mentioned, in commenting on Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, that he was recruiting people to travel to the United States to
with colleagues already there so that they might conduct terrorist attacks
Bin Ladin's behalf.
p.257: On June 25, Clarke warned Rice and Hadley that... this was all too
sophisticated to be merely a psychological operation to keep the United
States on edge, and the CIA agreed.
p.257: On June 28, Clarke wrote Rice that the pattern of al Qaeda activity
indicating attack planning over the past six weeks "had reached a
One al Qaeda intelligence report warned that something "very, very, very,
big was about to happen, and most of Bin Laden's network was reportedly
anticipating the attack.
p.258: That same day, Saudi Arabia declared its highest level of terror
p.258: [On July 5] That same day, the CIA briefed Attorney General Ashcroft
the al Qaeda threat, warning that a significant terrorist attack was
p.259: In mid-July, reporting started to indicate that Bin Laden's plans had
been delayed, maybe for as long as two months, but not abandoned.
p.259: Tenet told us that in his world "the system was blinking red." By late July, Tenet said it could not "get any worse."
In response, George W. Bush decided to take a vacation for the entire month of August. Clearing brush on his ranch in Crawford, Texas was more important than the safety of the American people.
Three years later, 49 pecent of the electorate say they're willing to follow Mr. Bush.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden's top lieutenant, appeared in a videotaped message September 9, 2004 on the Arabic-language TV news network Al-Jazeera.
Al-Zawahiri claims southern and eastern Afghanistan are now controlled by the mujahedeen, or holy warriors.
He added that the mujahedeen fighters in Iraq "turned America's plan upside down."
"The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become just a matter of time, with God's help... Americans in both countries are between two fires. If they carry on, they will bleed to death -- and if they pull out, they lose everything."
Two Months Before 9/11, an Urgent Warning to Rice
On July 10, 2001, two months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet met with his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, at CIA headquarters to review the latest on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organization.
Black laid out the case, consisting of communications intercepts and other top-secret intelligence showing the increasing likelihood that al-Qaeda would soon attack the United States. It was a mass of fragments and dots that nonetheless made a compelling case, so compelling to Tenet that he decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately.
Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from the car and said he needed to see her right away. There was no practical way she could refuse such a request from the CIA director. Read the Complete Story