Friday, February 11, 2005

Bush team tried to suppress pre-9/11 report into al-Qa'ida

From the Independent:

"Federal officials were repeatedly warned in the months before the 11 September 2001 terror attacks that Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida were planning aircraft hijackings and suicide attacks, according to a new report that the Bush administration has been suppressing.
Critics say the new information undermines the government's claim that intelligence about al-Qa'ida's ambitions was 'historical' in nature.

The report, withheld from the public for months, says the FAA was primarily focused on the likelihood of an incident overseas. However, in spring 2001, it warned US airports that if 'the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable'.

Kristin Bretweiser, whose husband was killed in the World Trade Centre, said yesterday the newly released details undermined testimony from Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser, who told the commission that information about al-Qa'ida's threats seen by the administration was 'historical in nature'.

She told The Independent: 'There were 52 threats that were mentioned. These were present threats - they were not historical. There were steps that could have been taken. Marshals could have been put on planes that spring. Condoleezza Rice's testimony is undermined.' To the consternation of members of the commission who published the original report last year, the administration has been blocking the release of the latest information. An unclassified copy of this additional appendix was passed to the National Archives two weeks ago with large portions blacked out."

In a country where a free press regards its job as being more than tacking a byline onto WH talking points, one would expect to see a huge backdraft crisping Condiliar and her co-conspiritors. Don't hold your breath.


Blogger Allison said...

Can't imagine why they kept this back until after the election...

7:59 AM  

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