Friday, April 09, 2004

As if I needed another reason why Orcinus is on my daily read list, David comes up with a this great post:
Even more significant is the fact that -- just as the Aug. 6 Presidential Daily Briefing that is now the focus of the post-testimony controversy apparently suggests, according to 9/11 commissioners Bob Kerrey and Tim Roemer -- the same warning signs that had alerted officials to the Millennium Plot -- were replicating themselves.

As the Center for American Progress details in its rebuttal to Rice's testimony:

Page 204 of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 noted that "In May 2001, the intelligence community obtained a report that Bin Laden supporters were planning to infiltrate the United States" to "carry out a terrorist operation using high explosives." The report "was included in an intelligence report for senior government officials in August [2001]." In the same month, the Pentagon "acquired and shared with other elements of the Intelligence Community information suggesting that seven persons associated with Bin Laden had departed various locations for Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States." [Sources: Joint Congressional Report, 12/02]

That wasn't all. Just as one of the key conspirators -- namely, Ahmed Ressam -- had been caught in 1999, leading Clarke, O'Neill and the counterterrorism team to break up the rest of the Millennium plot, so had one of the 9/11 conspirators evidently already been captured on Aug. 15: Zacarias Moussaoui.

Did Bush's counterterrorism team spring into action and catch the rest of his co-conspirators? Well, no. But then, we all knew the answer to that.


As Joe Conason put it in today's Salon:

The public testimony of Condoleezza Rice before the 9/11 commission had a strategy and a structure, to use terms that she favors. The obvious strategy was to swathe every answer to a challenging question from the commissioners in "context" that did more to obfuscate than clarify.

They keep saying, you know, that Sept. 11 was "the day that changed everything." I'm not so sure about that.

But there is one thing I know changed that day: The Bush administration's grotesque incompetence, and its devastating consequences, were laid bare for all the world to see. It's just taken this long for the smoke to clear -- and not even Condi Rice's fresh layer of fog can hide it any longer.

Beautifully put....