Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Daily Flashback: Skippy 9-11 Edition

How Much Is George W. Bush Responsible for 9/11?�|�Elizabeth Drew:

...But that's not the heart of the matter. The heretofore hushed-up public policy question that Trump stumbled into is: Did George W. Bush do what he could have to try to disrupt the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001? It's not simply a question of whether he could have stopped the devastation--that's unknowable. But did he do all he could given the various warnings that al-Qaeda was planning a major attack somewhere on US territory, most likely New York or Washington? The unpleasant, almost unbearable conclusion--one that was not to be discussed within the political realm--is that in the face of numerous warnings of an impending attack, Bush did nothing.

Osama bin Laden was already a wanted man when the Bush administration took office. The Clinton administration had identified him as the prime suspect in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa, and it took a few steps to capture or kill him that came to naught. Outgoing Clinton officials warned the incoming administration about al-Qaeda, but the repeated and more specific warnings by Richard Clarke, who stayed on from one administration to the next as the chief terrorism adviser, were ignored. In a White House meeting on July 5, 2001, Clarke said, "Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon." By this time top Bush officials regarded Clarke as a pain, who kept going on about terrorist plots against the US...

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