On this anniversary of 9/11, there is an article in today’s New York Times revealing new evidence that the Bush Administration was warned on numerous occasions prior to 9/11 that terrorists were planning a major assault on American soil. The Bush people only turned over one briefing from the CIA discussing an imminent attack to the 9/11 Commission — the infamous “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” memo — but the author of the Times article has seen a number of other classified terrorist warnings issued by intelligence sources, some with a sense of urgency that is alarming.
Many 9/11 conspiracy theories are ridiculous in their intricacy and absurd levels of involvement, but I am one who does not believe the 9/11 Commission did a thorough or credible job of getting at the truth behind the horrible events that happened in Manhattan 11 years ago today, and the Times article bears this view out. While there may not have been an active government conspiracy behind the plane attacks, we are now learning that the Bush Administration was not being truthful about the level or number of warnings issued prior to the events of that day. That’s not tinfoil hat Illuminati ravings, but the cold hard truth.
There are only two conclusions to be drawn from this new information. The first, and the most likely, is that the level of incompetence in the Bush Administration was even higher than we imagined. The author of the article attempts to analyze what might have been going through the minds of officials who were privy to the briefings and did nothing, but the lack of action to the dire warnings of the CIA is emblematic of an Administration shackled by ideological blinders, cronyism and a world-view at odds with reality (remember hurricane Katrina).
The second conclusion is definitely more cynical, but not out of the realm of possibility. Based on what we know of Bush and company’s pathological hatred of Saddam Hussein, it is possible that there were members of the Administration who were looking for an excuse to invade Iraq, and understood that a terrorist attack could provide just the right cover story. Perhaps the inaction of the Bushies was not incompetence, but a calculated strategy for propelling us into war with the despised dictator.
We may never know exactly what happened in the run up to the 9/11 tragedy, but today’s Times article makes it clear to me that there is still more to learn about that fateful day.