Saturday, November 14, 2015

Terrorist Strike in Paris and the Other Major News Story of the Day

Today we mourn and send our sympathies to the families and friends of the dead and wounded in yesterday's attacks in Paris. Killing innocent men, women and children is the coward’s way, and those responsible for the Paris attacks must be brought to justice for the crime of murder. Acts of terror such as this are just that, actions intended to terrorize and intimidate enemies, so the best way to battle these atrocities is for the citizens of France to stay strong, courageous and unified.

 That said, I want address a related comment I saw on Reddit. A person added a post with the headline: Pay close attention to what events that are being overshadowed by the Paris attacks. Now this can be understood in two ways. The author could be implying that the attacks were staged to cover up an important piece of news or that we shouldn’t lose sight of other significant news happening during this time period. I lean toward the second interpretation, but either way, there is a major story in the news today that is probably not getting the attention it deserves.

In an article in Slate, we now know that in the months prior to 9/11 Bush, Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice received urgent intelligence on numerous occasions that there was an imminent attack about to happen on U.S. soil, and did nothing. Here is an excerpt: 

"In a blockbuster account by Chris Whipple, based on interviews he did for a Showtime documentary, former chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center Cofer Black and former CIA director George Tenet described how they spent the months leading up to 9/11 trying to warn the White House that a spectacular attack was imminent and that the country needed to take urgent action, but to no avail."

Tenet became so alarmed by the intel the CIA was receiving that he called for an urgent meeting with Rice to warn of an imminent terrorist attack. Rice did nothing in response.

 What this means is that there were many more serious and specific warnings about a terrorist attack in American than the Bush administration ever admitted to. Condi Rice’s statement after 9/11 that nobody could have imagined planes hitting skyscrapers turns out to be a blatant lie, as there were many such warnings. The question of course, is why?

 Was it the sheer incompetence of the Bush White House to brush off such dire warnings or was something else going on? Why weren’t Tenet’s concerns addressed and serious efforts made to thwart such a terrorist plot? Was it incompetence or the “new Pearl Harbor” that Cheney and the neocons in Washington needed to initiate their wars in the Middle East?

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