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Subject:

(Fwd) What Bush Knew When the Terrorists Flew

From:

KENT JOHNSON <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 17 May 2002 10:01:02 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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------- Forwarded message follows -------
To:                     ps <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   portsideMod <[log in to unmask]>
Date sent:              Thu, 16 May 2002 21:15:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:                What Bush Knew When the Terrorists Flew
Send reply to:          [log in to unmask]

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Statement by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
===========================================
May 16, 2002

Several weeks ago, I called for a congressional
investigation into what warnings the Bush
Administration received before the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001. I was derided by the White House,
right wing talk radio, and spokespersons for the
military-industrial complex as a conspiracy theorist.
Even my patriotism was questioned because I dared to
suggest that Congress should conduct a full and
complete investigation into the most disastrous
intelligence failure in American history. Georgia
Senator Zell Miller even went so far as to characterize
my call for hearings as "dangerous, loony and
irresponsible."

Today's revelations that the administration, and
President Bush, were given months of notice that a
terrorist attack was a distinct possibility points out
the critical need for a full and complete congressional
investigation. It now becomes clear why the Bush
Administration has been vigorously opposing
congressional hearings. The Bush Administration has
been engaged in a conspiracy of silence. If committed
and patriotic people had not been pushing for
disclosure today's revelations would have been hidden
by the White House.

Because I love my country, because I am a patriot, and
because the American people deserve the truth, I
believe it would be dangerous, loony and irresponsible
not to hold full congressional hearings on any warnings
the Bush Administration had before the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001. Ever since I came to
Congress in 1992, there are those who have been trying
to silence my voice. I've been told to "sit down and
shut up" over and over again. Well, I won't sit down
and I won't shut up until the full and unvarnished
truth is placed before the American people.

 : t r u t h o u t 2002

_______________________________________________________

The Terrorists Flew and Bush Knew
=================================
By William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t | 16 May, 2002

When Andrew Card interrupted the 298th reading of 'The
Very Hungry Caterpillar' by whispering words of fire
and death into the ear of George W. Bush as he sat with
schoolchildren on September 11th, 2001, Mr. Bush's face
betrayed not a hint of surprise and shock. Now, we know
why.

Governor Jeb Bush of Florida signed Executive Order No.
01-261 on September 7th, 2001, renewing an order signed
six months earlier that allowed the National Guard to
be called out in case of emergency. On September 11th,
he used this order to command members of the National
Guard into active service and essentially declared
martial law in Florida. When informed of the attacks in
New York and Washington, Governor Bush responded, "Was
it the terrorists?" Now, we know why.

On the eve of his first State of the Union speech,
George W. Bush along with Vice President Cheney
contacted Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and asked
him to soft-pedal any Congressional investigations into
the September 11th attacks. The requests were little
more than thinly veiled threats. Now, we know why.

Virtually every news outlet is buzzing today with the
newest revelation: Bush had been warned in the months
before 9/11 of Al Qaida terrorist plans to hijack
airplanes. The White House response to this thunderclap
has been predictably muted: "The administration, based
on hijackings, notified the appropriate agencies," said
Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. He did not deign to
reveal which agencies were alerted, nor did he specify
the content of the warning. Jose Juves, spokesman for
the Massachusetts Port Authority, the state agency
responsible for security at Boston's Logan Airport,
stated in today's Boston Globe, "The Federal government
never handed down any intelligence regarding
hijackings." The two airplanes that destroyed the World
Trade Center towers came from Logan. Someone is lying.

Fleischer has described the warnings as having been
regarding "hijackings in the traditional sense," and
that no one in the administration could have conceived
of a plot to turn commercial airlines into suicide
bombs. This does not defray the substance of the
central question: If Bush heard the words 'Al Qaida'
and 'hijackings in America' in the same sentence, why
did he fail to substantially augment airline security
across the nation? He and his people did not need to
conjure images of 9/11 before the actual event to
understand that avoiding terrorist hijackings within
the continental United States was of paramount
importance under any circumstances. Besides, one
protects an airplane from getting hijacked in the same
way one protects an airplane from becoming a fuel-air
bomb.

The warnings delivered to Mr. Bush regarding Al Qaida
plans to hijack American airplanes did not occur in a
vacuum. FBI agents in Phoenix issued warnings in the
summer of 2001 about suspicious Arab men receiving
aviation training in American flight schools. The
warning was never followed up. An agent in the Arizona
field office commented in his case notes that Zacarias
Moussaoui, arrested in August after suspicious activity
at one of these flight schools, seemed like a man
capable of flying airplanes into the World Trade
Center.

Newspapers in Germany, France, Russia and London
reported in the months before September 11th of a
blizzard of warnings delivered to the Bush
administration from all points on the compass. The
German intelligence service BND warned American and
Israeli agencies that terrorists were planning to
hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to
attack important American targets. Egypt warned of a
similar plane-based plot against Bush during the G-8
summit in Genoa last June, a warning taken so seriously
that anti-aircraft batteries were placed around
Columbus Airport in Italy. Last August, Russian
intelligence services notified the CIA that 25
terrorist pilots had been trained for suicide missions,
and Putin himself confirmed that this warning was
delivered "in the strongest possible terms"
specifically regarding threats to airports and
government buildings. In that same month, the Israeli
security agency Mossad issued a warning to both the FBI
and CIA that up to 200 bin Laden followers were
planning a major assault on America, aimed at
vulnerable targets. The Los Angeles Times later
confirmed via unnamed US officials that the Mossad
warnings had been received.

On September 16th, 2001, Vice President Cheney gave an
interview to Tim Russert on the NBC news program 'Meet
the Press.' In the course of the interview, the
following exchange took place:
"MR. RUSSERT: Were you surprised by the precision and
sophistication of the operation?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, certainly, we were surprised
in the sense that, you know, there had been information
coming in that a big operation was planned, but that's
sort of a trend that you see all the time in these
kinds of reports. But we didn't...
MR. RUSSERT: No specific threat?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No specific threat involving really
a domestic operation or involving what happened,
obviously, the cities, airliner and so forth. We did go
on alert with our overseas forces a number of times
during the course of the summer when we thought the
threat level had risen significantly. So clearly, we
were surprised by what happened here."

Cheney's claim that no threats had been leveled against
domestic targets "involving what happened" stands in
stark contrast to the warnings received from foreign
intelligence services regarding suicide pilots,
aircraft and important American buildings. Furthermore,
Ari Fleischer's claim that no one in the administration
could have conceived of any hijackings beyond the
"traditional" kind stumbles across these same warnings.

Conspiracy-minded Americans have taken as an article of
faith the idea that the Bush administration and the CIA
knew full well that the 9/11 attacks were coming, and
allowed them to happen for personal and political gain.
Though largely circumstantial in nature, these claims
do have some definite substance. It cannot be denied
that Bush has enjoyed phenomenal support from the
American people since the attacks, and political
opponents who were ready to take his policies apart
last August have been cowed into silence for months
now.

Bush has personally used 9/11 to earn laughs at the
expense of the dead, and to make some fast cash for the
Republican Party. On no less than eight occasions, Bush
has made his "trifecta" joke before fawning GOP
audiences. Based on a reported campaign 2000 promise
that he would not raid social security or enter deficit
spending unless the rise of war, recession or national
emergency, Bush has since 9/11 remarked that he "hit
the trifecta" and was safe to crack open the taxpayer
piggy bank. The joke never failed to earn laughs from
the crowd. It was recently revealed that the GOP was
selling photos of Bush's activities on September 11th
as a fundraising gimmick, an act that Al Gore has
labeled "disgraceful."

The idea that Bush allowed 9/11 to happen for his own
gain is difficult to swallow, and even more difficult
to prove. As things stand today, however, the evidence
and information in hand is damning enough. The Bush
administration was repeatedly warned by foreign
intelligence services of immediate threats via aircraft
to American targets. FBI agents in Phoenix had more
evidence in hand, which was ignored. Bush himself was
warned of Al Qaida hijack threats, but failed to
augment airline security. Vice President Cheney lied on
national television about having received these
warnings, and Ari Fleischer has been bolstering this
lie with many of his own since the story broke. Add
this to already-existing reports that the
administration stood down its anti-terrorism forces
many months ago out of concern that such investigative
activities might offend a variety of oil-rich nations.
This stand-down came on the eve of the conclusion of a
major deal involving a natural gas pipeline through the
Subcontinent that was sponsored by Unocal.

This much is certain: The Bush administration, the FBI,
and the CIA failed utterly to act upon readily
available warnings regarding September 11th. Bush
himself owns this failure. Not only must he answer for
this, but he must also become the Number One Advocate
for a far-reaching Congressional investigation into the
attacks, and into the failure of his administration and
its intelligence services to address the threat. He
must stop making jokes about trifectas, and he must
stop selling photographs of himself depicting the
moment of his greatest shame. Thousands of Americans
are dead, thousands of civilians in Afghanistan are
dead, and thousands more may follow in Iraq. Now, we
know why.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section
107, this material is distributed without profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational
purposes.)

 : t r u t h o u t 2002



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