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Damning Evidence in Memo!!

Well, maybe evidence that the Blame Bush crusade just struck out swinging. August 6 memo There's the whole thing. Read it. Done? Good. Because now we are going to play a game called Spot the Actionable Information! The rules are this: Carefully read memo. Take a few minutes to think about it. Cite the actionable intelligence - meaning something specific that action could have been taken on to prevent 9/11. Come on, let's get started! You go first. I'll wait. And wait. And wait. And....wait.....

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» Required Reading from The American Mind
The "infamous" 08.06.01 memo [click below] has been released. The way Bush's critics made it sound, you'd think there was [Read More]

» I guess we're all missing the big deal from In My Not So Humble Opinion
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» The August 6th PDB Is Declassified from Insults Unpunished
The text of it can be found here. UPDATE: Michele has it up as well. Her conclusion: the lefties struck out swinging. No actionable intelligence.... [Read More]

» A Closer Look At The Aug 6, 2001 Briefing from Daily Newsbrief
For what it's worth, my paragraph-by-paragraph look at the August 6, 2001 presidential briefing declassified today: Paragraph 1:"Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in... [Read More]

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Xrlq does a nice job of fisking the memo. Really, it's important to read it yourself, but this should serve as a good primer. Remember how Ben-Veniste kept pushing to know the title of the memo, but wasn't concerned with... [Read More]

Comments

I don't see anything in there that says "IGNORE THIS MEMO" either...

It's particularly hard to spot any action items when you consider the tape of Bill Clinton saying he refused Sudan's offer to extradite bin Laden because "at the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America."

1996 . . . that comes after 1993, doesn't it? Or do they use a different calendar on Planet Moonbat?

Everyone's all over Condoleezza Rice for saying "no one could have imagined" what happened on September 11. But Clinton can say at in 1996, bin Laden had committed no crimes against America, and he gets a pass.

(Clinton quote here--and I guess I should note that I got there today via Ace of Spades HQ, though I'd heard the audio before, which is linked at the bottom of the article. Newsmax might not be a bastion of accuracy, but they're clearly not making this one up.)

You know, the funny thing is the Clinton Admin knew the WTC was going to be attacked way back in 93-94. Ramzi Yousef told the FBI agent that. IIRC, as they were helicopering by the WTC, the agent pointed and said, "see, it's still there," and Yousef told him it wouldn't be.

OT: Michele, I like your header!

Michelle, you do realize that we aren't dealing with rational people? You know, folks who can't tell the difference between "What might happen." and "What did happen.".

Nobody who would know what to make of that memo around here.

I presume that there was more than that memo concerning security matters. Paid professionals are tasked to bring the threads together.

I cannot find that claim made against Clinton in any reputable news source. In '98 he did fire upon Al Qaeda camps. He certaintly though, did not do enough to get ahold of or kill Osama. However, this seems like a problem with our system(political and social), even the Bush plan was too slow, and ill informed to have stopped that terrorist group.

The real point is what is actionable information, or actionable intelligence? Was there actionable intelligence pointing to Iraq having weapons of mass destruction? The intelligence on Iraq, most of which, existed in the NIE report was altered by Cheneys dozen visits to the analysts. The analysts having time and again to re-write their reports. The administration still not finding enough in the report, exaggerated threats, when Bush and Rice, both, described a looming nuclear mushroom cloud, when in fact even the report claimed that to be decades away. Perhaps they realized that no real intelligence gathering was in the report, and were overly fearful of the Iraq threat before 9/11, and afterwards were still trapped within the old adage, of "fighting the last war," when they should have been understanding muslim extremism and how to deflate the threat.

Actionable information is not that which confirms a fear, but information that is reliable, and accurate, and useful. I'm still waiting to see such information produced and properly recognized by our intelligence agencies. My belief is the existence of too much influence from the political process is the culprit.

For instance, what ever happened to that agent(her husband was refutting the "highly" dubious uranium claim) outted by an informer in a Novak column, was there an investigation to the claim that Bush administration leaked it?

Side Note: Here is what I never understood about 9/11, you can GPS track where you are on a road map in a car, why don't they track airplanes in that manner? How can a plane fly off course that far without detection? Where was the Air Force? Where were the flight controllers?! Hadn't anyone thought about this before?? Didn't an albeit small, but still a plane, fly into the White House during Clintons Administration by a disgruntaled citizen. Did someone stop and... wonder... hey, what if it was a big plane!

Cite the actionable intelligence - meaning something specific that action could have been taken on to prevent 9/11.

I tried that phrase with Subservient Chicken, and it couldn't comply. Huh.

Belize, did you try it with an exclamation point to reinforce the imperative voice?

Just read the memo. Hell, I don't understand why we didn't ground all airliners immediately.

hey mikey!

Let's pretend GW didn't "ignore" the memo... let's say on Aug. 7, 2001, he went out
ordered the United States military to stage an all-out attack on alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan. Thousands of U.S. special forces units parachuted into this neutral country, while air strikes targeted the Afghan government and its supporting military. Pentagon units seized abandoned Soviet air bases throughout Afghanistan, while establishing support bases in nearby nations such as Uzbekistan. Simultaneously, FBI agents throughout the United States staged raids in which dozens of men accused of terrorism were taken prisoner.
Do you believe people would be applauding GW? Or would they:
Reaction was swift and furious. Florida Senator Bob Graham said Bush had "brought shame to the United States with his paranoid delusions about so-called terror networks." British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused the United States of "an inexcusable act of conquest in plain violation of international law." White House chief counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke immediately resigned in protest of "a disgusting exercise in over-kill."
Needless to say, if that kind of Alternative History* had taken place, April 9, 2004, would have looked more like this:
A hush fell over the city as George W. Bush today became the first president of the United States ever to be removed from office by impeachment. Meeting late into the night, the Senate unanimously voted to convict Bush following a trial on his bill of impeachment from the House.
Moments after being sworn in as the 44th president, Dick Cheney said that disgraced former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice would be turned over to the Hague for trial in the International Court of Justice as a war criminal. Cheney said Washington would "firmly resist" international demands that Bush be extradited for prosecution as well.

How can any person over the age of 15 "forget" what the country was like on 9/10/01?

*column by Gregg Easterbrook of TNR

I cannot find that claim made against Clinton in any reputable news source.

There is, however, the little matter of the audio file (again, linked at the bottom of the Newsmax piece).

Either they paid an actor to do it, or that's Clinton's voice.

And I think, had they paid an actor to do it, Newsmax would have been sued to oblivion by now.

No need to sue, no one is paying any attention because there's nothing there.

I rarely comment, but this one is beyond belief.

You know, I really try like hell to keep an open mind. I tried to give Ben-Veniste and Kerrey the benefit of the doubt, because above all, I do want the truth. But right now I'm furious.

Ben-Veniste had seen that memo, he knew exactly what was in it, and yet he played it for the sound bite. Typical grandstanding attorney trick..cut someone off in the middle of their testimony so you can get the most damning clip with absolutely no respect for the truth.

Well..they "said" they wanted the memo released, and they got it, and in the process they firmly set my belief that they don't give a damn about the truth, and they don't have a shred of common decency in their body.

Benefit of the doubt be damned.

Boy, the police just told me that someone is planning on firebombing my house. They know that the goons are somewhere in the neighborhood and that they've been recently surveilling my home. It's also known that they have been buying explosives.

Oh well, no need to cancel my vacation.

Ben-Veniste doesn't have a blog and can't fisk the memo, so I did it for him.

The police were just told that some dudes were planning some major shit somewhere in town.

They'd better stop the dudes.

hey stan

I work for a District Attorney's office in So. Cal (not LA County)... last year ya wanna know how many cases we processed last year? Over 65,000.

You had better never leave your house under any circumstances.

Good advice Darleen. I can just see the phone calls SoCal police must get.

Woman: I just found out that my ex-husband told his friends at the bar that he's planning on coming over and killing me! I'm not sure when he left though.

Policeman: Hey, the DA's office has enough cases to worry about. He's not there now, right? Just ignore the threat.

Forget the search for actionable intelligence; after all, angry leftists don't recognize it when they see it.

The REAL question is WWKD?
What Would Kerry Do?

(in this case, what would Kerry / Gore / Clinton / Kennedy / "name your angry left revisionist here" have done?)

It's reactions like Philip's "Side Note" above that boggle the mind; Philip, you asked, "Did someone stop and... wonder... hey, what if it was a big plane!"

Well, Philip, did YOU?
If you did, why didn't you do something?

Stan,

Knowing your house is going to be firebombed is "actionable". Could you tell us where in the memo it mentions that the WTC and Pentagon are going to be targeted. Of course you can't, because there is no actionable intelligence in the memo.

And the idea that any president ever takes a real vacation from the job is ridiculous. The president (no matter who it is) is always still getting briefed and making decisions. If we were to go by your comments we might as well sell off Camp David right now and save the taxpayers some money.

I think Belize's summing up is the most accurate.

Before 9/11 if the government had acted to make air travel more inconvenient, perhaps grounding planes, adding the security we have now. If that had happened before 9/11 the majority of the public would have screamed bloody murder about the gov't being a pain in the butt.

It has become a cliche, but the world is different now. We will accept measures that we never would have dreamed of before.

And in the end? The terrorists would have figured out a way around the new policies and carried through with the plan anyway.

Stan

You analogy falls apart because you have one person with a direct threat against that individual.

Police agencies absolutely know crime is going to happen,24/7. DUI's, petty thefts, gang shootings. They do what they can to be as preventive as possible without infringing on innocent peoples rights and lives. And yet, crime still happens...24/7 ... and to the tune of tens of thousands of crime instances per year in just my jurisdiction. Is it a "failure" of the police agencies? Does it make them responsible when a woman jogger is attacked and raped and they weren't there to prevent it, even though they know rape somewhere, somehow, is going to happen across the hundreds of square miles of this one county? Even with snitches and undercover cops trying to work on gang prevention and because of the heightended threat gangs present, the extra survelliance, etc, is continually threated by groups like the ACLU..who contend gangbangers are no different than 85 y/o grandma smith on her way to bingo night at the YWCA.

Like I said, if a generalized "threat of crime" means you can't leave your home, then you'd better not ever leave it.

> Woman: I just found out that my ex-husband told his friends at the bar that he's planning on coming over and killing me! I'm not sure when he left though.

> Policeman: Hey, the DA's office has enough cases to worry about. He's not there now, right? Just ignore the threat.

Actually, the police will tell you to call back when he shows up and commits a crime.

They're not going to come over and wait for the ex-husband. Unless there's some exceptional additional reason (far beyond "my husband says that he wants to kill me"), they're not going to go looking for him either.

"Protect and serve" is advertising, not a job description. Police are post-mortem.

I found this part to be the most illuminating:

"Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks."

And the memo is dated August 6, 2001. Let me reiterate: "years in advance..."

What's amazing is that the Washington Post is still playing this thing as if it's some huge, damning revelation. Oh, you can piece together the truth if you read carefully, but if you're just glancing at the headlines?

"Declassified Memo Said Al Qaeda Was in U.S. - Aug. 6 Report to President Warned of Hijacking"

"Bush Gave No Sign of Worry in August 2001"

That last one is a real piece of work, looking back to what the Evil President was doing on August 7 - he was playing golf!!!

Grrr.... And of course downplay the fact that, to the extent there was a "warning" of AQ hijacking, it was clearly a warning of "old school" terrorist hijacking - i.e., take hostages to secure the release of that blind terrorist asshat from the first WTC bombing.

I guess I'm the first one to actually win the challenge.

"The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related."

Nobody has been able to find out anything about all of these investigations, no proof even that they were actually happening.

Isn't lying to the President by a subordinate agency actionable?

What do I win?

Sorry Veeshir, but nice try. The rules stated as follows:

Cite the actionable intelligence - meaning something specific that action could have been taken on to prevent 9/11.

Investigation the investigations would not have prevented 9/11. Also, at that time, there was no reason to believe that the investigations were not happening.

I can't imagine Condi, Bush, Powell and others sitting around, reading the memo and then deciding that the action they would take would be to find out of the FBI was lying about conducting investigations.

Try again.

I guess I should have used sarcasm tags, but I'm medium at best at HTML.

Sorry, hit post instead of preview.

I figured you would know that I'm a sarcastic icehole.

I'm an idiot, Veeshir. I should have known that you wouldn't say something so moonbatty. But I do think it's a testament to the idiocy of moonbats that your post was entirely believable.

Don't beat yourself up Michele. Veeshir was being sarcastic, but others are making similar arguments and being serious.

Considering that the FBI knew most of the hijackers and knew they were affiliated with al Qaeda, if someone at the top had demanded some action the hijackers might have been apprehended before they got on the planes.

Thomas Oliphant wrote in today's Boston Globe,

"...just after the first airplane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower, CIA Director George Tenet told a breakfast date at a Washington hotel that he sure hoped the fellow who had been taking flying lessons in Minnesota wasn't involved."

And you still say there was NOTHING that might have been done?

Here's another quote, from Maureen Dowd in today's NY Times:

This no-can-do spirit marked George Tenet's lame excuses to senators in February who wanted to know why the C.I.A. never picked up the trail of Marwan al-Shehhi, the pilot who crashed Flight 175 into the south tower on 9/11, even though the Germans gave the agency his name and phone number. "They didn't give us a first and a last name until after 9/11," Mr. Tenet said.

Instead of making excuses for these people, we should be demaning accountability.

Maybe so, maha, but that is from Dowd, so I'd take it with a great big grain of salt.

Conservative Sanity Check:

What would you have to learn about Bush in order to NOT vote for him?

Rice should have been fired.

"Cite the actionable intelligence - meaning something specific that action could have been taken on to prevent 9/11."

I think it would have been prudent to put federal marshalls on vastly more flights, and to have made it policy that cockpit doors stay locked during flight.

That very well might not have been sufficient, but it's one of several things that could have been done.

Getting the various agencies watch lists linked would also have been good, though it may have been too late to do that by September 11th, starting on August 6th; it should have been done long before, during the Clinton administration.

Richard Clarke, of course, had tried to set up air defenses around Washington; this would have done nothing for NYC, but would have saved the lives of those at the Pentagon, and lessened the danger to those at the Capitol.

The essence of leadership is taking action when "actionable information" is scarce.

The essence of leadership is taking action when "actionable information" is scarce.

Actually, that's the essence of paranoia.

Guess what folks, non-specific threats like that happen every day. 99% of them are just that - threats. Unless there is something specific, like a location and a methodology the only thing that can be done is to keep an eye on it. If the government spends time and resources chasing every little phantom they will quickly lose site of the real plan - that's why there are standards for what intelligence is actionable or not.

If Bush wanted to have done something effective he could have expanded the DOJ's power to conduct wiretaps and ability to access business records - except the Democrats currently oppose that even after September 11. He could have created a program to compile data that could have warned of a terrorist attack - but the Democrats killed a program that would have done precisely that after September 11.

In other words Bush has done exactly what he should have done - and the Democrats have sniped incessantly at him for it. Easterbrook was right - had Bush taken the steps necessary to stop September 11 the Democrats would have destroyed him.

This entire line of argument is little more than a dodge to take the attention off the Democrat's fundamental weakness on security issues by attacking the President - placing naked partisanship above trying to learn the real lessons of September 11.

Gary, do you mean place all 400 marshalls on flights all the time, for an extended period of time without knowing when the attack will specifically happen. How many flights are there per day, Gary. A lot more than 400.

Policy is that doors are to be locked. As someone who spends a lot of time on planes I will tell you that prior to 911, that was effectively not the policy that anyone followed. Also, those doors can be easily forced open (not now off course), so locking them would get you a few minutes.

Okay, on air defenses. Who gives the kill order on what basis. Suspicious flight == boom? Would that be legal or justifiable? How do you know you would hit the right plane?

The agencies were forbidden to interact (i.e. FBI and CIA). This had its roots in the church commision. A clear delineation of domestic vs foreign. The CIA is not allowed to operate in the CONUS. Sure, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, but do you think they want to be caught at it? What would civil rights organizations say to word that the CIA and FBI are surveling people of ME origin? What cries of justified outrage would there be? lots, I wager.

Jason, what should he have tdone with that intelligence.

Anything like these timeline possiblities

http://tnr.com/easterbrook.mhtml?pid=1545

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/kathleenparker/kp20020522.shtml

http://stromata.tripod.com/id463.htm

And none of these things would have happened, right? Sorry if I don't take you rword for it.

Was there actionable intelligence pointing to Iraq having weapons of mass destruction?

Three words:

UNSCOM.
Reports.
Dumbass.

http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/unscmdoc.htm

The following is also particularly good (do a text search on 'unaccounted'):

http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/s99-94.htm

What's the title? No smoking gun here, bin laden to attack US? ain't going to happen...

they ain't gonna attack US, by gump, my initials is GWB...memo? What memo? Fax it to me at the ranch while I'm on vacation, and remember, I work 9 - 5 (I put in a full days work, ain't nothing that can't wait until 9/12...)

Some of you people are just killing me. I hardly ever comment anywhere, but I have to on this one.

I used to work in midtown Manhattan. Sometime in 1995, there was some UN summit going on in which various boardrooms and conference centers in major office buildings in midtown were being used for these various meetings between world leaders. It was a huge deal because it was the first one that Castro attended. I didn't know it at the time, but Castro's meeting was in the building I was working in. There was a bomb threat and the building was evacuated. We went down the stairs (30+ floors) and were milling about outside for about a half hour when security let us back in. I was like, "how could they have possibly searched this whole building in such a short period of time?" I said this to a VP who had worked there for several years and he told me that there were at least 5 serious bomb threats a day for our building. I was like, WTF are you serious? He summed it up, "If security evacuated the building everytime there was a serious bomb threat, let alone a plain old bomb threat, we would all spend our day either in the stairwell, out on the sidewalk or in the elevator. Apparently, this particular threat was "serious and specific" enough to evacuate the building."

Do you get it now? Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr. -- no one until Sept. 12 had any idea that this could have happened. And even if anyone suggested "hey, I think this bin Laden guy and his merry men are going to fly a couple of 737s into the WTC, we should do something about this -- they would be slammed as being out of their mind. Michele has said time and again and I'm repeating it now. EVERYTHING CHANGED on 9/11.

I remember getting so upset over the crying children on one of those planes thinking what I would have done to try to stop those psychopaths. The answer is NOTHING! I would have done nothing because up until 9/11, most hijackings ended on the tarmac at a major airport with the bad guys in custody.

Everything changed that day. In a sick way we should all thank those bastards for attempting to bring down the WTC in 1993, because it the memory of 1993 is probably what saved the lives of countless people who worked in the south tower and didn't return to their desks when the announcement said "all clear". Those of us that were there in '93 remember what a f**cking nightmare that was and if I had been at the desk I worked at in '93 there's no way in hell I would have listened to that announcement and gone back to work.

So Mikey (ignore this memo - my ass), Stan, Wrapper, Joshua and all their little friends can keep on Monday (er, Wednesday morning) quarterbacking and then turn around and say the military and administration shouldn't be doing anything pre-emptive (sp?) in regards to terrorism. You can't have it both ways. Everyone just make up your damned minds. I'm sick of it.

whew I just previewed and damn this is long. I apologize, Michele.

p.s. how was your sister's bowling party?

Some of you people are just killing me. I hardly ever comment anywhere, but I have to on this one.

I used to work in midtown Manhattan. Sometime in 1995, there was some UN summit going on in which various boardrooms and conference centers in major office buildings in midtown were being used for these various meetings between world leaders. It was a huge deal because it was the first one that Castro attended. I didn't know it at the time, but Castro's meeting was in the building I was working in. There was a bomb threat and the building was evacuated. We went down the stairs (30+ floors) and were milling about outside for about a half hour when security let us back in. I was like, "how could they have possibly searched this whole building in such a short period of time?" I said this to a VP who had worked there for several years and he told me that there were at least 5 serious bomb threats a day for our building. I was like, WTF are you serious? He summed it up, "If security evacuated the building everytime there was a serious bomb threat, let alone a plain old bomb threat, we would all spend our day either in the stairwell, out on the sidewalk or in the elevator. Apparently, this particular threat was "serious and specific" enough to evacuate the building."

Do you get it now? Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr. -- no one until Sept. 12 had any idea that this could have happened. And even if anyone suggested "hey, I think this bin Laden guy and his merry men are going to fly a couple of 737s into the WTC, we should do something about this -- they would be slammed as being out of their mind. Michele has said time and again and I'm repeating it now. EVERYTHING CHANGED on 9/11.

I remember getting so upset over the crying children on one of those planes thinking what I would have done to try to stop those psychopaths. The answer is NOTHING! I would have done nothing because up until 9/11, most hijackings ended on the tarmac at a major airport with the bad guys in custody.

Everything changed that day. In a sick way we should all thank those bastards for attempting to bring down the WTC in 1993, because it the memory of 1993 is probably what saved the lives of countless people who worked in the south tower and didn't return to their desks when the announcement said "all clear". Those of us that were there in '93 remember what a f**cking nightmare that was and if I had been at the desk I worked at in '93 there's no way in hell I would have listened to that announcement and gone back to work.

So Mikey (ignore this memo - my ass), Stan, Wrapper, Joshua and all their little friends can keep on Monday (er, Wednesday morning) quarterbacking and then turn around and say the military and administration shouldn't be doing anything pre-emptive (sp?) in regards to terrorism. You can't have it both ways. Everyone just make up your damned minds. I'm sick of it.

whew I just previewed and damn this is long. I apologize, Michele.

p.s. how was your sister's bowling party?