Saturday, March 08, 2008

BushCo National Security incompetency

Philip Shenon's new book The Commission : The Uncensored History Of The 9/11 Investigation fingers Condoleeza Rice in the Bush administration's national security failure of 7 1/2 years ago. This excerpt from Shenon's book published in The Sydney Morning Herald shows the U.S. intellegence apparatus doing its best to warn the Administration about Bin Laden's crazies and just how dangerous they were. The book paints Rice as almost a highly-paid do-nothing, choosing to ignore intelligence and focus instead on promoting the administration, focus on what appears to be PR, game-playing, a big show. As the book follows the 9/11 commission one Richard Clarke emerges as a true soldier, intent on protecting the country. Clarke was at the time the National Security Council's counter-terrorism director. He'd been demoted by the time of the attacks. From the excerpt:
Other parts of the Government did respond aggressively and appropriately to the threats, including the Pentagon and the State Department. On June 21, the US Central Command, which controls American military forces in the Persian Gulf, went to "delta" alert - its highest level - for American troops in six countries in the region. The American embassy in Yemen was closed for part of the summer; other embassies in the Middle East closed for shorter periods.

But what had Rice done at the NSC? If the NSC files were complete, the commission's historian Warren Bass and the others could see, she had asked Clarke to conduct inter- agency meetings at the White House with domestic agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI, to keep them alert to the possibility of a domestic terrorist strike.

Repeatedly in 2001, Clarke had gone to Rice and others in the White House and pressed them to move, urgently, to respond to a flood of warnings about an upcoming and catastrophic terrorist attack by Osama bin Laden. The threat, Clarke was arguing, was as dire as anything that he or the CIA had ever seen.

He pushed for an early meeting in 2001 with Bush to brief him about bin Laden's network and the "nearly existential" threat it represented to the United States. But Rice rebuffed Clarke. She allowed him to give a briefing to Bush on the issue of cyber terrorism, but not on bin Laden; she told Clarke the al-Qaeda briefing could wait until after the White House had put the finishing touches that summer on a broader campaign against bin Laden. She moved Clarke and his issues off centre stage - in part at the urging of Zelikow and the transition team.

Shenon's book seems to offer a thru-the lens glimpse into a shameful and tragic chapter of U.S. history: the bumbling incompetence of an administration created by the most hated and destructive U.S. president of all time.'s reference to Shenon's book is here.

This guy is a hell of a journalist. It should be hilarious to hear what Limbaugh and the other highly-paid fart-generators say about him.

About the author, quoting Amazon:
Philip Shenon is an investigative reporter with The New York Times, based in Washington. He was the lead reporter on the investigation of the September 11 commission and has held several of the most important assignments of the Washington Bureau, including chief Defense Department correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, Congressional correspondent and Justice Department Correspondent. He was one of two Times reporters embedded with American grounds troops during the invasion of Iraq and worked in pre-war Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran for Times foreign staff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This book is an outrage! Everyone KNOWS it was 19 men from Saudia Arabia, trained in Piper Cubs, who
expertly flew commercial planes into those towers. Condi had nothing to do with it. She said right on camera that she "had no warning" that terrorists were "going to use planes".
Just because she FORGOT all those briefings in which planes were mentioned doesn't make her negligent, just forgetful, and who wouldn't be forgetful in such an important job?

I wonder what she looks like naked?

Arnold Gordo Jr.