Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Regarding Al Qaeda Using Airplanes As Missiles: Did Rice Lie (Multiple Times), Or Was She Just The Most Out-Of-The-Loop National Security Advisor Ever

American aviation officials were warned as early as 1998 that Al Qaeda could "seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark," according to previously secret portions of a report prepared last year by the Sept. 11 commission and reported in today's newspapers.

A 1995 National Intelligence Estimate, a report prepared by intelligence officials, "highlighted the growing domestic threat of terrorist attack, including a risk to civil aviation," the commission found in a blacked-out portion of the report.

And in 1998 and 1999, the commission report said, the F.A.A.'s intelligence unit produced reports about the hijacking threat posed by Al Qaeda, "including the possibility that the terrorist group might try to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark."

The release of this information calls into question statements made by then-National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, in a 2002 press briefing and in her 2004 testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

The new information matches a previously known 1999 report, written for the National Intelligence Council and shared with other federal agencies, that said: "Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House."

That report noted that an al Qaeda-linked terrorist, Ramzi Yousef, first arrested in the Philippines in 1995 and later convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, had suggested such a suicide jetliner mission.

So, given the newly released information, and the earlier known information, there are only two conclusions that can be drawn:

1) Condoleeza Rice lied to the press and the 9/11 Commission.
2) Condoleeza Rice is the least-information, most out-of-the-loop National Security Advisor ever.


I honestly don't know which to believe. Don't forget, Rice was scheduled to give a speech on Sept. 11 regarding U.S. security. The speech, never presented, only mentioned terrorism in passing, and did not reference Al Qaeda.

***

Here are the relevant Rice quotes from 2002 and 2004. You make the call.

Q Why shouldn't this be seen as an intelligence failure, that you were unable to predict something happening here?

RICE: Steve, I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile. All of this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking.

-- Rice Press Briefing, May 10, 2002

RICE: To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Chairman, this kind of analysis about the use of airplanes as weapons actually was never briefed to us.

I cannot tell you that there might not have been a report here or a report there that reached somebody in our midst.

...

All that I can tell you is that it was not in the August 6 memo, using planes as a weapon. And I do not remember any reports to us, a kind of strategic warning, that planes might be used as weapons. In fact, there were some reports done in '98 and '99. I was certainly not aware of them at the time that I spoke.

-- Rice testimony to 9/11 Commission, April 10, 2004

17 Comments:

Anonymous msierschul said...

Condi a liar?
Of course.
The cons wanted a terrorist attack to give them apparent cause for the war they'd already planned.

Leo Strauss lives!

10:43 PM  
Blogger Steve J. said...

Yes, she lied. There was a threat to use an airplane as a missile at the G-7 summit the preceding July in Genoa, Italy:

Ms. Rice confirmed in 2002 that information picked up by U.S. intelligence services indicated that an attack might be made on Mr. Bush and other leaders at the July 2001 Group of Eight summit in Genoa, Italy. Former White House officials confirmed that in response to the warning, Italian authorities closed the local airport, restricted airspace and positioned surface-to-air missiles around the city. WSJ, 4/1/04

10:50 PM  
Blogger Eve said...

Not only was/is Condi out of the loop, so is Georgie. He's the figurehead put into place by daddy and his cronies. Quite a machine they've got.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Rice: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center..."

Bush: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees..."

Isn't it cute when married couples start sounding alike?

5:57 AM  
Anonymous acmejack said...

Of course she did!

This administration has elevated mendacity to an art form.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous gademocrat7 said...

she could not tell the truth

she has no concept of the truth. only the lies that shrub and rove want her to spin.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous sui generis said...

like a freshly used hourly rate motel sheet

you know it

10:30 AM  
Anonymous woodsprite said...

She's repub, cohort of *, and her lips were moving - no doubt she's lyin'

10:30 AM  
Blogger CSC5502D said...

LOL and you wonder why you lose elections.

One of those says "small aircraft" packed with explosives. That's not what happened is it?

Besides which, this is like saying the cops had a report in 1998 that criminals were plotting to rob a bank. Three years later the bank gets robbed, so that proves the cops are stupid. Never mind that you can't guard the bank 24/7. Never mind that you don't know which bank it is. Never mind that there are literally thousands of banks. Stupid cops!

If I told you tomorrow that a house would be vandalized on your STREET, and even gave you the month it would happen, you'd never stop it.

But you're right, it's all those stupid Republicans' fault for not knowing which flights would eventually by hijacked and stopping it. After all, there are only around a million or so flights per month. Oh, let me guess, I'm full of shit right?

http://www.bts.gov/programs/airline_information/indicators/top.html

feel free to read it yourself. Southwest airlines alone has an average of 3,000 flights per DAY.

http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/factsheet.html#About%20the%20Company

Yeah, stupid Republicans. They KNEW one or a few of the approximately 30,000 flights per DAY MIGHT EVENTUALLY be hijacked and didn't stop it.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one could have predicted people would take airplanes and crash them into the World Trade Center.
No one could have predicted the levees in New Orleans would snap.
Sound familiar?
The entire country is endangered as long as this incompetent administration remains in power and lies to cover ups its gross incompetencies.
The question we as a people must ask ourselves, should we make it our own responsibility to rid these people in the name of preserving our country?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

To CSC5502D: Wow, you really had to twist and spin to get through that little diatribe without mentioning the elephant standing in the middle of your argument. Allow me:

Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States

Would things have been different if Bush had instructed the FAA to institute higher security after the memo? We'll never know. He was on vacation and couldn't be bothered to take any action whatsoever based on the information handed to him.

Hmmm... jist like he did with Katrina. Nice.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

To quote from an earlier JABBS post:

"Had the administration acted proactively -- taken measures to intercept a terror cell within the U.S., tracked down known Al Qaeda members (including ones who were listed in telephone books) -- perhaps the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would have been averted. There's no way to know for sure, of course.

But by not acting proactively, the administration gave itself no chance to stop the course of events."

I think JABBS nailed it.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous just a concerned citizen said...

I especially like this "I don't think anybody could have predicted", these phrases are becoming all too common in this administration.

No one could have predicted the levee's breaching, no one could have predicted terrorist hijacking commercial jets? It is quit obvious that this administation does not read the reports that are given to them.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Marty said...

Bush could have PREVENTED the hijackings by doing 3 things after the Aug. PDB..and especially after the hundreds of warnings Clarke and Tenet gave to Condi and Cheney and Bush himself.
1) An executive directive to lock and secure the cabin on ALL planes. I f this was a mandate and the planes would not be allowed to fly without this change, how long would this have taken. My guess is a few weeks..I don't really know how long, but if done it would have prevented the hijackings..and the use of the planes as bombs.
2) The immediate insertion of air marshalls on all planes...expensive yes, but a lot cheaper than the loss of a single airplane. How long if the hiring went public with ex-cops, ex-military and high salaries...I don't know but it would have scared the jihadists and if these marshalls were on the affected planes, the hijackers would have been shot.
3) A television and radio special Presidential announcement that Osama bin Ladin had threatened to attack the US using airplanes, and that he was the suspect in the bombing of the Cole, and the embassy bombings in Africa.This was an emergency and giving the public this information would have alerted the pilot training schools and probably would have rolled up the plotters.
Instead he just went on vacation...he did nothing...how did he get away with NO BLAME...and where is the revulsion for Condi's stupid remarks about "No-one could have predicted..."
Marty

6:43 PM  
Blogger C R Mountjoy - GDF said...

Did anyone in 1993 predict the WTC would be car bombed? If the answer is no, then why doesn't Condi get a pass. If you give her the pass, then you must admit failure by the previous administration in taking care of OBL. Just wondering what you might think.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Okay, C R Mountjoy, I'll admit the previous administrations failed to stop OBL, and I include Bush-1 and Reagan, as well as Clinton. But at least Clinton tried to bomb that f**ker with Tomahawks back in 1998. But hmmm... didn't the Republicans cry "wag-the-dog" back then?

And I am so sick of Republican deny-bots pointing fingers everywhere else after 9/11 (nine months after Bush was sworn in) and after FOUR years of Bin Laden livin' free. Is this the best Republicans can come up with: "well the other presidents did something wrong too." Puh-lease!

5:58 AM  
Blogger don dzikowski said...

The American Dissident hit the nail on the head.
The Republicans most recurrent theme has been to point the finger at the Clinton Administration.
They say, "Oh well,
the Clinton Administration also failed to repair levees," or, "Oh well, the Clinton Administration also failed to stop Osama Bin Laden."
Never mind that the Bush Administration cut by 44% Clinton's funding set aside for New Orleans hurricane flood control and levee repair.
Bush apparantely only cares about "pre-emptive" action when it involves his own agenda -- not a well-documented hurricane threat.
Never mind that the Clinton Administration had made Al Quada a top security priority, where the Bush Administration reportedly failed to hold a single meeting on the problem. Never mind that the Bush Administration slammed the door on Clarke's face when he tried to carry over the prioritizing of the Al Quada threat from the Clinton team.
In both the hurricane and Al Quada threats, the Bush Administration diverted attention and resources into Iraq.
Does anyone see a pattern of incompetence here?
Again the Republicans only response has been to divert blame to the Clinton Administration.
Not only does this comparison show a lack of leadership ability, but it hardly stands up. The Clinton Administration was a success, where the Bush Administration is a resounding failure.
After Katrina, polls show the majority of the people no longer believe that Bush is acting in their best interests to protect them. This perception had been the his only remaining strong suit.
Recent reports from Bush insiders show Bush long ago adapted a Rovian PR style to never admit a mistake, even if it meant lying.
This guy has not a shred of credibility left.

10:37 AM  

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