Sunday, April 11, 2004
Much ado about nothing: Well, the White House released a PDB for the first time in history. After reading it, my first response is: Democrat hack Richard Ben-Veniste thinks this is some sort of smoking gun?
In her testimony last week, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice characterized the Aug. 6 PDB as a historical document, not a threat analysis. That has been proven true. Ben-Veniste's suggestion that somehow the PDB contained information that, had it only been acted upon, would have prevented the 9/11 attacks is a lie.
BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6th PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?
RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."
BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.
RICE: No, Mr. Ben-Veniste...
BEN-VENISTE: I will get into the...
RICE: I would like to finish my point here.
BEN-VENISTE: I didn't know there was a point.
RICE: Given that -- you asked me whether or not it warned of attacks.
BEN-VENISTE: I asked you what the title was.
RICE: You said, did it not warn of attacks. It did not warn of attacks inside the United States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.
Sometimes something significant has to happen to change the way the government works. The New Republic's Gregg Easterbrook posted an excellent alternate history on what could have happened had President Bush took the pre-emptive action some are now suggesting prior to the 9/11 attack.
AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY: washington, april 9, 2004. 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.
On August 7, 2001, Bush had 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.
The entire thing is well worth reading.
Could the 9/11 attacks been prevented. Yes. But a lot of things would have had to have gone just right -- and the odds were stacked against that happening.
The 9/11 commission has become politicized. Politicized and useless. We've already learned most of what we can from the 9/11 attacks.
One of the lessons learned is that the FBI and CIA need to be free to share information -- something that was prohibited in the pre-9/11 world. Another is that we must be prepared to attack and destroy those who harbor and support terrorists -- an idea still rejected by many on the left.
Anything else the 9/11 commission has to tell us is mere peanuts.