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    30 September 2006

    Chip falsely claims that Clinton didn’t have or leave a plan for UBL

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    In a recent post, Chip asserts that “no such plan existed” to capture or kill bin Laden in the Clinton administration. In reality Clinton not only reacted to terror alerts in an expedient way, he also left a plan for the incoming Bush Administration. Despite the lack of 'W' keys, this plan was fairly conclusive.

    But first the effort.

    In 1998 Clinton received a Presidential Daily Brief entitled "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks." His response according to the 9/11 Commision:
    The same day, [Counterterrorism Czar Richard] Clarke convened a meeting of his CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] to discuss both the hijacking concern and the antiaircraft missile threat. To address the hijacking warning, the group agreed that New York airports should go to maximum security starting that weekend. They agreed to boost security at other East coast airports. The CIA agreed to distribute versions of the report to the FBI and FAA to pass to the New York Police Department and the airlines. The FAA issued a security directive on December 8, with specific requirements for more intensive air carrier screening of passengers and more oversight of the screening process, at all three New York area airports. [pg. 128-30]

    In 2001 when Bush got his famous Presidential Daily Brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." Bush's response, according to the 9/11 commision was:
    [President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so.[p. 260]
    We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period. [p. 262]

    Now as the Clinton Administration drew to a close, the 9/11 Commision reported that:
    ...Clarke and his staff developed a policy paper of their own [which] incorporated the CIA’s new ideas from the Blue Sky memo, and posed several near-term policy options. Clarke and his staff proposed a goal to "roll back" al Qaeda over a period of three to five years ...[including] covert aid to the Northern Alliance, covert aid to Uzbekistan, and renewed Predator flights in March 2001. A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command and control targets and infrastructure and Taliban military and command assets. The paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the United States. [p. 197]

    Nothing was done when the ball was in Bush’s court until after 11 September 2001.

    Furthermore, we learn from Bob Woodward’s latest book that an effort to alert Dr. Rice of possible al Qaeda activity was made in July 2001 by George Tenet and his counterterrorism coordinator but they were "brushed off." Having read the 9/11 Commission Report, and currently possessing a copy of it, I can conclude that this alleged meeting was not in the report. Jamie S. Gorelick, a member of the Commission, was quoted today as saying "We didn't know about the meeting itself ... I can assure you it would have been in our report if we had known to ask about it." So if three people knew and all three forgot to mention it to the Commission, then that would indicate the possibility of a cover-up, no? Maybe Chip would like to discuss this in his next post?

    Posted by Geoff

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