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    03 October 2006

    New Information Re: the White House and 9/11

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    Today former CIA chief George Tenet comes out of hiding to dispute Woodward's, and backup Dr. Rice's, account claiming that he and his counterterrorism coordinator, J. Cofer Black, didn't feel brushed-off by then National Security Advisor Rice. This is beginning to line up now with the accounts from yesterday that caused a little flip-floppery from the State Department on the validity of Dr. Rice's claim that she wasn't briefed by the two in July 2001. That said, if it is claimed by Dr. Rice that the threat wasn't decisive, then how do you explain an official who prepared the briefing describing it as a "10 on a scale of 1 to 10" and collection of intelligence that "connected the dots" to a point that where they were able to conclude that al Qaeda was poised to strike again? Anyway, that is but a footnote now I believe...

    Today Tenet says:
    "He did not feel she ignored him, he felt that she took the meeting seriously and understood the gravity of the threat," said the former official.

    That was also what Tenet told the Sept. 11 Commission on Jan. 28, 2004, during an interview with commission members and staff at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., according to a person who has seen parts of the transcript.

    So now this falls on two people and two entities. Both Ashcroft and Rumsfeld were briefed on this. Yesterday, Ashcroft commented on the briefing, complaining about how disappointing it was that he wasn't approached with "...this type of information." The problem is that he did receive the briefing.

    There is no record of this meeting in the 9/11 Commissions report, that is very troubling. It, however, is in the transcript of a meeting between Tenet and the Commission that took place on 28 January 2004 according to someone familiar with the transcripts.

    So the 9/11 Commission actually knew about this briefing but failed to report it and no one is willing to comment as to why that is. The person familiar with the transcripts adds this to top it all off. Contrary to Woodward's impression, the person familiar with the transcripts is quoted as saying, "There is no suggestion in there that [Tenet] felt 'brushed off.' ... On the contrary, he was asked whether the White House understood the severity of the threat and he said yes, they did."

    So now we come to a familiar question; that of what one knew before the fact. This type of question has hung around this Administration like a fly to shit. It was around for some time in the Plame leak (it still is in many circles), it continues to linger around the Presidents final decision to wage war on Iraq, and now it enters the discussion surrounding the events leading up to 9/11, again.

    Mr. President and all your women and men; regarding the threat facing our country before 9/11, what exactly did you know and when did you know it? And the same goes for the 9/11 Commission.

    Digg it!
    [UPDATE] This may be big. From the Wapo:
    At one point in the lengthy session, Tenet recalled a briefing he was given on July 10 by Black and his staff, according to the transcript. He said the information was so important that he quickly called for a car and telephoned Rice to arrange for a White House meeting to share what he had just learned, according to the transcript and Ben-Veniste.

    According to the transcript, Tenet told Rice there were signs that there could be an al-Qaeda attack in weeks or perhaps months, that there would be multiple, simultaneous attacks causing major human casualties, and that the focus would be U.S. targets, facilities or interests. But the intelligence reporting focused almost entirely on the attacks occurring overseas, Tenet told the commission.

    It was at this session that Tenet said "the system was blinking red," which became a chapter title in the commission report, according to the official who saw the transcript. [in full]

    Yet the relevant info never made it into the report.

    In combination with the August 2001 PDB, this is pretty damning. From a lens looking at the WH and the 9/11 Commission who both failed to report it to the public

    Posted by Geoff

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