Mercury Rising 鳯女

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The real truth is worse than a massive conspiracy/updated

Posted by Charles II on June 20, 2012

Our leaders are incompetent, venal, whose only skill is blaming others for their blunders.

And our media, including people who call themselves “liberal” or “lefties” are complicit in silencing those who demanded that the blunders be exposed.

Jordan Michael Smith, Salon, via Ritholtz:

Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive.

Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks.

Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency.

So, sure, maybe the PNAC planned it all and the CIA planted explosive charges everywhere. Or maybe instead of having competent, evil leaders, we have incompetent, morally-rotten leaders. Stupid or evil, you decide.
Update: Here’s the National Security Archive link. One fascinating quote:

According to a January 2000 Top Secret briefing to the Director of Central Intelligence, disruption operations against the Millennium plot “bought time… weeks… months… but no more than one year” before al-Qaeda would strike.

In fact, the Millennium plot disruption bought 20 months of time. Had Al Gore assumed the office of President…well, I guess we’ll never know.

14 Responses to “The real truth is worse than a massive conspiracy/updated”

  1. Mark Gisleson said

    Thanks to think tanks and consultants, I’ve always thought they were stupid people being advised by evil people.

    But I’m open to the notion that they were evil people who hired stupid people to ratify their evil plans.

  2. “In fact, the Millennium plot disruption bought 20 months of time. Had Al Gore assumed the office of President…well, I guess we’ll never know. ”

    We may never know for sure, but we can make educated guesses.

    Gore would have wished to avoid confirmation-hearing battles if nothing else, so he would have left Clinton’s national-security team in place. Instead of Condi Rice ignoring Sandy Berger’s warning about Al-Qaeda, Sandy Berger himself, with Richard Clarke, would still have been in charge and monitoring things quite closely.

    That means that things could have unfolded like this:

    January – February, 2001: Not wanting to waste time trying to get his nominees past a hostile Republican Congress, and not feeling the need for much housecleaning in any event, Gore leaves in place his cabinet, as well as the entire national security team he inherited from the previous administration. He also continues the submarine watch that his predecessor Bill Clinton had set to electronically monitor the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and his group Al-Qaeda in their base in Afghanistan.

    Even though Al-Qaeda has been linked to the failed 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, most media outlets choose to ignore this fact, preferring to refer to bin Laden merely as a “Saudi Arabian financier”. Media pundits mock Gore for what they as his paranoiac “wag the dog” efforts to distract attention from various alleged scandals from his tenure as Vice President.


    April 5, 2001: Scandal-plagued Louis Freeh, a Republican judge who Bill Clinton had appointed as FBI Director as an olive branch to the GOP, abruptly resigns from office before he could be fired. In return for Gore’s not charging him with any crimes, the Republican Congress allows Gore’s nominee, former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, to replace Freeh at the cost of only a week’s worth of haranguing on the Senate floor.

    May 5, 2001: National Security chief Sandy Berger, at the urging of his staffers John O’Neill and Richard Clarke, presents President Gore with a PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) warning of imminent plans by bin Laden to attack New York, America’s financial center, with hijacked commercial jets used as flying bombs. The suspicion is that Al-Qaeda will try to succeed where they had failed eight years earlier and attack the World Trade Center. Gore consults with former Senators Gary Hart (D-CO) and Warren Rudman (R-NH), who chaired a terrorism commission formed by President Clinton in the late 1990s; they concur with the PDB’s findings.

    May 6, 2001: In response to the May 5 PDB, Gore orders the FAA to implement the proposals made by his 1996 commission on airport security, but which the Democratic party had backed away from after the airlines had protested. Northwest and Delta Airlines further weaken their precarious financial states by buying millions of dollars of radio ads depicting the new procedures as wasteful and costly to the air traveler. Gore, per O’Neill’s and Clarke’s recommendations, also orders the FAA to watch for Middle Eastern students at flight schools who are interested only in steering planes, not in performing takeoffs or landings. On his syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh proclaims that “Crazy Al Gore is out to kill off the airline industry!”


    July 10, 2001: Kenneth Williams, an 11-year veteran of the counter-terrorism squad of the FBI in Phoenix, notifies FBI Headquarters that several Saudi, Algerian, United Arab Emirates and Pakistani flight school students in his area could be followers of Osama bin Laden, and that they might be terrorists learning how to fly so that they could hijack a passenger plane. After interrogating several of them and noting their hostility to the United States, he recognized that these students were suspiciously well informed about security measures at American airports. He suggested that the FBI conduct a nationwide survey of Arab students who were attending American flight schools; Director Nunn, after consulting with Sandy Berger, agrees.

    August 10, 2001: Coleen Rowley, an FBI agent in the Bureau’s Minneapolis offices, is contacted by John Rosengren of the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota. Rosengren informs her that a student at the academy is not interested in learning takeoffs or landings. Rowley investigates the man’s background, and discovers through French intelligence services that the student, Moroccan-born French and British resident Zacharias Moussaoui, has connections to Al-Qaeda. She orders his arrest and informs her superiors of her findings, which are passed on to Berger, O’Neil and Clarke.

    August 13, 2001: Moussaoui, under FBI questioning, reveals key details of an Al-Qaeda plot scheduled for next month to attack the Pentagon, the White House and the World Trade Center. These details are corroborated by the testimony of the students Williams had interviewed in Phoenix a month earlier.

    August – early September, 2001: Dozens of students at flight schools are arrested in a major FBI operation. Thirteen of these students turn out to be directly involved in what will come to be called “the September Plot”.

    September 11, 2001: At the Houston, LAX and Minneapolis International airports, seven Saudi and Algerian men were forbidden from boarding their flights after airport security personnel found box cutters, wire and other banned items on their persons. These men turn out to be the remnants of the band of Al-Qaeda’s September Plotters; all the others had been caught in the FBI’s sweep of the flight schools.

    • Charles II said

      You forgot October 15th, 2001: Republican Congress impeaches Al Gore for claiming to have invented the Internet.

    • jo6pac said

      I’ve been reading Classified Woman by Sibel Edmonds this points out she was right. It depressing to read on how bad it really is inside of these govt. groups. There was another FBI agent in Southern Cal that worked on the Lee spy case that tried to warn his group about the 4 soon to be hijackers and nobody wanted to know about. They needed 9/11 to happen so we as nation could begin the slide into the maddness that we find around Amerika today.

      • Mark Gisleson said

        Sibel Edmonds? Hard to believe she’s not locked up in Gitmo for possession of the truth without the proper clearance level. That woman knows things that are embarrassing to important people. Frankly, I’m surprised she hasn’t been Danny Casolaroed yet. []

  3. jo6pac said

    Here’s an interview with her and she names names just like she does in the book. Thanks for the nightmare called Inslaw and ed meese. Loved Spy Mag.

    • Charles II said

      The problem I have with Edmonds doesn’t have to do with the factuality of her assertions: it’s with understanding what they mean. In some places, the details are short. For example,

      The other thing I noticed is how Chicago, with its culture of political corruption, is central to the new administration. When I saw that Obama’s choice of chief of staff was Rahm Emanuel, knowing his relationship with Mayor Richard Daley and with the Hastert crowd, I knew we were not going to see positive changes. Changes possibly, but changes for the worse. It was no coincidence that the Turkish criminal entity’s operation centered on Chicago.

      Chicago is no more corrupt and probably less so than a lot of places one can mention. The kind of corruption that does happen in Chicago is generally of the we-pave-the-potholes-you-vote-for-us kind. Large scale corruption? Try The Big Dig in Boston or the management of so-called Energy (i.e., nuclear) projects. Or Iraq, or the rebuilding of New Orleans, or NYC’s for-profit education swindles, or any of many billion-plus dollar schemes one could name. I suppose the Chicago commodity exchange amounts to big corruption, but it’s of the legal variety.

      I can’t even think of a single big-dollar scandal involving Chicago, though I’m sure that one exists. Chicago corruption is a Republican talking point, one of those myths that’s must be true because Obama is from Chicago and besides, Kennedy won the election based on the Daley machine (except that, of course, the evidence shows that none of the myth is true).

      Similarly, with the allegations about Jan Schakowsky. The allegation is that Schakowsky had sex with a Turkish agent and that the Turks attempted to exploit that to get information and favors from her. Edmonds denies any knowledge of whether Schakowsky actually did anything for them, which is sort of important. Schakowsky counters that the allegations involve many false details, such as the date of death of Schakowsky’s mother. American Conservative apparently did not seek a response from Schakowsky before publishing their piece, which is pretty shoddy. Giraldi admits that he didn’t fact check many details, only the names of the people in the allegation. Edmonds demanded that Schakowsky submit to a lie detector test, one of the cheapest schticks in the book. Schakowsky would be perfectly entitled to decline to answer the charge that she had sex with a woman, because then the headline becomes, “Schakowsky denies lesbian tryst.” …but eventually she did provide an explicit denial: “Congresswoman Schakowsky has been a long time supporter of gay and lesbian rights. However, she is happily married and has never had a sexual relationship with any woman, much less a Turkish spy.” In her reply, Edmonds says, explicitly, “Recall that I did not accuse you [Schakowsky] of any criminal or espionage-related activity.”

      The point is that when one parses this particular part of Edmonds’ allegations, they come down to an allegation that an allegation has been made in a raw FBI file. Raw FBI files contain all sorts of allegations, many of which are charitably characterized as lies. So, both Edmonds and Schakowsky could be telling the truth, but Edmonds should know better than to speak based on such a flimsy basis. It just undermines her credibility. And American Conservative has zero credibility for publishing an allegation that amounts to blackmail/espionage without doing basic fact checking.

      I realize it’s hard to parse through these things in such detail, Jo, but I encourage you to read skeptically. There is a lot of BS out there, some of it propagated by well-meaning or generally honest people.

      • jo6pac said

        Thanks for the link

      • Mark Gisleson said

        I don’t follow Chicago closely, but McCormick Place might qualify as a scandal. When I went to Yearly Kos there, I got exposed to some data on the union contracts (and I’m 100% pro union). Apparently, the union featherbedding at McCormick Place is so out of control Chicago is losing convention business big time. Exhibitors simply cannot afford the exorbitant costs for hooking up electricity or phone lines to their exhibit.

        But that’s it. I read the ChiTrib fairly often, but you really don’t see much by way of money scandals other than personal corruption. But, on the other hand, the University of Chicago is pretty offensive all by itself even without any corruption!

  4. Dickeylee said

    I’m betting that the right-wing noise machine would’ve been putting Gore up for impeachment for letting one of our spy planes be forced down on Chinese soil in February of 2001. It took Bush II two plus weeks to free the crew in exchange for China getting to keep the plane, do you think they would keep silent for a Gore Presidency?!? He wouldn’t have stood a chance.

    • Charles II said

      You might be right, Dickey. But the mission into Chinese airspace was a typical Bush-league operation, a deliberate provocation of a nation that is famous for tweaking tiger tails. God knows why they did it. I doubt Gore would have.

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