By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 30 November 2022 • 16:57
Tony Blair and George W Bush - Credit CC Pomezia
According to the news site Insider, who has seen the memo, on April 29, 2004, President George W. Bush hosted one of the most unusual meetings to ever take place inside the Oval Office.
In that meeting 10 members of the 9/11 commission were given the opportunity to question Bush and then Vice President Dick Cheney about the events of September 11, 2001.
It is said that the notes are not a full transcript, but they do give insight into what Bush thought and did at the time. Despite being given multiple opportunities to acknowledge numerous documented warnings that his own intelligence team had sent him warning of an impending attack by Al Qaeda, he failed to do so.
CIA director, George Tenet is quoted as saying in the meeting: “The threat was overseas — that was what George said.” By all accounts Bush did not want the public to believe that an attack could be mounted on American soil despite having been told that it was more than possible.
Among those warning was a briefing headlined “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.”
The 9/11 Commission’s report did not include Bush’s attempts to rewrite history but was based on the evidence. However, the commissioners still have questions to this day about what Bush knew and why he failed to take any action.
One of the commissioners Richard Ben-Veniste, told Insider: “I could never square in my mind CIA Director Tenet’s intense preoccupation with the Al Qaeda threat in the months leading up to 9/11, with his claim that he never briefed President Bush on the many clues the intelligence community had developed that bin Laden was planning to launch a ‘spectacular’ attack on the US homeland.”
What the commissioners did report was a break down in communications between the CIA and the Oval Office. It said: “No one working on these late [Al Qaeda] leads in the summer of 2001 connected them to the high level of threat reporting … no analytic work foresaw the lightning that could connect the thundercloud to the ground.”
The memo suggests that there was no urgency in the White House with regard to the looming threat, despite Tenet’s attempts to get them to take action. According to the declassified memo George W Bush just wasn’t interested, providing some credence to the conspiracy theories that it was orchestrated by the US government to provide a reason to go to war in the Middle East.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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