Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Thursday, April 08, 2004
Go to the new DM blog.

Le Hasard Ne Favorise Que Les Esprits Prepares

Clarke testifying before the 9/11 commission:

ROEMER: ...Was fighting Al Qaida a top priority for the Clinton administration from 1998 to the year 2001? How high a priority was it in that Clinton administration during that time period?

CLARKE: My impression was that fighting terrorism, in general, and fighting Al Qaida, in particular, were an extraordinarily high priority in the Clinton administration -- certainly no higher priority...

ROEMER: ...How high a priority was fighting Al Qaida in the Bush administration?

CLARKE: I believe the Bush administration in the first eight months considered terrorism an important issue, but not an urgent issue. Well, president Bush himself says as much in his interview with Bob Woodward in the book Bush at War. He said, I didn't feel a sense of urgency...

Salon, Fighting stem cells, not terror cells:

For months prior to 9/11, Bush's counterterrorism chief could not get a meeting scheduled to brief the president about the mounting al-Qaida threat, despite the fact that, according to the one 9/11 commissioner who's had full access to the library of 2001 intelligence briefings, the growing terrorism warnings "would set your hair on fire." According to a 9/11 commission staff report, during those very same three months in 2001, the National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on communications around the world, reported 33 messages suggesting "a possibly imminent terrorist attack."

Yet during the summer of 2001, Bush's aides painted an image of an Oval Office bursting with outside experts queued up to discuss stem cells face-to-face with Bush in a process that seemed to stretch for weeks at a time.

Now let's contrast something: under Clinton's watch, once the threat of al Qaeda was realized it became a high priority, and we prevented the Millenium Plot; under Bush's watch, the threat of terror was less important to Bush than stem cell research, and the worst terrorist act in US history killed 3000 people.

Could 9/11 have been prevented? I honestly don't know, but as Pasteur said: Chance favors the prepared mind. Alas, our current president is so incurious that he doesn't even read the news. Hardly the habits of a prepared mind1.


1 - Want more proof? The day after receiving a brief entitled Bin Laden determined to attack inside United States, Bush went on vacation.

[Update: forgot to mention the August 6th PDB. Also edited for clarity.] 

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