In May 2002, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made a statement
that she did not know that planes could be used as missiles. She further
stated that the United States government did not have specific information
regarding the 9/11 attacks.
As National Security Advisor, it was Condoleezza Rice’s job to know that the
historical record was replete with instances of terrorists planning to use
planes as missiles. Yet, as admitted in her own words, she did not.
Furthermore, as National Security Advisor, it was Condoleezza Rice’s job
to coordinate information from the intelligence community and make policy
decisions and recommendations to the President, in conjunction with other
NSC members, about dealing with terrorist threats. By Ms. Rice’s own admission,
she and her fellow NSC members apparently failed in this capacity, too.
The Clinton national security team gave three extensive briefings on the
present danger of al Qaeda to the incoming Bush administration. Donald
Kerrick, three star general, was Deputy National Security Adviser under
President Clinton and served for the first four months of the Bush
Administration on the National Security Council. General Kerrick has
said that he wrote a memo for the Bush NSC stating, “we will be struck
again.” General Kerrick states that he received no response to his memo
and was not included in any meetings.
It has also been reported that Richard Clarke, head of counterrorism on the NSC,
was very frustrated during the first nine months of the Bush Administration. Clarke
was reportedly frustrated because he tried to get the principals committee (the
central body of top national security figures in the Administration) to take up
terrorism as an issue. The principals in the Bush Administration, according to
Clarke, finally discussed terrorism only once when they decided against funding
the unmanned predator drone plane over Afghanistan prior to 9/11.
Also reported in the media are the statements and facts regarding the Iraqi war
plan. Paul O’Neill writes that the Bush Administration had the Iraq war plan
drawn up and finalized in the first few weeks of the Bush Administration.
The Bush Administration has not denied this fact. Rather, the Administration
has anecdotally stated that every incoming Administration has a desk full of
work to sift through, prioritize, and explore. Apparently, the Bush
Administration made its number one priority the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
In doing so, Bin Laden and his al Qaeda network were ranked lower in priority.
Why? Especially since we now know that Iraq was not an “imminent threat” while
Al Qaeda apparently in the midst of planning an attack on 9/11 clearly was an
Once again, this issue revolves around the vital flow of intelligence information.
Why was information detailing the clear and present danger of Osama Bin Laden and
Al Qaeda “downplayed” by this Administration while at the very same time, apparently,
the intelligence information regarding Saddam Hussein and Iraq was peppered up.
Both of these facts regarding the Bush Administration’s clear failure to prioritize
matters of national security have cost lives. Three thousand people were murdered
on the morning of 9/11, and thousands have been killed in the war in Iraq.
President Bush aptly stated on Meet the Press (2/08/04) that it is the President’s
most solemn responsibility to keep this country secure. President Bush also stated
that commissions, in general, must take their time and learn lessons from the past
because we live in a dangerous world. Asked if he would submit to questioning by
the 9/11 Independent Commission, President Bush replied, “Perhaps, perhaps.” On
Meet the Press, President Bush also said he was cooperating with the 9/11
Independent Commission, and specifically cited the agreement on Presidential
In light of President Bush’s admission of the importance of cooperation, the
9/11 Independent Commission must request President Bush, Vice President Cheney,
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Powell, and National Security
Advisor Rice to testify in an open hearing while under oath to answer the
Questions that need to be answered:
1. Why did the Bush Administration fixate, prioritize, and explore the
necessity to go to war in Iraq, while ignoring the clear and present danger
of Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda who nine months later killed three thousand
people on American soil? Was it the structure of the NSC that caused this
2. Who determined the prioritization of terrorism issues in the early months of the
Bush Administration? Who was consulted regarding such policy decisions? Who
wrote the Presidential Decisional Directives (PDDs) carrying out such policy
decisions? More importantly, what was the nature and substance of those PDDs?
3. Has the 9/11 Independent Commission adequately addressed this issue—namely
the failure of the Bush Administration, its NSC, and its Cabinet to properly assess
imminent threats posed to this nation’s security?
• Has the 9/11 Independent Commission gained full access to individuals and
information to properly investigate this issue? If not, what areas of access must
still be gained?
• Who has the 9/11 Independent Commission questioned regarding this issue?
• Has the 9/11 Independent Commission made any “deals” with Administrative
officials with regard to the scope of access surrounding this issue? If so,
what areas of access are blocked to the 9/11 Independent Commission, as a whole
or in part?