National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Testimony (External Links: April 2004)

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The following are External Links for April 2004 related to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Testimony.

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April 1, 2004

April 2, 2004

  • Steve Holland, "U.S. declassifies pre-9/11 anti-terror plan," Reuters, April 2, 2004: "Ivo Daalder, a foreign policy analyst at the Brookings Institution who worked on Democratic President Bill Clinton's National Security Council, doubted the Bush administration would be able to find any public reference to al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden by a top official in the months before September 11. ... The Rice speech, he said, 'is just the final cherry on the pudding proving that what these people were concerned about was not al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden but madmen with missiles.'"
  • Megan Shattuck and Suzanne Malveaux, "9/11 panel looking into Clinton documents request. Felzenberg: 'Should take about a day-and-a-half to figure out'," CNN, April 2, 2004.
  • Philip Shenon and David E. Sanger, "Bush Aides Block Clinton's Papers From 9/11 Panel," New York Times, April 2, 2004: "The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Thursday that it was pressing the White House to explain why the Bush administration had blocked thousands of pages of classified foreign policy and counterterrorism documents from former President Bill Clinton's White House files from being turned over to the panel's investigators." Also "The White House decision to release some of the wording of the classified September 2001 presidential directive on Al Qaeda and the Taliban was an opening volley in what is expected to be an aggressive public relations campaign on behalf of Ms. Rice in the days before her testimony next Thursday."
  • Bob Herbert, "No End in Sight," New York Times Op-Ed, April 2, 2004: "We rode into this wholly unnecessary conflict on the wave of Mr. Bush's obsession with Saddam Hussein and Iraq, and we've made a hash of it. Hundreds of Americans and thousands of innocent Iraqis have died for reasons the administration has never been able to coherently explain. ... He was wrong, of course, just as he was wrong about the weapons of mass destruction, and about the number of troops that would be needed to secure Iraq, and so many other things. In fact, the Bush administration has managed to conceal any and all evidence that it knows the first thing about what it's doing in Iraq."
  • Dan Eggen and Dana Milbank, "White House Holds Back Clinton Papers. Former President's Aide Says 9/11 Panel May Lack Full View of Anti-Terror Effort," Washington Post, April 2, 2004: "Bruce R. Lindsey, who represents the former president on records issues, said yesterday that the Bush administration has turned over about 25 percent of the nearly 11,000 pages of Clinton records that document custodians had determined should be released to the commission investigating the terrorist attacks. Lindsey said that, as a result, the commission may not have a full picture of the Clinton administration's anti-terrorism efforts."
  • Joe Conason, "The Widows are watching," Salon, April 2, 2004: "Four outspoken World Trade Center widows claim the 9/11 commission director's ties to the White House undermine the commission's credibility." Also see Just Four Moms from New Jersey for background.
  • Steven Rosenfeld, "The War Room," Tom Paine, April 2, 2004: "Indeed, as former Clinton and Bush administration anti-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke's recent testimony to the 9/11 commission revealed, the top staffers at the National Security Council and at the departments of State and Defense do almost nothing but plan, strategize, evaluate contingencies and sometimes get orders to act. But what people who were riveted by Richard Clarke's testimony may not realize is that the most powerful figures in the Bush administration—from its earliest days—dispensed with the interagency planning process prior White Houses used to evaluate threats, make decisions to go to war, and plan and carry out those actions."

April 3, 2004

  • "The Mystery Deepens," New York Times Op-Ed, April 3, 2004: "The Bush administration's handling of the bipartisan commission investigating the 9/11 tragedy grows worse — and more oddly self-destructive — with each passing day. Following its earlier attempts to withhold documents from the panel and then to deny its members vital testimony, we now learn that President Bush's staff has been withholding thousands of pages of Clinton administration papers as well. ... The White House held the documents for more than six weeks, apparently without notifying the commission, and might have kept them indefinitely if Bruce Lindsey, the general counsel of Mr. Clinton's presidential foundation, had not publicly complained this week. ... This latest distressing episode followed the White House's pattern of resisting the commission in private and then, once the dispute becomes public, reluctantly giving up the minimum amount of ground."
  • Dan Eggen, "9/11 Panel Granted Look at Clinton Papers. White House Moves to Cut Off Another Dispute Over Testimony, Documents," Washington Post, April 3, 2004: "The Bush administration agreed yesterday to let the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks review about 9,000 pages of documents from the Clinton archives, which the White House had earlier refused to release, despite the conclusion of federal researchers that they were relevant to the panel's work."

April 5, 2004

  • "White House Vetting Could Delay 9/11 Report Until After Election," Agence France Presse, April 5, 2004: "The chairman of an independent commission looking into US counterterrorism activities prior to the September 11 attacks said he could not guarantee that the panel's report will be released before the November presidential election because of a protracted White House vetting process. ... Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press television program, Kean said White House vetters will go over his report 'line by line to find out if there's anything in there which could harm American interests in the area of intelligence.' ... A special clearance team led by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and made up of top US intelligence and counterterrorism officials has already been set up, he said. ... But the report, expected to contain hundreds of pages of findings and testimony, is unlikely to be finished before July, according to congressional officials. ... That will leave the vetting team only three to four months to complete its work, if American are to see the document before they go to the polls on November 2."
  • "9/11 panel expects to pass security check," AP, April 5, 2004: "Leaders of the commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks don't expect the Bush administration to order major changes to the commission's final report on national security grounds. ... The commission, formed by Congress with President Bush's signature, is due to complete the report on July 26. Security specialists from the CIA, the FBI and other agencies first must review it, under White House supervision, for possible security leaks. ... 'Nobody has any interest in having the report sitting around Washington during the election period and pieces of it leaking out,' the committee chairman, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, said Sunday. 'So I think it is in the White House's interest, our interest, everybody's interest to get this out in July. And I believe they will.' ... The original deadline was May 27 but was extended after complaints about alleged lack of cooperation by the White House."
  • The Angry Liberal, "Bush, Cheney, and Rice to Testify: How They Will Avoid Telling the Truth," BuzzFlash, April 5, 2004.
  • Hope Yen, "Bush Says He Lacked Info on Sept. 11,", AP, April 5, 2004: "President Bush said Monday he will tell the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that his administration lacked the information needed to prevent the terrorists from striking. ... 'Let me just be very clear about this,' he said. 'Had we had the information that was necessary to stop an attack, I'd have stopped the attack. ... If we'd have known that the enemy was going to fly airplanes into our buildings, we would have done everything in our power to stop it.' ... After the attacks, 'this country immediately went on war footing and we went to war against al-Qaida. And we're going to keep after them until they are brought to justice and America is secure,' Bush told reporters while on a trip to North Carolina."
  • Seymour M. Hersh, "The Other War. Why Bush's Afghanistan problem won't go away," The New Yorker, April 5, 2004: "The Bush Administration has consistently invoked Afghanistan as a success story—an example of the President’s determination. However, it is making this claim in the face of renewed warnings, from international organizations, from allies, and from within its own military—notably a Pentagon-commissioned report that was left in bureaucratic limbo when its conclusions proved negative—that the situation there is deteriorating rapidly."
  • Philip Shenon, "9/11 Panel Plans Hard Questions for the F.B.I. and Justice Dept.," New York Times, April 5, 2004: "... public hearings next week, with Attorney General John Ashcroft and Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director, being called to account for their agencies' failures before the attacks, panel officials say. ... Commission members say the hearings will bolster what will almost certainly be a major recommendation of the panel's final report this summer: an overhaul of domestic counterterrorism programs, possibly through creation of a domestic counterintelligence agency separate from the F.B.I. The Bush administration has said it opposes such a move."

April 6, 2004

April 7, 2004

  • Pepe Escobar, "9-11 and The Smoking Gun, Part 2: A Real Smoking Gun", Asia Times Online, April 7, 2004: "If the 9-11 Commission is really looking for a smoking gun, it should look no further than at Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad, the director of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) at the time. In early October 2001, Indian intelligence learned that Mahmoud had ordered flamboyant Saeed Sheikh - the convicted mastermind of the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl - to wire US$100,000 from Dubai to one of hijacker Mohamed Atta's two bank accounts in Florida. A juicy direct connection was also established between Mahmoud and Republican Congressman Porter Goss and Democratic Senator Bob Graham. They were all in Washington together discussing Osama bin Laden over breakfast when the attacks of September 11, 2001, happened."

April 10, 2004

  • Murray Weiss, "The Testimony We Won't Hear," Fox News, April 10, 2004: "Sadly, tragically, ironically, one of the nation's most important witnesses for the 9/11 Commission will never be heard from. He is John P. O'Neill, the FBI's visionary and charismatic former counterterrorism leader who died on September 11, 2001 in the collapse of the World Trade Center. By all accounts, O'Neill was the first official to connect the dots to Usama bin Laden long before most people even knew there were dots to connect. As far back as early 1995, O'Neill recognized bin Laden as the greatest threat to U.S. national security -- a stunning revelation that came just days after he orchestrated the capture of Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing."

April 12, 2004

  • "Bush says he had no 9/11 warning," BBC/UK, April 12, 2004: "President George W Bush has said that he never saw any intelligence documents predicting attacks on the US mainland before the 11 September 2001."

April 13, 2004

April 14, 2004

April 15, 2004

  • Philip Shenon and Eric Lichtblau, "Sept. 11 Panel Cites C.I.A. for Failures in Terror Case," New York Times, April 15, 2004.
  • Douglas Jehl, "Terror Memo Disregarded, Report Says," New York Times, April 15, 2004.
  • Maureen Dowd, "Head Spook Sputters," New York Times, April 15, 2004: "I'm not sure whether Mr. Tenet -- a mystifyingly beloved figure even though he was in charge during the two biggest intelligence failures since Pearl Harbor and the Bay of Pigs -- has a faulty memory, which is scary. Or if he's fuzzing things up because he told the president more specifics than he wants to admit. But in a town where careers are made on face time with the president, it's fishy that the head spook can't remember a six-hour trip to Crawford for some."

April 16, 2004

April 19, 2004

  • Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, "NORAD had drills of jets as weapons," USA Today, April 19, 2004: "In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. ... One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon -- but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic, NORAD and Defense officials say." Re Condoleezza Rice's comment to the Commission: "I do not remember any reports to us, a kind of strategic warning, that planes might be used as weapons."

April 23, 2004

April 29, 2004

  • "Bremer Faulted Bush Before Terror Attacks," AP, April 29, 2004: "L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was 'paying no attention' to terrorism. ... 'What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this,' ' Bremer said at a McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism on Feb. 26, 2001."