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Important reference material for Condi's testimony tomorrow

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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:22 PM
Original message
Important reference material for Condi's testimony tomorrow
The following link is for a press briefing that Condi gave on May 16th, 2002.


This is the infamous briefing where Condi said, "Steve, I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile. All of this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking. You take a plane -- people were worried they might blow one up, but they were mostly worried that they might try to take a plane and use it for release of the blind Sheikh or some of their own people.


I have excerpted a few other choice bits from this briefing but go read the whole thing and then let's see how it matches up with what she says tomorrow.



http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/05/2002051...

National Security Advisor Holds Press Briefing
Press Briefing by National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice
The James S. Brady Briefing Room

4:10 P.M. EDT

DR. RICE: Good afternoon. I'm going to give you a chronology of the events that occurred during the spring and summer of 2001. But I want to start with a little definitional work. When we talk about threats, they come in many varieties. Very often we have uncorroborated information; sometimes we have corroborated but very general information. But I can tell you that it is almost never the case that we have information that is specific as to time, place, or method of attack.

<snip>

At the end of June, there was a status of threat and action meeting that the -- what we call the Counterterrorism Security Group -- it is a group that is interagency that meets on the direction of an NSC Special Assistant, Dick Clarke at that time. There was a meeting of that, and Dick Clarke reported to me that steps were being taken by the CSG.

<snip>

On July 18th, the FAA issued another IC, saying that there were ongoing terrorist threats overseas, and that although there were no specific threats directed at civil aviation, they told the airlines, "we urge you to use the highest level of caution."

On July 18th also, the FBI issued another inlet on the Millennium plot conviction, reiterating its July 2nd message saying we're concerned about threats as a result of the Millennium plot conviction.

At the end of July, the FAA issued another IC, which said, there's no specific target, no credible info of attack to U.S. civil aviation interests, but terror groups are known to be planning and training for hijackings, and we ask you, therefore, to urge -- to use caution.

Throughout July and August, several times a week, there were meetings of the CSG, reviewing information at hand. There was no specific new information that came in in that period of time after the end of July and sort of in August, leading up to September. But the agencies were still at a heightened state of alert. Particularly overseas. I think the military actually had dropped its state of alert, but everybody was still on a heightened state of alert.

On August 1st, the FBI issued another inlet on the upcoming third East Africa bombing anniversary, and again reiterated the message that had been in the July 2nd inlet.

Now, on August 6th, the President received a presidential daily briefing which was not a warning briefing, but an analytic report. This analytic report, which did not have warning information in it of the kind that said, they are talking about an attack against so forth or so on, it was an analytic report that talked about UBL's methods of operation, talked about what he had done historically, in 1997, in 1998. It mentioned hijacking, but hijacking in the traditional sense, and in a sense, said that the most important and most likely thing was that they would take over an airliner, holding passengers and demand the release of one of their operatives. And the blind sheikh was mentioned by name as -- even though he's not an operative of al Qaeda, but as somebody who might be bargained in this way.

I want to reiterate, it was not a warning. There was no specific time, place or method mentioned. What you have seen in the run-up that I've talked about is that the FAA was reacting to the same kind of generalized information about a potential hijacking as a method that al Qaeda might employ, but no specific information saying that they were planning such an attack at a particular time.

There is one other FAA IC in this period, issued on August 16th, where the FAA issued an IC on disguised weapons. They were concerned about some reports that the terrorists had made breakthroughs in cell phones, key chains and pens as weapons.

<snip>

Q Why shouldn't this be seen as an intelligence failure, that you were unable to predict something happening here?

DR. RICE: Steve, I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile. All of this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking. You take a plane -- people were worried they might blow one up, but they were mostly worried that they might try to take a plane and use it for release of the blind Sheikh or some of their own people.

But I think that there's always a fine balance, but even in retrospect, even in hindsight, there was nothing in what was briefed to the President that would suggest that you would go out and say to the American people, look, I just read that terrorists might hijack and aircraft. They talk about hijacking an aircraft once in a while, but have no specifics about when, where, under what circumstances.


more.....
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think one of the most damning elements here is the date...
if the briefing had been given immediately following 9/11 there may have been an argument that she had been in shock, misspoke, etc.

This was calculated and deliberate.

Liar.

:grr:
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I want to see how much she changes her story
this briefing provides a pretty good check list.
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