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trillian Donating Member (432 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:10 PM
Original message
"They Were Warned and Did Nothing"
Cross posted from dkos

They Were Warned and Did Nothing
By Eric Massa (NY29)

They were warned about Foley and did nothing

Republicans in the Executive branch and Congress have a set pattern of Dumb Mistakes and/or Dastardly Deeds achieved and then covered up through Denial, Deception and Distraction. The Foley Follies seem to have temporarily shaken the nation so much that Speaker Hasterts efforts to deny he was properly warned about Foley, deceive us with lies about what he knew and did, and distract us with belated investigations and finger-pointing at Dems (backed up by the White House and at least part of the Congressional Republican leadership) are meeting with increasing skepticism. He obviously failed to do his job of protecting the pages because he put politics above principles. Republican partisan Tony Blankley said so days ago (link) and new testimony confirms as much. (link) And other Republican leaders in Congress were also warned and yet did nothing meaningful. As a father of two children, one of whom is just old enough to be a congressional page, I find this completely and utterly unacceptable.

This time the Democratic blogs did not have to take the lead as much as in other Republican scandals. The mainstream media have, partially at least, done their job of questioning the denials, deceptions and distractions. But there are much bigger stories that have been drowned out, thus far, by all the attention on Foley. And they follow the same pattern as the Foley story: being warned but doing nothing.

They were warned and did nothing: 9/11

As revealed by Bob Woodwards new book, there were warnings given to the National Security advisor, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense in July 2001, two months before 9/11, that there was danger of a domestic attack by AlQaeda inside the US. Secretary Rices efforts at denial and deception about this briefing have already been shot down by records and testimony by some who were present. At first, she claimed to not even remember such a meeting. But details about the meeting and the urgency with which it was given have shown that to be unlikely. (link, link)

Here is one description of what led to the event and the results (link):

There was no conclusive, smoking-gun intelligence, but there was such a huge volume of data that an intelligence officer's instinct strongly suggested that something was coming. He and Black hoped to convey the depth of their anxiety and get Rice to kick-start the government into immediate action.
He did not know when, where or how, but Tenet felt there was too much noise in the intelligence systems. Two weeks earlier, he had told Richard A. Clarke, the National Security Council's counterterrorism director: "It's my sixth sense, but I feel it coming. This is going to be the big one."
He and Black, a veteran covert operator, had two main points when they met with her. First, al-Qaeda was going to attack American interests, possibly in the United States itself. Black emphasized that this amounted to a strategic warning, meaning the problem was so serious that it required an overall plan and strategy. Second, this was a major foreign policy problem that needed to be addressed immediately. They needed to take action that moment -- covert, military, whatever -- to thwart bin Laden.
Tenet and Black felt they were not getting through to Rice. She was polite, but they felt the brush-off. President Bush had said he didn't want to swat at flies.

Further confirmation of the meeting and its urgent tone came from Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke, who was on Thursdays Talk of the Nation on NPR (audio available here) and had this to say about the meeting:

I think she took it seriously. She didnt do anything as a result. But I think she took it seriously.

With all due respect to Mr. Clarke, if she didnt do anything as a result then she did not take it seriously. Mr. Ashcroft and Secretary Rumsfeld have not had their briefing denials as thoroughly refuted yet, but their briefing has also been confirmed by the State Department (link):

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General John Ashcroft received the same CIA briefing about al-Qaida that was given to the White House in July 2001.
The State Departments disclosure Monday that the pair was briefed within a week after then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was told on July 10, 2001, about an imminent al-Qaida strike on an American target
That briefing took place by July 17. The State Department said Monday that the briefing took place for Rumsfeld and Ashcroft by July 17.

Previously, Mr. Ashcroft successfully denied any knowledge of the process that led to that infamous PDB on August 6, 2001. He had admitted to a July 12 briefing that did not supposedly did not include any warning of domestic threats. (link) In light of these new developments, those previous successful denials are no longer viable. And then there is that odd behavior change in July 2001, when Mr. Ashcroft admits that he started flying only on private aircraft because of a threat assessment. Lets be frank. He knew there was a real threat but did nothing. Except to protect himself.

As to Secretary Rumsfeld, other stories from July 2001 and before September 11 give the picture of a man obsessed with transforming our military and fighting for a missile defense intiative. Mr. Rumsfeld even vetoed transfer of funds to a beefed-up counterterrorism program. (link) We do know that immediately after the attacks Secretary Rumsfeld was already pushing for war in Iraq. (link) He knew and did nothing. Except to pursue his personal agendas.

And the crowning moment of being warned and doing nothing came with that August 6 PDB. When initially questioned about it, Secretary Rice pretended it didnt include much of a warning. Then when asked to read the title she said through gritted teeth; Bin Laden determined to strike in US. Here is some of the info from the PDB (link):

FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The official White House version of events about that PDB conveniently leaves out the new details given just weeks before about new threats against the US. (link) So, after the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Director and the Attorney General were warned and did nothing, or worse than nothing, the President was also warned. And he went back to vacation afterward. And did nothing.

This is a bigger story than Foley. They were warned before 9/11 and did nothing. Or worse. Why is this story important? Because it shows just how weak the Republicans are on real national security issues. We need to ask why these Bush administration officials failed to act on briefings they later tried to hide from the public.

They were warned and did nothing: Iraq, War on Terror, Afghanistan, etc.

And the pattern continues with Iraq. They were warned before and after we went into Iraq and ignored what they did not want to hear. (link, link) And now they know that Iraq is in chaos and are trying to deny this and to deceive us about just how bad things are. They have had National Intelligence Estimates that show our presence in Iraq is making the war on terror worse and tons of other data to show that the war in Iraq is going poorly. Yet there are Republicans, like my opponent Randy Kuhl (who also gives the government high marks on Katrina (link)), who insist that everything is coming up roses in Iraq and that real progress is being made. Here is what retired Republican General John Batiste said about this recently (link):

In your talk at the library, you criticized members of Congress who make fact-finding trips to Iraq and come back and report that things are going well. Was that a reference to Congressman Randy Kuhl?
Yeah, that was Randy Kuhl.
Have you spoken to Kuhl? Could he be right?
No, no. I wouldn't give him the time of day or my vote, for that matter. I am a registered Republican, but it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for anyone who I don't think is well informed and has the moral courage to make the right decisions.

Some within the Republican leadership keep trying to tell us things are going better in Iraq, or in Afghanistan (link), contrary to reality. This is reality on Afghanistan. This, from Republican Senator John Warner, is reality on Iraq. This, from four star Democratic General Wesley Clark, is reality on the War on Terror:

There are twice as many terrorists now as there were on 9/11; North Korea and Iran are increasing threats and U.S. Armed Forces are exhausted and bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"That's not a prescription for victory. It is a prescription for failure."

General Batiste has singled out Secretary Rumsfeld as the key person who has ignored warnings and sound advice on Iraq (link):

We continue to squander American blood and dollars at an astonishing rate. Unless our leaders clearly define our strategy and way ahead, it may all be for naught.
Rumsfeld is responsible for taking us to war with a flawed war plan that ignored the realities of the region and the lessons of history. He had no strategy beyond taking down Saddam Hussein. His flawed thinking caused our great country to violate fundamental principles of war and set the conditions for the national embarrassment of Abu Ghraib. He allowed the insurgency to take root and grow to where it is today. He has driven our Army brigades, both active duty and National Guard, into a state of unprecedented unreadiness.
Whether we are confronting a civil war or sectarian violence in Iraq is irrelevant. Whatever you call it, chaos reigns and we have lost the initiative. Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for what happens or fails to happen in our Department of Defense, and we deserve accountability.

While I do believe that others besides Secretary Rumsfeld should also be held accountable, I agree with General Batiste that getting rid of Secretary Rumsfeld is a necessary first step toward improving the situation in Iraq. He was one of those warned before 9/11 and is one of the key people who ignored warnings before we invaded Iraq and continues to ignore them now on Iraq and Afghanistan. But if Rumsfeld has the confidence of the President, as he seems to, only the checks and balances provided by a Democratic Congress, as a replacement of the current Rubber Stamp Republican Congress, will serve to hold Secretary Rumsfeld accountable.

Conclusion and Postscript

It may be that, like Al Capone, the thing that brings Republicans down is not the worst thing they are guilty of. But the Foley story is only part of a much larger pattern of ignored warnings and inadequate responses. That is true of the period before 9/11, it is true of the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, and it is true in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Our brave men and women in uniform deserve better leadership and the only way they will get it is if we elect a Democratic majority to congress this fall.

As many of you know, I have been posting on many different blogs for almost 18 months. And now, 30 days away from the most important election of my adult lifetime, I strongly want to continue right through 7 November. Yesterday I enjoyed a full day with over 8 events and travel through six counties to get to the events and to meet the great folks who waited to learn about my vision for a higher standard of leadership. It was a thrilling and exciting day as they have all been throughout this long journey to Washington.

This piece, with its great research, is a joint venture between myself and a great team of researchers and writers who have asked to come together to help me in the final months and weeks of the campaign. I fully associate myself with each and every sentence. But this article has been a team effort and in full and fair disclosure you might note some subtle style differences between today's piece and others. In this final month I will be turning to our team to take my rough ideas and drafts and make them as informative and interesting as time will allow.

My opponent clearly needs some researchers. Over 35,000 people have watched the Youtube video of his ridiculous comment during our first debate expressing pride in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. The laughs that followed show that average voters in our area have common sense and know a joke when they hear one. Randy Kuhl is an embarrassment for the 29th District.

Thank you to Hekebolos and the Crashing the States crew for the excellent coverage of our race. (link) We need all the help we can get in these final weeks before the election. You can go to for more details. Our Volunteer Center is here and you can donate through our ActBlue page here.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. There is a great discussion on this Diary going on at Kos
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Although he's in a tight race, Eric posted over 10 times on his Kos thread
He's got to be busy, but he always shows his respect to grassroots supporters. We have to elect this man to Congress, he will never forget who he is there to represent. Please visit his web site: /

Check out his volunteer page, and donate to his campaign if at all possible. Eric Massa will be a real leader in Congress for us. And in case you were wondering, there is no evoting in New York. This will be a critical pick up for us if Eric wins.
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. oh they did something about foley, kept it covered up.
thay did something about 9/11. LIHOP.

they did something about katrina. destroyed the black democratic base of new orleans.

they did plenty with iraq. made untold billions for their cronies.

they have done plenty.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
DemInDistress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. about that 8/6/01' did include warnings of attacks.
I was home on 4/12/04 when the 911 Commission kind of forced Rice to release the PDB publicly. Around 4 PM
on Fox cable news I believe it was, someone from BFEE placed that PDB on camera. It was 2 pages both had
complete pages of text.

On page 2 3rd paragraph this was the text," weeks many many dead, very very big uproar, possibly using hijacked commercial jets as suicide weapons to be crashed into skyscrapers in New York City, Chicago and
Washington DC." that was followed by a 4th paragraph with signatures at the bottom.

While page 1 of that PDB revealed Osama was an evil guy who blew up embassies and the US.Cole clearly the
historical information Rice spoke of it was page 2 that had damaging info. Weeks, many many dead.

Think about this. When bush heard about the rumors that arabs wanted to learn how to fly commercial jets that
courtesy of the Phoenix Flight Memo's he ordered an update we now know as the "infamous PDB". When that
document was delivered bush almost killed the messenger, "alright you covered your ass" now take a hike. No need there to be hostile if all the PDB contained was that historical bullshit.

Now we have new Tenet-Rice revelations of July 12, 2001. Then the "threat assessment" for John Ashcroft on July 21, 2001 warning him not to fly commercial jets.

I often think about having not taped it that day more so now that if I did tape it I'd be scared to death
because a copy of that would be dangerous to my health. Still, I know what I saw the day the PDB was released.

I had expected to see that document on other cable news shows later and when it did air it was sanitized.

Thanks again I enjoyed your thread..
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BleedingHeartPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. Warned and did nothing: Katrina. The pattern emerges. n/t
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Kick for this Slogan, let us count the ways...
It works for Foley. It works for Katrina. It works for Osama Bin Ladin. It works for the fake yellow cake uranium evidence used to hype Hussein's supposedly active nuclear program. It works for being told not to trust Chalabi. It works for not sending enough troops to Iraq. It works for not having post invasion plans to provide services and security for Iraq's citizens. It works for "if you break Iraq you own it". It works for "invading Iraq will super charge Al Quada recruitment. Yes the Republicans were warned, and yes they did nothing.
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Vyan Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is the right meme....
to shove down thier throats in November and in 08. They were warned, time and time again, and they didn't listen. I made a similar point this morning here.

Even now both George Bush and Dick Cheney refuse to believe that the War in Iraq is increasing terrorism and continue to falsely claim that Saddam and Al Qeada were linked. This is dangerous self-delusion and the nation is finally - thanks to Hastertgate (who along some Neo-Con Congressmen want to put Nancy Pelosi under oath to see Democrats knew knew and when -- but not Tom Reynolds, not Beohner or Fordham) - starting to recognize the pattern.

It's the same thing, ignore, deny and deflect over and over again.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan :There they go again!

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. This isn't my blog so I can ask: Plese give this a 5th Recommend!
This deserves to be on the Greatest Page where more people will notice it.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thanks! n/t
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whirlygigspin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. only fools believe...
Excuse me for being completely ignorant but why is this a surprise to anyone?

They are the party of do-nothing government!
It's their basic philosophy for Chrissake
-government is bad
support only the rich
And trikle down on the rest

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Why do these Republicans get over a third of the Vote?
A closely related question in my opinion. Right now, four weeks away from the Congressional Elections, I don't much care why people fell asleep or under a spell, I care that they wake up.
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. The DNC should formulate some hard-hitting TV ads...
...based on this. Because it's the damn truth, and it might just be effective. The truth usually is.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
13. excellent summary
and I agree this would make a punch-in-the-face TV ad
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
14. Actually, they did do something.
They did their best to find ways to profit and privately benefit in other ways. In every case, they found those ways.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
15. Exactly!
They didn't know about 9/11, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know the air quality was deadly around Ground Zero, despite all the warnings.

They didn't realize that Enron and Abramoff were corrupt to the core, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know they were letting Osama get away at Tora Bora, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know Iraq had no WMDs, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know that nation building in Iraq would be a complete disaster, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know the Americans who were dying by the hundreds in New Orleans needed their help, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know that Israel's attacks against Lebanon would backfire, despite all the warnings.

They didn't realize that they were growing the government at record rates with nothing to show for it except a record deficit, despite all the warnings.

They didn't realize that they were gutting the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, despite all the warnings.

They didn't know Foley was a page chasing pervert, despite all the warnings.

The last of sentence is the least important of all. But it could be the straw that finally broke the elephant's back.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Tens of millions of Amerikans do not give a shit about the first ten
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 05:46 AM by indepat
listed obscenities but some among them might get lathered up enough over the eleventh to just get the job done. Edited to add:

Your top ten list is superb: if the dems would just feature all ten in every commercial and campaign speech until election day, the tide would turn enough for the margins of victory to be too large for the elections to be stolen.
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