Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Would Al Gore have prevented 9/11?

As I look at the public information that has dribbled out over the last few years, I increasingly think that the answer is Yes.

I should note that this is nothing particular about Gore. The sense I increasingly get is that just about anyone and everyone who has been a serious Presidential candidate in the last 50 years could also have prevented 9/11.

If this reasoning is correct, then 9/11 would have been prevented, not only by Al Gore, but also (for example) by John McCain, Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Dick Gephardt, Michael Dukakis, Ronald Reagan, Fritz Mondale, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, Barry Goldwater, and Dwight Eisenhower, to name just a few.

Point 1: It has become clear that the U.S. intelligence community was very, very close to breaking the plot. If the FBI, CIA, and a few others such as local law enforcement had pooled their information a bit sooner and better, they had everything they needed to stop the attacks. The highest levels also fully realized how serious and imminent the al Qaeda threat was, and they tried desperately and repeatedly to get the Bush Administration to pay attention.

Examples include the infamous "Bin Laden determined to attack in U.S." memo, the CIA guys who went to see Bush at his ranch and were told "OK, you've covered your ass," and of course the most recently revealed briefing in which Tenet tried to get Condi Rice and several other top Administration officials to pay attention, but got the brushoff.

What stimulated this line of thinking on my part was Condi's non-denial denial that it was "incomprehensible" that she could have gotten these warnings and paid no attention. Various anti-Bush bloggers naturally riposted along the lines of: "I couldn't have said it better myself."

Given the seriousness of the warnings, it is plausible that any of the above-named actual or hypothetical Administrations would have paid attention. Likewise, would any of them, if invading Iraq, have done absolutely no planning for the occupation whatsoever? And then made absolutely no effort to succeed, such as by bringing in competent staff rather than political hacks? Again, this is a wildly unique Administration. The resistance to making any inquiry into the al Qaeda threat is completely consistent, however, with how they've acted on other occasions before or since. They never pay attention to information that doesn't fit their biases, even when it is in their interest to do so.

Surmise 1, therefore, is that in any Administration but this one there would have been a serious nudge from the top to try to put all of the pieces together. And since we were so close to breaking the plot, Surmise 2 is that this would have done the trick.

So we have this buffoon with a fifth grade reading level, who "knows" that Iraq is going well even though he had never heard of the Sunnis and Shiites until about a year ago, who is campaigning for continued power on the ground that only he can make us safe. Yet not only has he made us much less safe with the Iraq misadventure, as his own intelligence officials have determined, but he heads the one and only conceivable U.S. government that could have bungled the job of preventing 9/11.

I always thought I liked irony, but this one is a bit too rich even for me.


jimvj said...

The real buffoons are the 59+ million US citizens that reelected this most incompetent reading and thinking challenged monster.

The real lesson to be conveyed to all people is that religion, jingoism, or fear can blind one to a candidate's failings;
and that some candidates know this and use this fact.

PGL said...

Precisely! Well done. Could someone simply tell George, Dick, Condi, etc. to SHUT UP? The more they say - the more I realize we elected a pack of people whose only expertise is lying to us.

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Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton did a stellar job at preventing the first attack on the WTC!

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