High-Ranking Officials Admit 9/11 Could've Been Prevented

"This was not something that had to happen."

"They simply failed."

— Thomas H. Kean, Chair of the independent commission investigating 9/11. Kean is a Republican appointed by Bush

 

"They don't have any excuse because the information was in their lap, and they didn't do anything to prevent it."

— Senator Richard Shelby, then ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee; member of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11

 

"I don't believe any longer that it's a matter of connecting the dots. I think they had a veritable blueprint, and we want to know why they didn't act on it."

— Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican member of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11

 

"There were lots of warnings."

— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

 

"Should we have known? Yes, we should have. Could we have known? Yes, I believe we could have because of the hard targets [CIA operatives were tracking]."

— Representative Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Republican co-chairman of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11

 

"I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers."

— FBI Director Robert Mueller

 

"As of September 10th, each of us knew everything we needed to know to tell us there was a possibility of what happened on September 11th."

— Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff (described by the Associated Press as "the Bush administration's top anti-terrorism prosecutor")

 

"Had one human being or a common group of human beings sat down with all that information, we could have gotten to the hijackers before they flew those four airplanes either into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or the ground of Pennsylvania."

— Senator Bob Graham, then Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Democratic co-chairman of the joint intelligence panel that investigated 9/11

 

"If you put all those pieces together, I don't say you could have prevented September 11th, but there might have been some warning, had it been handled properly."

— Vice President Dick Cheney

 

Sources

Cheney: Unsigned. "Cheney Blasts September 11 Critics." CNN, 23 May 2002.

Chertoff: Parry, Wayne. "Official: Many Signs Pointed to 9/11." Associated Press, 1 June 2002.

Goss: Priest, Dana, and Juliet Eilperin. "'We Should Have' Known, Goss Says of 9/11." Washington Post, 12 June 2002: A12.

Graham: Miller, Greg. "Congress Fattens Its Dossier on Sept. 11 Intelligence Errors." Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2002.

Kean: Pinkston, Randall. "9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable." CBS News, 17 Dec 2003. Link

Mueller: Lewis, Neil A. "F.B.I. Chief Admits 9/11 Might Have Been Detectable." New York Times, 30 May 2002.

Rumsfeld: "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Parade Magazine." Defense Department Website, 12 Oct 2001.

Shelby: Coile, Zachary. "Another Dot That Didn't Get Connected." San Francisco Chronicle, 3 June 2002.

Specter: Sisk, Richard. "FBI, CIA Brass in a Sling." Daily News (New York), 6 June 2002.

 

 

>>> With the exception of Kean's recent comment, the above is based on the following excerpt from my 30-page article, "Pieces of the 9/11 Puzzle," in the anthology I edited, Abuse Your Illusions: The Disinformation Guide to Media Mirages and Establishment Lies (The Disinformation Company, 2003) [info here].

Top Officials Admit 9/11 Was Preventable

After reading about all of these warnings, if you're thinking that 9/11 could've been prevented, you're not alone. A lot of top US officials feel the same way. Unfortunately, their remarks appear in isolated instances, quickly surfacing and fading away. They're gathered here for the first time.

As noted in my article "September 11, 2001: No Surprise," when Parade magazine asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why the US was caught so flat-footed, without any warnings, he amazingly replied: "There were lots of warnings."[109]

It took Robert Mueller eight months to admit it--and then he said it in a confusing way--but even the head G-man had to come clean. The New York Times informs us:

The director of the F.B.I., Robert S. Mueller III, acknowledged today for the first time that the attacks of Sept. 11 might have been preventable if officials in his agency had responded differently to all the pieces of information that were available.

"I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers," Mr. Mueller told reporters after listing several missed opportunities by officials to discern a pattern of terrorist planning before Sept. 11.

He also said that while there was no specific warning, "that doesn't mean that there weren't red flags out there, that there weren't dots that should have been connected to the extent possible." [110]

At a commencement speech at Seton Hall Law School, Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff--described by the Associated Press as "the Bush administration's top anti-terrorism prosecutor"--said: "As of Sept. 10th, each of us knew everything we needed to know to tell us there was a possibility of what happened on Sept. 11th." [111]

Then we have this choice quote from Senator Bob Graham, who at the time was the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the co-chairman of the joint panel investigating 9/11:

Had one human being or a common group of human beings sat down with all that information, we could have gotten to the hijackers before they flew those four airplanes either into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or the ground of Pennsylvania. [112]

But Graham is a Democrat [now running for President], so this must be a politically-motivated statement to make the Bush Administration look bad, right? Then how to explain the remarks of the Republican co-chairman of the joint panel, Representative Porter J. Goss? The Congressman is also Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He said:

Should we have known? Yes, we should have. Could we have known? Yes, I believe we could have because of the hard targets [CIA operatives were tracking]. [113]

For a similar opinion, we turn to Senator Richard Shelby, who was the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee: "They don't have any excuse because the information was in their lap and they didn't do anything to prevent it." [114]

Senator Arlen Specter was another Republican on the joint committee. After it had held one of its numerous closed-door sessions, Specter told CBS News:

I don't believe any longer that it's a matter of connecting the dots. I think they had a veritable blueprint, and we want to know why they didn't act on it. [115]

Even Vice President Dick Cheney got in on the act, telling interviewer Larry King:

If you put all those pieces together, I don't say you could have prevented September 11th, but there might have been some warning, had it been handled properly. [116]

Of course, this Clintonian mincing of words begs the question: If there could've been "some warning," why couldn't the attacks have been "prevented"? But we can forgive Cheney for this non sequitur; he undoubtedly admitted more than he meant to during the live interview.

So if anyone gives you a hard time for believing that the government knew enough to have prevented the attacks, just tell them that you're in powerful company. The Secretary of Defense, the Director of the FBI, the Assistant Attorney General, one Democratic Senator, two Republican Senators, one Republican Representative, and the Vice President feel that way, too.


Endnotes

109. "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Parade Magazine." Defense Department Website, 12 Oct 2001.

110. Lewis, Neil A. "F.B.I. Chief Admits 9/11 Might Have Been Detectable." New York Times, 30 May 2002.

111. Parry, Wayne. "Official: Many Signs Pointed to 9/11." Associated Press, 1 June 2002.

112. Miller, Greg. "Congress Fattens Its Dossier on Sept. 11 Intelligence Errors." Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2002.

113. Priest, Dana, and Juliet Eilperin. "'We Should Have' Known, Goss Says of 9/11." Washington Post, 12 June 2002: A12.

114. Coile, Zachary. "Another Dot That Didn't Get Connected." San Francisco Chronicle, 3 June 2002.

115. Sisk, Richard. "FBI, CIA Brass in a Sling." Daily News (New York), 6 June 2002.

116. Unsigned. "Cheney Blasts September 11 Critics." CNN, 23 May 2002.

 

excerpt copyright 2003 Russ Kick

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posted 22 July 2003 | updated 18 Dec 2003
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