Thursday, June 19, 2008

"A Pre-September 11 Mentality"

Rudy Giuliani, stumping for McCain, accuses Obama of a "pre-September 11 mentality." This is in response to the Supreme Court's decision that detainees have a right to habeas corpus - the right to challenge your detention - with McCain saying that he "disagrees with giving those rights to detainees, [because] they are 'unlawful combatants.'"

Let's start first with Giuliani's invoking of 9/11, something, of course, that he rarely does. (If you were to look at Rudy's refrigerator calendar, it would have only one day on it for the entire year!)

What did Rudy do about the prospect of another attack on the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing? For one thing, he located the command HQ for another terrorist attack in, of all places, the WTC! And for another, he failed to fix the emergency radio network, leading directly to the needless deaths of the NYC firefighters on 9/11 who couldn't hear the evacuation order, even though the need to fix them was made explicit by the 1993 events.

Too bad Rudy didn't adopt a post-1993 mentality.

And, as for the pre-9/11 mentality that Rudy accuses Obama of, consider this short list of what Bush knew before 9/11:

"1996–2001: Federal authorities knew that suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden received flight training at schools in the US and abroad. An Oklahoma City FBI agent sent a memo warning that “large numbers of Middle Eastern males” were getting flight training and could have been planning terrorist attacks. [CBS, 5/30/02]

One convicted terrorist confessed that his planned role in a terror attack was to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. [Washington Post, 9/23/01]

June of 2001: German intelligence warned the CIA, Britain’s intelligence agency, and Israel’s Mossad that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols which stand out.” [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01; Washington Post, 9/14/01; Fox News, 5/17/02]

June 28, 2001: George Tenet wrote an intelligence summary to Condoleezza Rice stating, “It is highly likely that a significant al-Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks.” [Washington Post, 2/17/02]

June-July 2001: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and national security aides were given briefs with headlines such as “Bin Laden Threats Are Real” and “Bin Laden Planning High Profile Attacks.” The exact contents of these briefings remain classified, but according to the 9/11 Commission, they consistently predicted upcoming attacks that would occur “on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil, consisting of possible multiple—but not necessarily simultaneous—attacks.” [9/11 Commission Report, 4/13/04 (B)]

July 26, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines due to a threat assessment. [CBS, 7/26/01] The report of this warning was omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report [Griffin 5/22/05]

Aug 6, 2001: President Bush received a classified intelligence briefing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, warning that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners, entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States." The entire memo focused on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US and specifically mentioned the World Trade Center. [Newsweek, 5/27/02; New York Times, 5/15/02, Washington Post, 4/11/04, White House, 4/11/04, Intelligence Briefing, 8/6/01]

August, 2001: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also later stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01]

September 10, 2001: a group of top Pentagon officials received an urgent warning that prompted them to cancel their flight plans for the following morning. [Newsweek, 9/17/01] The 9/11 Commission Report omitted this report. [Griffin, 5/22/05]"

The above is from Chapter 14, the "Global Dominance Group," by Peter Phillips, Bridget Thornton, Lew Brown, and Andrew Sloan
in Impeach the President, pp. 268-270.

So, the Bush White House knew all of these things, and more, and chose to do what? I hear it induced George to more feverishly clear brush from around his Crawford ranch.

Now, as to McCain's conclusion that all of those being detained by the US are "unlawful combatants." This is sophistry of the highest order. First, just because you detain someone doesn't mean they're guilty. This is a fundamental principle of the law, which apparently McCain doesn't understand or else he chooses to ignore. The absence of habeas corpus is a sure indicator of a tyrannical government. Second, the vast majority of people being held are demonstrably innocent and were taken as a result of bounties and so on. Third, the category of "unlawful combatant" is a creation of the Bush regime, including such luminary defenders of the law, the Constitution and due process as John Yoo, David Addington, Dick Cheney and George Bush. It was created by them as a way to try to dodge the Geneva Conventions.

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