March 20, 2004

"'Conspiracy stuff' Is Now Shorthand For Unspeakable Truth." New York Times: "Senior Clinton administration officials called to testify next week before the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks say they are prepared to detail how they repeatedly warned their Bush administration counterparts in late 2000 that Al Qaeda posed the worst security threat facing the nation — and how the new administration was slow to act."

Two of the people briefed were Condoleezza Rice and Philip Zelikow. Zelikow is currently the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission -- conflict of interest? don't be silly -- and Rice (now National Security Adviser) refuses to answer any of the Commission's questions in public.

Shortly after taking office, the Bush Administration ordered the FBI and intelligence agencies to "back off" investigations involving Osama bin Laden while they negotiated with the Taliban over an oil pipeline. (Also here and here; in this light, many people see the 9/11 attacks as a "pre-emptive strike" against the US.)

Former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. "Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. 'They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12. ... Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq. ... 'There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.'"

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