Dick Cheney Made No Mention of Millenium Plot in His Book

I’m still slogging through Dick Cheney’s awful book–I will write some more comprehensive things when I finish.

But I found this passage particularly curious given recent claims by Ali Soufan and Richard Clarke that we might have been able to prevent 9/11:

They had struck us before, blowing a crater five stories deep in the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. Al Qaeda had attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, killing hundreds, including twelve Americans. Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s leader, had personally chosen the operatives who bombed the U.S.S. Cole in a Yemeni harbor in 2000. Seventeen crew members had died. During the nineties, the United States had treated terrorist attacks primarily as law enforcement matters, indicting terrorists when we could, trying them, and sending some of them to prison. But that approach hadn’t stopped the attacks. Al Qaeda had just delivered the most devastating blow to our homeland in its history.

We needed a new way forward, one based on the recognition that we were at war.

In this abbreviated passage, Cheney makes his case that we had to combat al Qaeda with a wartime approach, something different that had been used up to that point.

There’s a lot else he misses in the lead up to 9/11. He makes no mention of Richard Clarke and his efforts to do something about al Qaeda. That’s not surprising given Cheney’s churlish approach to mentions of others in this book.

Cheney also lays no blame for the Cole bombing–not on the Navy and not on Clinton. This, in spite of the fact that he attacked similar military errors contributing to the 1983 Marine barracks attack in Beirut and the Blackhawk attack in Somalia, and in spite of his almost gleeful joy at blaming Carter and Clinton for the failed Desert One rescue and Somalia, respectively.

But the failure to mention that law enforcement had discovered and prevented a plot is really telling. Because, of course, alert law enforcement had “stopped the attacks” on one occasion, but it’s that occasion he completely ignores in his recitation of past al Qaeda attacks.

So there it is–the bulk of the justification for Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine, omitting all mention that sound counter-terrorism policy might have prevented the USS Cole or at least the casualties, that our counter-terrorism efforts had successfully interdicted a plot, and that Richard Clarke (and George Tenet) had been issuing shrill warnings in the days leading up to 9/11.

Sure, he needs to omit those details to make his logic work. He needs to present war as the only option.

But it also makes you wonder whether he knows, too, that we could, and should, have prevented 9/11.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

17 replies
  1. allan says:

    “… gleeful joy at blaming … Clinton for … Somalia”

    The intervention and mission creep in Somalia started under Bush 41, no?

  2. Bob Schacht says:

    EW,
    Thanks for this. I’m looking forward to your additional comments on the book. Thanks for reading and commenting on it, so I don’t have to. I know it must be a long hard slog, to coin a phrase. (*g*)

    Bob in AZ

  3. John B. says:

    But it also makes you wonder whether he knows, too, that we could, and should, have prevented 9/11

    of course he knows that…the worm.

  4. fred gabriel says:

    Just deal with the molten steel. Countless first responders saw it,and there were no extraordinary temps to justify it.And no mention in NIST report or 911 comission.And there are pics.

  5. Bay State Librul says:

    I know this is bad but I can’t read Cheney’s
    lies.

    I read the Times review, then read the review
    in the Wall Street Journal by his pal of twenty years (how can a person with a relationship with Cheney give an unbias review?)

    I decided I couldn’t stomach his bullshit.

    If he was serious, he would give us a perspective entitled “In OUR times” not
    “In MY times… “My” is a clue that he is a fucking egotist…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/books/dick-cheney-tells-his-side-in-memoir-in-my-time-review.html?pagewanted=all

  6. fred says:

    NIST was involved with all sorts of companies working with nano-thermites,yet no mention what so ever in their report…..Bush and Cheney couldn’t plan a birthday party in 9 mos.,let alone 911…911 is non-political;it is a false flag part of the long war that we can no longer afford.Just like our politicians,we are all just along for the ride.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Pretty hard for a man who’d been Sec of Def – after 5 deferrements during VNam to manage to open up the oil fields of Iraq, siphon off the national treasure to his defense contractor constituency — and the oil and gas industry — if the public (or hey, even Congress) had understood that law enforcement was the most astute long term strategy for going after AQ.

    Also,, law enforcement would not have been emotionally satisfying for Cmd Codpiece, his sidekick and Front Man.

  8. rosalind says:

    OT: this shit be gettin’ old – ‘Hacking: Met use Official Secrets Act to demand Guardian reveals sources’

    “The Metropolitan police are seeking a court order under the Official Secrets Act to make Guardian reporters disclose their confidential sources about the phone-hacking scandal.

    In an unprecedented legal attack on journalists’ sources, Scotland Yard officers claim the act, which has special powers usually aimed at espionage, could have been breached in July when reporters Amelia Hill and Nick Davies revealed the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone. They are demanding source information be handed over.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/16/phone-hacking-met-court-order

  9. Susie Dow says:

    The facts are lined up against Cheney.

    I’d like to know what Cheney has to say about the work of DO5 over at JFCOM as revealed recently in Jeff Kaye’s series of articles.

    If anyone is following Jeff’s series, then at some point you’ve probably heard him reference a former US Air Force officer, Kirk von Ackermann, who was a member of the group.

    Kirk von Ackermann identified US vulnerabilities including the USS Cole bombing as well as 9/11 and provided that information in briefings to senior intelligence officers at JFCOM. Von Ackermann also participated in millenium counterterrorism efforts and was in charge of Y2K.

    Von Ackermann’s wife has written extensively about his work in counter terrorism – much of it very oblique because he only told her the anecdotes not specifics (see http://www.missinginiraq.blogspot.com ) One particularly funny reference regarding the millenium plot is the comment by the commander which I will leave readers to discover on their own… Meanwhile, while her stories of her husband’s work are oblique, there’s enough there to get a feel for what was going on with counter terrorism.

    I’m sure Cheney would plead ignorance – never heard of the DO5 – so they must not be very important even if the group did save lives.

    About Kirk von Ackermann

    Von Ackermann remains the longest missing American in Iraq. The odd circumstances surrounding his disappearance is truly mind boggling.

    He was an experienced mechanic who had been assigned to vehicle maintenance while serving previously in the US Army. He was highly decorated including for efforts behind enemy lines. He served in Kosovo. He was experienced at Arctic survival and was responsible for locating a downed pilot by gps. And later when joining the USAF, he became one of 9 members of an elite joint forces counter terrorism team.

    And yet…his vehicle was found abandoned on an isolated stretch of road between Tikrit and Kirkuk Iraq in an area that he had previously identified as dangerous. In the suv was $40,000 in cash, his computer, and sat phone. The vehicle had a bad tire – which he knew about.

    And yet, investigating authorities would have you believe an experienced mechanic and former counterterrorism officer set off alone in October 2003 – without an Iraqi translator or fixer – on a 180 mile journey through the heart of Saddam Hussein’s tribal territory in a vehicle with a bad tire. And when the tire blew, make the decision not to ruin the rim and drive 3 miles to a nearby US military check point. Instead, you are supposed to believe he just decided to sit and wait for an Iraqi employee who was 45 minutes away. Did. Not. Happen.

    Von Ackermann was dead long before his vehicle showed up on an isolated road in Iraq. Who killed him and why? As more comes out about DO5 – I really hope someone will finally get serious about solving his disappearance.

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