Mark Thiessen: More Important to HEAR–Not Read–Daily Brief Than Actually Respond to It

Yesterday, Mark Thieseen made a what amounts to a complaint that, half the time, President Obama reads his daily brief rather than receives it from a briefer directly. Here’s Obama’s response.

I figured, as Thiessen’s bleatings often are, it was meant to distract from the incompetence of his Bush people, but it was not yet clear what he was distracting from.

Now it is.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified [the August 6, 2001 PDB that warned “Bin Laden determined to strike in US”]  — and only that daily brief  in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster.

All that’s not to mean Obama’s not missing similarly grave threats: threats to the financial system and to the climate.

But this op-ed–and presumably the Kurt Eichenwald book it is based on–seems to confirm that the Bush Administration very arrogantly refused to listen to the warnings they were getting in their President’s (and Vice President’s) Daily Briefings.

And because they failed to heed that warning, they responded with all-out, Constitution eroding war, and not with the policing that might have prevented 9/11 in the first place.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

10 Responses to Mark Thiessen: More Important to HEAR–Not Read–Daily Brief Than Actually Respond to It

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Remember Curveball? Turns out torture has a Curveball too. http://t.co/b5LvTDojEX
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Add torture and the Internet dragnet to Bush programs partly justified by a fabricator. http://t.co/b5LvTDojEX
17mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @GreggJLevine: How false witness helped CIA make a case for torture //very excited to welcome @emptywheel to the pages of @AJAM http://t…
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @GreggJLevine: How false witness helped CIA make a case for torture //very excited to welcome @emptywheel to the pages of @AJAM http://t…
59mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Werner was basketball Driskel. RT @gatorhoops: @APMarkLong Werner had Charlie Brown syndrome, a.knack.for making losing plays.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV One of four genetic tests #FBI used on #anthrax samples had 43% false negative rate. Still used it! #Amerithrax https://t.co/3yUk5sKX7n
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Re-upping: GAO Analysis Highlights Lab Samples Excluded in Sloppy FBI Anthrax Investigation https://t.co/tayFUfUjol
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @goodyk Had to go to the airport. Which prevented me from saying you were right. Ugh.
10hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @robertcaruso @KatieSimpsonCTV Hey, in Ohio that person would be dead; the border is apparently safer!
11hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @goodyk Meh, I think the defense looks different if they were not gambling and pressing because there is no possibility of offense.
12hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @goodyk No. But would really like to have seen how this game went with Carson Palmer, or, really, any quarterback, around.
12hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @remesdh: Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses http://t.co/eB7tiZlzCH
12hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30