Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Nobody Could Have Predicted it": Bush Administration's Shocking 911 Lie

Condi Rice Nomadic Politics
                Condoleezza Rice
by Nomad
One of the more glaring discrepancies of the terrorist attacks on September 2001 has gone virtually unreported. Not only were authorities well aware that hijacked planes could be used by terrorists as weapons, the information had been widely available to the public since 1993.

During a May 16, 2002 press briefing, speaking about the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters:
"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile. All of this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking."
This defense was used repeatedly by the administration and few reporters never seemed to bother to question it.
According to one source,
White House spokesman Tony Fratto showed that Rice's talking point had legs. Spoon-fed last month by Fox News anchor Jon Scott's suggestion that "nobody was thinking that there’d be terrorists flying 767s into buildings at that point," Fratto reliably coughed up the laughably discredited sound bite:

"That’s true. I mean, no one could have anticipated that kind of attack - or very few people."
Later vice-president Dick Cheney used the same excuse to defend the administration's failure not only in the 9-11 attacks but for the financial meltdown and disastrous misjudgments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In an interview with the Associated Press’s Deb Reichmann, he stated,
CHENEY: No, obviously, I wouldn’t have predicted that. On the other hand I wouldn’t have predicted 9/11, the global war on terror, the need to simultaneous run military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq or the near collapse of the financial system on a global basis, not just the U.S. [...]

CHENEY: Did you see it coming? (Laughter.)

REICHMANN: I wasn’t responsible for seeing it coming.

CHENEY: Now, what my point is that I don’t think anybody saw it coming.
The strangest part about this defense isn't merely that it is untrue but how easy it is to prove untrue.  Think Progress points out that, in the summer before the attacks, the details of a possible threat were on the president's desk.
On August 6, 2001, the Bush administration received a President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.” The memo warned:
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a —- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The 1993 book, Target America: Terrorism in the US Today, Yossef Bodansky gives explicit and detailed information about a similar covert operation by the Iranian regime, dating back to the 1980s. Bodansky, an Israeli-American political scientist who served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004, is also author of the book "Bin Laden: The Man Who Targeted America." 

Bodansky is certainly no stranger in Washington and his views are both respected and widely disseminated. The possibility that Bodansky's opinions were unknown to analysts in the CIA is extremely unlikely. According to his biography,
Bodansky is also a senior editor for the Defense and Foreign Affairs group of publications and a contributor to the International Military and Defense Encyclopedia and is on the Advisory Council of The Intelligence Summit. Bodansky's numerous articles have been published in Global Affairs, Jane's Defense Weekly, Defense and Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy and other periodicals.
in other words, this is not merely some person making unsupported claims. For the intelligence community, his opinions have weight. Ignoring Bodansky's views would have taken some concerted efforts by the Bush administration.

In the book, Target America, Bodansky throws a spotlight on a terrorist training program initiated by the Iranian Islamic Republic's military in the early 1980s- the Pasadaran terrorist program. 

According to one Iranian pilot who has served as a flight instructor for the program until 1983, one method of attack involved the use of suicide bombers "in which pilots crashed Pilantus PC-7 aircraft loaded with explosives into major targets and died like martyrs."

The training of suicide pilots started in Busher Air Base in Iran in the early 1980s with some 80 Pilatus PC-7 aircraft purchased from Switzerland. But the Iranian Pasdaran pilots were inexperienced, and several fatally crashed during low-altitude flying before they could even reach their targets. 

It was, for this reason, that Tehran decided on a different tact. Outsourced training.
Experienced pilots.. were sent to Won San air base in North Korea, where they would be trained under the supervision of Korean instructors, known for their kamikaze flights for one year.
By the mid-1980s, the program reached fruition. The targets of the planes flown by the graduate suicide pilots was to be the palaces of heads of state of the Gulf states. Moreover, 
Additional suicide pilots trained in North Korean were sent to Lebanon, where their intended targets were part of the US 6th Fleet.
Eventually this kamikaze program was expanded to include attacks on Western cities. And, if Bodansky's information is correct, the training was thorough and complete. Apparently when it came to training and accuracy, the coordinators of the program spared no expense. 
For the disruption of aerial traffic in the West, from airport attacks to hijacking, Iran maintained two major installations for terrorist training. The first installation was established in Wakilabad near Mashhad. The entire Western-built airport was given over to the terrorist training program. 

Iran Air maintained a Boeing 707 and Boeing 727 in the airport and could send a Boeing 747 for special classes. There were several former Iran Air and Iranian air force pilots among the staff and students, including some who were trained in the United States.
(The aircraft used in the 911 attacks were Boeing 767-223ER and Boeing 767-300ER.) 
Now in the following page Bodansky provides the clincher.
According to a former trainee in Wakilabad, one of the exercises included having an Islamic jihad detachment seize (or hijack) a transport aircraft. Then trained air crews from among the terrorists would crash the airliner with its passengers into a selected objective.
Keep in mind this information in Bodansky's book was already available to the public by 1993 and presumably much earlier to the Western intelligence agencies. The book could be found in bookstores, in public libraries or ordered online. It was, therefore, hardly classified information.  

This is not to suggest that the Iranians nor the North Koreans had any direct involvement. It is possible, of course, but that's not the issue. The information about this particular Iranian plot does, however, lay waste to the claims by Bush administration officials that "nobody could have predicted the attacks." 
The dangers of a kamikaze attack, especially on the World Trade Center, which had already been a target, should have been clear to any informed and competent government official. 
The question therefore is whether the failure of the Bush administration to take preventative steps amounted to mere negligence, or as some theorists have concluded, tacit complicity.  


*   *   *
Update:
The documentary, Kill the Messenger, which reports the story of FBI translator's battle to reveal what she knew about 911, give further supporting evidence that Rice lied. 




Rice was forced to backtrack on her original statement which, ultimately made nonsense of the administration's position that it could not have had foreknowledge of the attacks. 
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