I hate to keep bringing it up but

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Is there any truth to the allegation the Russian Prez V. Putin warned Prez Bush during the summer of 2001 that terrorist were planning to hijack planes to use in an attack? There is much of this going around about what was known or unknown.

Answers and Replies

Njorl
Science Advisor
I don't know about Putin giving a warning, but the concept was a matter of public knowledge. There were also specific warnings from the Philipines that terrorists had planned to hijack planes there and crash them into buildings. They also had plans to fill a light plane with explosives and fly it into the pentagon, though this involved no hijacking.

Njorl

amp
Questioning

So if this was public knowledge, why didn't the Bush admin implement immediate measures? Why wasn't (to my knowledge) this information brought up during the questioning by the 911 commission?

My personal view is that although all the warnings did exist - what could actually be done? Before 9-11, there were no terrorists plots of note which put any country on full alert to the threat of being savagely attacked. I'm thinking that the info that some militant group was planning to bomb the WTC with planes would have had the same credentials as any other terrorist warning.

I think that there was no way to physically stopped 9-11 as such. US policy was too hated around the world meaning dozens of groups were willing to attack the USA. It was just a "coincidence" that the group behind the 9-11 attacks (whoever they may be) struck first and that was truly unfortunate.

It's hard to point to any one thing that could have stopped 9/11. I mean you cant just say, if Pres. Bush had looked at a memo that Dick Clark had sent him, it would have stopped 9/11. But what we know now is that there was in fact quite a bit of information reguarding a possible attack within the united states, by al-queda, possibly using planes. I think that if the Bush administration had been much more proactive in fighting terror, and had been more alert to any direct warnings (which there were in fact), that could have led to other information that had a reasonable chance of stopping 9/11.

schwarzchildradius
Shahil said:
My personal view is that although all the warnings did exist - what could actually be done? Before 9-11, there were no terrorists plots of note which put any country on full alert to the threat of being savagely attacked. I'm thinking that the info that some militant group was planning to bomb the WTC with planes would have had the same credentials as any other terrorist warning.

I think that there was no way to physically stopped 9-11 as such. US policy was too hated around the world meaning dozens of groups were willing to attack the USA. It was just a "coincidence" that the group behind the 9-11 attacks (whoever they may be) struck first and that was truly unfortunate.
ehh, I think that misses the obvious-- instead of heading out on a month long vacation right after getting a brief that Al Qa'ida is planning an attack inside the US using hijacked planes-- he could've attacked Bin Laden. He did Not do that, instead he took break.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
I will defer to my new signature as my comment.

“Since I fought in Vietnam I have not seen an arrogance in our foreign policy like this" - John Kerry

[Luckily I never fought in VN but you get the idea]

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Janitor
Science Advisor
Rumors involving politicians are always interesting, but I wonder how often there is really anything of substance to them.

Here, for example, is one that seems to imply that L.B.J. was responsible for ordering murder.

http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/23rd_Issue/breakthru.html [Broken]

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schwarzchildradius said:
ehh, I think that misses the obvious-- instead of heading out on a month long vacation right after getting a brief that Al Qa'ida is planning an attack inside the US using hijacked planes-- he could've attacked Bin Laden. He did Not do that, instead he took break.
Ja, but I don't think that would have been a feasible option. What right did Bush have pre 9-11 to go and bomb out whoever he felt like bombing? As any other memo's containing any warnings, the fact of the matter is that you don't know for certain that the attack is going to happen. In this case it did BUT what about the other 1000's of warnings which have just come and gone like a one-hit wonder song

I think that accusing Bush of basically, leaving his citizens in their time of desperate need (ie. his going on vacation as schwarzchildradius pointed out) is nonsense. I stand by my conviction that nothing could really be done but investigate the probability rather than enact any rash judgements ie. bomb Bin Laden.

Also, (and I know this may be a little out of place but it is my opinion) as far as I'm concerned - I don't 100% blame Bin Laden for it. Maybe the investigation occurring at the moment will truly reveal the source but I will be a bit of a conspiracy theorist and say that even though the "evidence" points towards him, it was a joint affair with other organisations - both legitimate and illegitimate. BUT this is a debate for a different thread so...

Njorl
Science Advisor
There were a lot of little things that could have been done that might have given us a small chance at preventing the attack.

The CIA, immigration and the FBI could have communicated better. If the various low-level people were informed of plans for a big attack inside the US, activities could have changed. The CIA could have re-informed immigration of suspected terrorists who entered the US. Immigration could have made a point of tracking down many of these individuals, the FBI could have engaged in surveillance of these individuals. This alone would have discovered that several of them were taking flying lessons. Interviews with the flight instructer would have revealed that they were not interested in learning how to take off or land.

Other things would not have been possible. Even if Bush had gone on television and stated that Al Qaeda had terrorists in the US who would try to hijack planes and crash it into skyscrapers, we wouldn't want the added hassle at airports. The news all summer had been about the unacceptable delays when flying. The security was only possible after the attacks.

Njorl

schwarzchildradius
Shahil said:
My personal view is that although all the warnings did exist - what could actually be done? Before 9-11, there were no terrorists plots of note which put any country on full alert to the threat of being savagely attacked. I'm thinking that the info that some militant group was planning to bomb the WTC with planes would have had the same credentials as any other terrorist warning.

I think that there was no way to physically stopped 9-11 as such. US policy was too hated around the world meaning dozens of groups were willing to attack the USA. It was just a "coincidence" that the group behind the 9-11 attacks (whoever they may be) struck first and that was truly unfortunate.
I disagree with ya, because Clinton's security team stopped several potentially massive attacks inside the US around the millenium. Sure it's unfair to lay all the blame on Bush, and I don't, but if he and his intelligence crew can't crack a nut once in a while then, who the heck can? It's his job to put intelligence from diverse sources together to render at least a rough picture of the real threats to the US security. As I recall, the US was on high alert already on 9/11 & was conducting defensive training ops at the time. This leads to other questions, like why did it take so long to get the jets near the planes, as the official story goes (or it could be that the jets were there but nobody gave the command to fire).

Zero
schwarzchildradius said:
I disagree with ya, because Clinton's security team stopped several potentially massive attacks inside the US around the millenium. Sure it's unfair to lay all the blame on Bush, and I don't, but if he and his intelligence crew can't crack a nut once in a while then, who the heck can? It's his job to put intelligence from diverse sources together to render at least a rough picture of the real threats to the US security. As I recall, the US was on high alert already on 9/11 & was conducting defensive training ops at the time. This leads to other questions, like why did it take so long to get the jets near the planes, as the official story goes (or it could be that the jets were there but nobody gave the command to fire).
Shhh...don't mention Clinton.

The fact is, though, that Bush's administration had every reason to suspect exactly what was going to happen, and apparent;y did nothing to try to prevent it.

Rumours and Lies

Posted by Janitor:
“Rumors involving politicians are always interesting, but I wonder how often there is really anything of substance to them.

Here, for example, is one that seems to imply that L.B.J. was responsible for ordering murder.”

Ah, although that story may be a rumour, I have it on good authority that LBJ was indeed instigated in a couple of murders.
A little incident named "Viet Nam".

Zero
Michael D. Sewell said:
This is not a fact. So far, there isn't a shred of evidence that this statement is true. How can you present this as a fact? Do you have some evidence that the 9/11 commission doesn't have? If you do, then why don't you testify in front of congress, and the people? "Facts" like these from either side of the aisle do nothing but harm to the people of this nation.
Considering the fact that at least one of the commission members have already come out saying that the likely conclusion is that 9-11 could have been prevented, I would say that the "Bush is Jesus, he can do no wrong my head is buried in the sand" attitude resembles the attitude that Bush had, that helped lead to 9-11.

member 5645
I love to see 5 or 6 people sit around and tell each other how much they agree with one another

Janitor
Science Advisor
I thought the questioning of Condoleezza Rice was unnecessarily rude.

By the way, can you imagine the outrage that organizations like N.O.W. and the N.A.A.C.P. would have expressed over the style of questioning of Rice if she were a member of a Democrat cabinet, and it were a Republican doing the questioning in exactly the same style? "A public lynching..."

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russ_watters
Mentor
The thing I find funny is the very things that people are mad at Bush for not doing for 8 months, Clinton didn't do for 8 years.

... and that's putting it nicely: what Bush really needed to do was fix Clinton's policy mistakes (ie, restructure the FBI and CIA) - a task not easily done in 8 months.

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Janitor
Science Advisor
I've always been registered Democrat, but by no means do I vote straight-ticket. I find it hard to respect those people (and I personally know a few) who maintain a double standard when it comes to political parties. They love to wallow in the lack of scruples displayed by John Sununu, but they have no interest in discussing the lack of scruples by Jim Wright--or vice versa.

Njorl
Science Advisor
Michael D. Sewell said:
Very well said Mr. Watters. You may also know about the "Kerry amendment".
Kerry tried to cut Millions out of the FBI and CIA budget at the very time Usama was setting us up, during the failed Clinton administration. He said that the FBI and CIA were "too intrusive" and that the cold war was over and there were not other threats looming on the horizon. Imagine; this inept nitwit actually wants to be president!
This is simply false. The "Kerry Amendment" to which you refer, was to cut 1.5 billion over 5 years from the NRO (National Recon. Office), not the FBI and CIA. The NRO had been hoarding black budget money to buy a fancy new building, and it pissed off Kerry. His amendment was voted down in favor of Republican backed cuts for twice as much, across the board in the intelligence agencies and bureaus. Kerry's cuts would have had no impact on counter-terrorism. The bipartisan cuts that were instead implemented did have an effect on counter-terrorism.

Senator Kerry was not an "inept nitwit", he was prophetic.

Njorl

Njorl
Science Advisor
Michael D. Sewell said:
Do you recall the first time that you heard the name Usama Bin Laden? I do, it was when Col. Oliver North testified in congress over 10 years ago. He said "Usama Bin Laden is the most dangerous man alive today". The democrats laughed in his face and poked fun at him for several minutes. One idiot on the commission actually asked him "If this Mr. Bin Laden of yours is so dangerous, how come no one here has ever heard of him?" Every one guffawed at that and had great fun at Ollie's expense. Sad really.

Now these liars are accusing the republicans of not guarding us against the terrorists that the democrats were so worried about. The democrats were "asleep at the switch" and their own records show it.
One more thing. North didn't mention Bin laden. It is a myth propogated by right wing web-sites. He was convinced Abu Nidal was after him. It was just another of North's paranoid delusions, like Nicaragua having the capacity to launch an amphibious assault on the US and occupy Texas.

Njorl

Njorl
Science Advisor
russ_watters said:
The thing I find funny is the very things that people are mad at Bush for not doing for 8 months, Clinton didn't do for 8 years.

... and that's putting it nicely: what Bush really needed to do was fix Clinton's policy mistakes (ie, restructure the FBI and CIA) - a task not easily done in 8 months.
The thing is, Clinton had the different agencies cooperating by his last years in office. When the millenium bomber was caught, FBI and CIA teams were ready to move immediately to round up his accomplices and their contacts. The State department immediately notified other countries who also moved agains targets. Many cells were scooped up whole, and many plots were prevented. They were ready and eager to do this because they knew it was important to the president, and their bosses.

What this memo shows, and Clarke's book, among many others shows, is that Bush was not in any way leading. He expected the machinery of the federal government to work without a president. He thought his only job was to appoint people.

Njorl

Zero
I can't believe someone would quote a traitor like Oliver North as a source...an example of the moral and ethical bankruptcy of some on the right?

Njorl
Science Advisor
Michael D. Sewell said:
Wrong again. The attack was planned, the money for it was secured, and the process was well under way before the democrats in Florida were even through "counting" the votes. No, 99% of this whole thing took place under Clinton's watch and everybody knows it. Why would you make such a silly statement when you know that this is true? In the end it just makes you look more foolish.
What can a president accomplish in 8 months? Look what Bush did from September 1, 2002 to April 30 2003. If that can be done in 8 months, he has no grounds to blame Clinton for anything. Bill Clinton was in office 6 weeks when the first attack on the WTC happened. He did not blame the elder Bush for it. The day you are inaugurated, you are responsible for every damn thing.

Njorl

Njorl
Science Advisor
Michael D. Sewell said:
He did mention Bin Laden, and Abu Nidal was after him.
Well if you won't believe me, how about Ollie himself

FROM THE DESK OF LTCOL OLIVER L. NORTH (USMC) RET.
NOVEMBER 28, 2001
OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS, I HAVE RECEIVED SEVERAL THOUSAND E-MAILS FROM EVERY STATE IN THE U.S. AND 13 FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN WHICH THE ORIGINATOR PURPORTS TO HAVE RECENTLY VIEWED A VIDEOTAPE OF MY SWORN TESTIMONY BEFORE A CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE IN 1987.

A COPY OF ONE OF THOSE E-MAILS IS ATTACHED BELOW. AS YOU WILL NOTE, THE ORIGINATOR ATTRIBUTES TO ME CERTAIN STATEMENTS REGARDING USAMA BIN LADEN AND OTHER MATTERS THAT ARE SIMPLY INACCURATE. THOUGH I WOULD LIKE TO CLAIM THE GIFT OF PROPHESY, I DON'T HAVE IT.

I DON'T KNOW WHO SAW WHAT VIDEO "AT UNC." (OR ANYWHERE ELSE) BUT, FOR THE RECORD, HERE'S WHAT I DO KNOW:

1. IT WAS THE COMMITTEE COUNSEL, JOHN NIELDS, NOT A SENATOR WHO WAS DOING THE QUESTIONING.

2. THE SECURITY SYSTEM, INSTALLED AT MY HOME, JUST BEFORE I MADE A VERY SECRET TRIP TO TEHRAN, COST, ACCORDING TO THE COMMITTEE, $16K, NOT$60K.

3. THE TERRORIST WHO THREATENED TO KILL ME IN 1986, JUST BEFORE THAT SECRET TRIP TO TEHRAN, WAS NOT USAMA BIN LADEN, IT WAS ABU NIDAL (WHO WORKS FOR THE LIBYANS — NOT THE TALIBAN AND NOT IN AFGHANISTAN).

4. I NEVER SAID I WAS AFRAID OF ANYBODY. I DID SAY THAT I WOULD BE GLAD TO MEET ABU NIDAL ON EQUAL TERMS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD BUT THAT I WAS UNWILLING TO HAVE HIM OR HIS OPERATIVES MEET MY WIFE AND CHILDREN ON HIS TERMS.

5. I DID SAY THAT THE TERRORISTS INTERCEPTED BY THE FBI ON THE WAY TO MY HOUSE IN FEB. 87 TO KILL MY WIFE, CHILDREN AND ME WERE LIBYANS, DISPATCHED FROM THE PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE FOR LIBYAN STUDENTS IN MCLEAN, VIRGINIA.

6. AND I DID SAY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD MOVED MY FAMILY OUT OF OUR HOME TO A MILITARY BASE (CAMP LEJEUNE, NC) UNTIL THEY COULD DISPATCH MORE THAN 30 AGENTS TO PROTECT MY FAMILY FROM THOSE TERRORISTS (BECAUSE A LIBERAL FEDERAL JUDGE HAD ALLOWED THE LYBIAN ASSASSINS TO POST BOND AND THEY FLED).

7. AND, FYI: THOSE FEDERAL AGENTS REMAINED AT OUR HOME UNTIL I RETIRED FROM THE MARINES AND WAS NO LONGER A "GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL." BY THEN, THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HAD SPENT MORE THAN \$2M PROTECTING THE NORTH FAMILY. THE TERRORISTS SENT TO KILL US WERE NEVER RE-APPREHENDED.

SEMPER FIDELIS,
OLIVER L. NORTH