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Dear President Bush: [Apr. 12th, 2004|10:40 am]
Just so's you know.

If a memo says "Al Quaeda plans to attack the US inside its borders", you can't claim you didn't hear anything about "an upcoming attack on America", just because you didn't hear about the particular attack planned.

At least, not if you want to claim to be both honest and not-stupid.

You were warned; that your re-election campaign (I'm sorry, I mean "administration officials") isn't trumpetting what amazing, strong-leadership moves you made in response to that warning suggests that there wasn't much of a response. So, you were caught flat-footed; it can happen.

I hope you at least admit that, in private, to the 9/11 commission.

[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2004-04-12 08:20 pm (UTC)
May I offer another viewpoint?

It was pretty clear, to me at least, from context that when Bush said that there was an implied "specific." We had no word on a *specific* threat inside the United States. This is a big country with a lot of potential targets, and despite a high level of chatter there was nothing specific enough to make us watch for people turning commercial aircraft into bombs.

Now that we have the hated Patriot Act we're better able to connect some dots, I hope. There's an interesting and lengthy piece by Louis Freech on the editorial page of today's Wall Street Journal in this regard. Freech reminds us that until September 11 occurred no one was willing to consider the United States as being on a war footing.

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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2004-04-12 09:09 pm (UTC)


Freeh. I meant Freeh.

I see that CNN has a report on the WSJ opinion piece online at
But I think the CNN piece doesn't highlight the degree to which Freeh is commenting on the fact that we're all looking back at this from hindsight and a mindset that would have been absolutely impossible on September 10, 2001.

As for taking strong action based on that August 7 memo, Greg Easterbrook has a bitterly funny take on what might have happened if Team Bush had taken out Bin Laden's Afghanistan hideaway prior to September 11.
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