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Presidential briefing, August 6, 2001


Of the numerous intelligence warnings of an impending attack, probably the most damning one is the Presidential Daily Briefing of August 6, 2001. The Bush administration blocked public access to some of these reports until 2004. After "much legal wrangling," the 9/11 Commission finally got hold of them. The headline for the PDB from August 6, 2001 was 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.' The president was briefed about bin Laden's desire to strike Washington; he was told that al Qaeda had support members including US citizens training for attacks; and that bin Laden wanted to hijack US aircraft.

The PDB stated that 'FBI information...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.'

Source: Marrs, p. 110-111.


The fact that Bush tried so hard to hide this document might only be evidence that he is a weasel who doesn't want to look incompetent. And it should be pointed out that the report doesn't specifically name dates and targets. Still, the fact that this briefing headlines bin Laden, US-based training, airplane hijackings, and buildings, makes this a rather suspicious little document.

I don't know how much frightening noise a US president is subject to on a daily basis, but you'd think something like this might result in some sort of defense preparation, some greater readiness than was demonstrated that morning. If not, why even have briefings?

Bottom line, me, I give it:

rather suspiciousrather suspiciousrather suspicious


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