An ex-CIA director says the White House ignored months of warnings about imminent attacks by al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to avoid leaving “paper trail” of culpability. We’re talking about more warnings than the infamous presidential daily briefing in August.
If this is true, this is big.
In an interview with Politico, the former CIA director during President George W. Bush’s administration claims his department informed White house officials of an Al Qaeda attack months before the president received the “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” presidential briefing.
According to ex-CIA head George Tenet and Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, they called an emergency meeting with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on July 10, 2001, saying they had evidence that an attack on the U.S. was imminent and that it would be “spectacular.”
Beginning in May of 2001, Tenet and Black launched an initiative called “the Blue Sky paper” and pitched it to Bush’s national security team. The CIA called for a joint CIA and military campaign to end the Al Qaeda threat by “getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.”
According to Tenet, the Bush administration said they wanted to back-burner the plan.
“And the word back,” says Tenet, “was ‘we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking,'” meaning they didn’t want a paper trail.