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9 11 could it have been stopped

Share via Email If the Bush White House had heeded warnings in early 2001 about the threat from al-Qaida at least two of the September 11 hijackers would "probably have been caught" and "there was a chance" the attacks could have been prevented, the president's former top counter-terrorism adviser told the Guardian yesterday.

  1. You can sense that part of the story that he played.
  2. I think the Clinton folks, because they lived through it, were more concerned.
  3. That number traced back to Ramzi bin al Shibh.
  4. It made no sense.
  5. Richard Clarke, who served in the White House for 10 years under three presidents, also claimed that George Bush had come to office already convinced of the necessity to topple Saddam Hussein, and had remained focused on that goal until the invasion last March - when Mr Clarke resigned.

Richard Clarke, who served in the White House for 10 years under three presidents, also claimed that George Bush had come to office already convinced of the necessity to topple Saddam Hussein, and had remained focused on that goal until the invasion last March - when Mr Clarke resigned. The former counter-terrorism "tsar" also argued that the White House's obsession with Iraq had undermined the military effort in Afghanistan, and helped Osama bin Laden escape. Mr Clarke said that despite the extent of the support offered by Tony Blair, British influence in Washington was small.

9/11 Could Have Been Stopped!

He conceded that without British pressure Mr Bush might not have issued a major policy statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but dismissed this as a hollow gesture. They got the minimum possible out of us.

  • They wanted to search Moussaoui's laptop and belongings;
  • Because of White House plans to invade Iraq at a later date, "troops were held back" he argued;
  • Of course, that's hindsight;
  • But overall all the information we had, we handed it over," he says;
  • Bin Laden had big ideas, they were wrong ideas… SC;
  • Tell us about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

His suggestion that the September 11 attacks might have been prevented by more decisive action is an explosive allegation in an election year. The White House mounted a counter-attack yesterday, rebutting many of Mr Clarke's allegations.

Could It Have Been Stopped?

The national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said the administration had spent much of 2001 developing a strategy "to eliminate al-Qaida". But Mr Clarke said that plan had been inherited from the Clinton administration in January 2001, and that the White House had done little to act on it.

He said even that meeting did not take place until April - although the White House says it was in March - and a top-level cabinet meeting did not take place until September 4.

Government Terrorist Trackers Before 9/11: Higher Ups Wouldn’t Listen

Instead the regular meetings of the national security "principals committee", which includes the heads of the CIA, FBI, state department and defence department, over the first eight months of the administration focused on what Mr Clarke considered to be cold war issues. Star wars "There were a lot of meetings on star wars [a proposed anti-missile defence system]. We had a lot of meetings about Russia policy, because Condi is a Russian specialist.

There were a lot of meetings on China," he said. The other big issue was Iraq, and the national security principals first met to discuss the perceived threat posed by Saddam in early February.

Mr Clarke wrote that when he briefed Ms Rice on al-Qaida, "her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard the term before". He said Mr Bush's failure to put his administration on "battle stations" in anticipation of an attack meant vital clues were missed.

He compared his actions with those of former US president Bill Clinton in similar circumstances in late 1999. It becomes the number one priority of those agencies. She didn't hold one meeting during all those three months. We would have put their pictures on the front page of every newspaper and we probably would have caught them.

The Long, Winding Road to 9/11

It would have stopped those two guys, and knowing the FBI the way they can take a thread and pull on it, they would probably have found others. Threat "The seriousness of the threat was well understood by the president and his national security principals," she wrote. He said the Clinton plan had not been enacted until after September 11, and even then it was botched.

  1. For the now-deceased bin Laden, it was scandalous that Saudis tolerated the presence of a non-Muslim foreign military in the land which was home to the sacred sites of Mecca and Medina. He said Mr Bush's failure to put his administration on "battle stations" in anticipation of an attack meant vital clues were missed.
  2. He conceded that without British pressure Mr Bush might not have issued a major policy statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but dismissed this as a hollow gesture. French intelligence has linked Qatada to Osama bin Laden.
  3. Prosecutors say he was following the same path as the other 19 hijackers. And that was essentially not being disrupted.
  4. Richard Clarke, who served in the White House for 10 years under three presidents, also claimed that George Bush had come to office already convinced of the necessity to topple Saddam Hussein, and had remained focused on that goal until the invasion last March - when Mr Clarke resigned. They told Moussaoui that they knew he was a terrorist, knew he was a hijacker and they weren't going to let him leave the country.
  5. The whole intelligence community was organized in stove pipes. The damned if you do, damned if you don't, you for sure cannot afford to miss 'The looming tower' as it's a gripping tale of what really happened, anhonest interpretation of past failures and still resonates in current political climate.

Because of White House plans to invade Iraq at a later date, "troops were held back" he argued. There were fewer in the whole country than police in the borough of Manhattan," he said.

They only went in two months after [the war had started]. Last night, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, attacked Mr Clarke, saying he "wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff" and that he "may have had a grudge to bear".

But Mr Clarke denied suggestions that the book amounted to an "audition" to join the campaign of the Democratic challenger, John Kerry.