Tomorrow, New York Times reporter Philip Shenon will release his book 'The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation', revealing "failure at the highest levels of the United States government".
Many of the horror tales are already well known and were released in the Commission's official report, but some of the most scandalous tales of incompetence were so embarrassing that the commission was prevented from hearing about them; one example, from a Think Progress report of the book is ...
The fact that on July 10, 2001 -- two months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- then-CIA director George Tenet met with Rice and warned her about a threat from al Qaeda that "literally made [his] hair stand on end." Rice was polite, but gave them the "brushoff."
The 9/11 commission, however, heard about this meeting only after it completed its report. Shenon reveals that commission executive director Philip Zelikow, a close friend of Rice, stopped staffers from submitting a report depicting Rice's performance prior to 9/11 as "amount[ing] to incompetence.
Newsweek editor Evan Thomas continues:
The official ineptitude uncovered by the commission is shocking. Dubbed "Kinda-Lies-a-Lot" by widows of 9/11 victims, (a group that called itself, 'the Jersey Calls'), Ms. Rice comes across as almost clueless about the terrorist threat. "Whatever her job title, (National Security Adviser) Rice seemed uninterested in actually advising the president," Mr. Shenon writes. "Instead, she wanted to be his closest confidante -- specifically on foreign policy -- and to simply translate his words into action."
Shenon's most damning portrait is of a figure who at the time wasn't seen as terribly political at all: CIA Director George Tenet. Questioned in secret sessions by the panel, Tenet was unable to remember almost anything he said to Bush about Al Qaeda--or even that he had flown to Texas in August 2001 to brief the president at his ranch in Crawford.
The C.I.A. has some inkling that Osama bin Laden is stirring to strike the United States, but for many crucial months fails to tell the F.B.I. that two terrorists (who later turned out to be 9/11 hijackers) are actually in the United States. The popular image of the C.I.A. as dashing and all-knowing is for the movies only.
Shenon also says that while working for the panel,"Zelikow appears to have had private conversations with former White House political director Karl Rove, despite a ban on such communication".
The Commission under Executive pressure 'shied away' from pointing fingers, naming names, and in conclusion, only called attention to 'structural flaws' in an administration where there is zero accountability.
After bungling the warnings and numerous threats of Al Qaeda, the three most culpable, aided by the Peter Principle, rose to their level of incompetency. Rice was promoted to Secretary Of the State, and even considered runinng for the White House. George Tenet went on to 'slam-dunk' Iraq and receive the 'Presidential Medal of Freedom' and George Bush, 'the buck stops here', saw his approval ratings skyrocket and go on to win a second presidential term before Iraq pointed up one of his serious failings,-- he is more interested in being reassured and flattered than in pursuing any investigation into national security or war failures.
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