Neocons Convinced Bush to Ignore Al Qaeda Attack Warnings Leading Up to 9/11
When people adopt a highly rationalized worldview designed to justify whatever it is that they want to do, there's no diverting them from their plan -- even in the face of evidence that suggests their plan will lead to disaster. Such was the case with President George W. Bush, according to author Kurt Eichenwald, in the days leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.
An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.