Today’s the anniversary of infamous Bush PDB on Bin Laden

George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney

George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney

August 6, 2001. That’s when President George W. Bush, on one of his numerous vacations, was given a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” Among the PDB’s findings was:

FBI information since that time 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.

What did Bush do after receiving such a warning? Crickets. Even worse, Bush reportedly told his CIA briefer: “All right. You’ve covered your ass now.”

Then, when asked about the PDB at the 9/11 Commission hearings in 2004, Bush National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said, in what for me was the single lowest point of the Bush presidency:

It was historical information, based on, uh, old reporting, there was no new threat information, and it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.

Moreover, it has been reported that Bush received other warnings before the August 6, 2001 PDB about desired or planned Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. These include warnings on June 20 and July 24, 2001. Richard Clarke, a top U.S. counterterrorism official at the time, likewise said that he, CIA Director George Tenet and others were running around with their “hair on fire” trying to warn Condoleeza Rice and others in the Bush administration about the Al Qaeda threat during 2001, with little reaction or effect.

Who could have ignored such warnings of a planned terrorist attack against the U.S.? Only the worst President in U.S. history.

Image by DonkeyHotey, used under Creative Commons license.

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