Monday, October 02, 2006

Footnote To The "Negotiated Cover-up" Of 9/11

The "negotiated cover-up" that was the 9/11 Commission missed something:

Members of the Sept. 11 commission said Sunday they were alarmed that they were told nothing about a July 2001 White House meeting at which George J. Tenet, then director of central intelligence, is reported to have warned Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, about an imminent attack by Al Qaeda and failed to persuade her to take action. ...

The final report from the Sept. 11 commission made no mention of the meeting, nor did it suggest that there had been such an encounter between Mr. Tenet and Ms. Rice, now secretary of state. ...

There has also been no comment on the book from J. Cofer Black, who was Mr. Tenet's counterterrorism chief, and who, the (Woodward's) book says, attended the July 10 meeting and left it frustrated by Ms. Rice's "brush-off" of the warnings.

Mr. Black is quoted as saying, "the only thing we didn't do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head." He did not return calls left at Blackwater, the security firm he joined last year. ...

The disclosures took members of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission by surprise last week. Some questioned whether information about the July 10 meeting was intentionally withheld from the panel, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

In interviews Saturday and Sunday, commission members said they were never told about the meeting despite hours of public and private questioning with Ms. Rice, Mr. Tenet and Mr. Black, much of it focused specifically on how the White House dealt with terrorist threats in the summer of 2001.

"None of this was shared with us in hours of private interviews, including interviews under oath, nor do we have any paper on this," said Timothy J. Roemer, a Democratic member of the commission and a former congressman from Indiana. "I'm deeply disturbed by this. I'm furious."

Another Democratic commissioner, the former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, said the staff of the Sept. 11 commission was polled in recent days on the disclosures in Mr. Woodward's book and agreed that the meeting "was never mentioned to us."

"This is certainly something we would have wanted to know about," he said, referring to the meeting. "We asked broad questions which should have elicited this information."

He said he had attended the commission's private interviews with both Mr. Tenet and Ms. Rice and had pressed "very hard for them to provide us with everything they had regarding conversations with the executive branch" about terrorist threats before Sept. 11.

The failure of these people to get their stories straight is an interesting footnote to the cover-up of the events of 9/11.

Ms. Rice, who had warned then-San Francisco mayor Willie Brown not to fly on 9/11, has a clear motive to conceal Tenet's warning from the Commissioners. The blame for "ignoring" important warnings is already heavy on her shoulders for her handling of the August PDB that featured the section "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.".

The fact that neither Tenet or Black mentioned the July 10 meeting -- the details of which reflected well (on its face) upon the CIA men -- is an omission that may be more indicative of a deeper story.


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