Bush and Cheney — as well as Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, and their undersecretaries — had solid information there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 or Al Qaeda, but have refused to date to share this knowledge, contained in a PDB distributed ten days after 9/11, with members of Congress.
Just in, this breaking news report written by the incomparable REAL Woodward & Bernstein-rolled-into-one of the 21st century, MURRAY WAAS:
Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
“Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter…
“… The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the White House for the CIA assessment, the PDB of September 21, 2001, and dozens of other PDBs as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation into whether the Bush administration misrepresented intelligence information in the run-up to war with Iraq. The Bush administration has refused to turn over these documents.”
Update [2005-11-22 19:7:17 by susanhu]: It’s key to note that — because of this revelation — the meme that Congress had the same information as the White House is untrue. — as pointed out by Kevin at Lean Left, via Memeorandum.com.
Do we need MORE proof for impeachment proceedings to begin immediately? And, below, you’ll see that Dick Cheney saw all of this too.
Journalists like Murray Waas are making mincemeat of Booby and Judy Judy Judy and their ilk …
Update [2005-11-22 18:21:9 by Steven D]:I’ve posted this at Daily Kos here for Susan. Steven D
( More excerpts below ….)
From the National Journal:
The information was provided to Bush on September 21, 2001 during the “President’s Daily Brief,” a 30- to 45-minute early-morning national security briefing. Information for PDBs has routinely been derived from electronic intercepts, human agents, and reports from foreign intelligence services, as well as more mundane sources such as news reports and public statements by foreign leaders.
One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources.
The September 21, 2001, briefing was prepared at the request of the president, who was eager in the days following the terrorist attacks to learn all that he could about any possible connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Much of the contents of the September 21 PDB were later incorporated, albeit in a slightly different form, into a lengthier CIA analysis examining not only Al Qaeda’s contacts with Iraq, but also Iraq’s support for international terrorism. Although the CIA found scant evidence of collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the agency reported that it had long since established that Iraq had previously supported the notorious Abu Nidal terrorist organization, and had provided tens of millions of dollars and logistical support to Palestinian groups, including payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
The highly classified CIA assessment was distributed to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, the president’s national security adviser and deputy national security adviser, the secretaries and undersecretaries of State and Defense, and various other senior Bush administration policy makers, according to government records.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the White House for the CIA assessment, the PDB of September 21, 2001, and dozens of other PDBs as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation into whether the Bush administration misrepresented intelligence information in the run-up to war with Iraq. The Bush administration has refused to turn over these documents. ….
Read all at the National Journal.