Saturday, July 24, 2004
Same old story...
In testimony this April to the Sept. 11 commission, before it was made public, Ms. Rice insisted that the report was "historical."
"It did not, in fact, warn of attacks inside the United States," she testified. "It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information.''
But there were gasps in the audience in the hearing room when she disclosed the name of the two-page briefing paper: "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S."
The document was made public several days later and contained passages referring to F.B.I. reports 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." It noted that a caller to the United States Embassy in the United Arab Emirates that May had warned that "a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S.," planning attacks with explosives.
The commission's final report revealed that two C.I.A. analysts involved in preparing the brief had wanted to make clear to Mr. Bush that, far from being only a historical threat, the threat that Al Qaeda would strike on American soil was "both current and serious."