In a remarkable admission, the former head of the NSA and the CIA under President George W. Bush has stated that there were “good enough” warnings from the intelligence community about a coming terror attack in the months before 9/11, but that no action was taken for political reasons.
Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF Ret.) who was in charge of the NSA when 9/11 happened, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Wednesday. Hayden was there to promote a book, but was asked about the pre-9/11 warnings in relation to Donald Trump’s recent raising of the issue.
“Pre-9/11, the intelligence was good enough that we knew something was coming.” Hayden admitted.
“George Tenet’s phrase, ‘it’s blinking red.’ We all knew that.” Hayden continued, claiming “We did not have sufficient insight to see it was coming here. That’s a game of expectations. That was nothing they had done before. We just assumed it was going to be against American interests.”
Joe Scarborough then asked if Hayden disagrees with Trump’s assessment that 9/11 was George Bush’s fault.
“It wasn’t his fault. Even if we had the data to be more specific, which we didn’t, what’s the politically acceptable mechanism that George Bush does? If he imposes a TSA thing on August 15th, what’s the attitude of the American…? What are you…? He actually may have caused more harm.” Hayden responded.
Hayden’s claim that there was no knowledge of an attack on US soil is bogus.
The CIA, as well as multiple foreign intelligence agencies warned the US of impending attacks at home, and even that terrorists working under Osama Bin Laden planned to strike in downtown Manhattan using aircraft.
According to Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, in the Summer before 9/11, officials gathered at the White House with the head of the CIA’s Al Qaeda unit, Richard Blee, telling CIA head George Tenet, and Bush’s National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice “There will be significant terrorist attacks against the United States in the coming weeks or months.”
“The attacks will be spectacular. They may be multiple. Al Qaeda’s intention is the destruction of the United States.’” Blee told the officials.
When asked by Rice what action should be taken, Black advised “We need to go on a wartime footing now!”
General Hayden, while adding in a huge bogus caveat, is still admitting that warnings were ignored and security was not upped because, he claims, it would not have been “politically acceptable” to the American people.
Would it have been more politically acceptable than thousands of dead Americans, a decimation of liberties domestically, and endless subsequent war in the Middle East?
Even if one plays devil’s advocate and accepts there was no specific intelligence, it is totally inconceivable that airport and border security would not have been heightened.