In light of memorials across New York City remembering those who were lost on September 11, 2001, some reports have emerged highlighting a document that has surfaced indicating that there was knowledge of the attacks prior to the incident but that the information was disregarded.
- (Photo: REUTERS/Peter Morgan)
A full 11 years after 9/11, author and reporter Kurt Eichenwald has written an op-ed article detailing how the Bush administration failed to acknowledge threats made by terrorist groups at the time.
According to Eichenwald, President George W. Bush received a review of the threats that had been made by the Al Qaida terrorist group on August 6, 2001. The top-secret document, prepared by America's intelligence agencies, was titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."
But despite warnings, the Bush administration allegedly discarded the threats as a distraction ploy that was perhaps in collaboration with Saddam Hussein who, at the time, was perceived as a bigger threat by most.
The document was declassified in 2004 following pressure from an investigation dedicated to unraveling details of events that led up to the fateful 2001 attack.
"Administration officials dismissed the document's significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda's history, not a warning of the impending attack," Eichenwald wrote in the New York Times op-ed.
But Eichenwald argues that the CIA had persistently pleaded with the Bush administration to "accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real." The CIA gave two official warnings, according to previously secured documents obtained by the writer, one on June 29 and a second on July 1. One of the warnings revealed that the attacks could lead to "dramatic consequences" and major causalities.
Although the administration later denied ignoring information, stating that the location of the attacks had never been revealed, Eichenwald argues that the administration did nothing to gather more information because it did not take the threats seriously.
Eichenwald has questioned whether the attacks could have been prevented had the government put up a higher alert.