These are the people claiming that Bush “dropped the ball before 9/11,” didn’t “connect the dots” and so forth. So here’s the administration not letting that happen again. It’s better to be forewarned and have everybody prepared and maybe stymie an attack than not to do that and then the Democrats still come out and say, “They don’t know what they’re doing. They should have implemented reform,” whatever it is they’re saying. It’s just incomprehensible. It’s impossible almost to keep up with — unless you understand what it is that’s motivating them, and that is fear, fear that this is all going to benefit the country, and I don’t say benefit the Bush — Ba-da ba-da ba-da. What’s up, doc? — benefit Bush because the way they’ve structured themselves here, as we’ve said countless times, whatever is good for the country is bad for them and vice-versa. So you have the New York Times, you have the Washington Post, both have stories about this being “old” intelligence. These stories are absurd and fit right into the media’s agenda here, which is to do everything to boost this flagging candidate.
Two stories in the Washington Post, the New York Times. They admitted (laughing). Get this, now. These stories admitted there’s a conspiracy, that the Bush team is meeting, that the Bush team is sharing information, old and new! What gives them the right to do that? Why didn’t they tell us? And then, the pi?ce de r?sistance: after the Bush administration is meeting, and sharing information, and coordinating their information, they are then putting it into action. They are gathering and they are coming up with an analysis. This is a process, by the way, that was prohibited by Jamie Gorelick during the Clinton administration is what the Bush administration is doing now was not allowed from 1995 or 1994 on, after the Gorelick memo, and so the Bush team meeting, sharing information, old and new information, and then coordinating their information! (Gasping.)
“Gathering and then analyzing,” this process prohibited by Gorelick in the past and the Bush team looked at all the information, including the newer information. You have to give the LA Times some credit today because they make a point of stressing that there is new information that buttresses the old. They made their security determination at the Department of Homeland Security. Isn’t this the way it is supposed to work? You know, I’ll tell you, it’s a comforting thing, folks, to know that there are people out there doing their jobs. We don’t know who they are, and we don’t know where they are, but we find out via all of this the past couple days that they’re doing their jobs. They’re meeting at five o’clock every day. They’re collecting data; they’re analyzing it, and they are making recommendations based on what they see. They are trying to connect the dots and I would have to say, based on this experience, that we’ve been pretty successful.
LA Times piece: “Some of the surveillance files that triggered the nation’s latest terrorism alert were reviewed and updated by Al-Qaeda just months ago and dovetailed with other fresh intelligence that indicates the terrorism network remains intent on launching a major U.S. attack during a presidential election campaign.” This from U.S. authorities yesterday. Now, we’ve got to give the LA Times credit. It’s not often we do this, but they deserve credit because the New York Times and the Washington Post today both run stories making it sound like this false, phony, old, out-of-date information used for political purposes and make the counterterrorism people of this country look like idiots, frankly, and the LA Times gets this right. The question I have: let’s say hypothetically, let’s say there was no new updated information but we just learned of this and it is three or four years old.
When did we first hear about the possibility of Al-Qaeda hijacking jets and flying them into buildings? We heard about that when? Nineteen ninety-five — 1995 — and the September 11 attacks occur in 2001. So for six years, Al-Qaeda’s planning, and we’re able to gather some of the information, but we’re not able to connect the dots. One of the reasons is the Gorelick memo. There are others obviously as well. So what if this information was three or four years old and it hadn’t been updated, but we just now learned about it? So what? But it’s irrelevant anyway because it is updated information from as recently as January. “One senior Department of Homeland Security official said, ‘It’s like you have this blank piece of paper, and it’s filling up with more and more dots. It all points to an attack.'”
On Monday, yesterday, Tom Ridge told the Today Show that “on a scale of one to ten, the quality of the intelligence prompting the alert was a ten.” It had to be. These people moved into fast gear. “One senior U.S. defense official also on Monday said that one of these two terrorists was caught with sketches, maps and about 500 diagrams of buildings in New York, New Jersey and Washington. More than ten buildings in New York had been sketched and diagrammed many times, he said. Said there was also a diagram of the 52-story Bank of America Center in San Francisco.” The intelligence data says they have been casing joint, in essence. They’ve been outside and inside these buildings. They’ve been figuring out who works where at what time, where would be the greatest likelihood of the greatest number of casualties, what time would the attack generate the highest number of casualties, all of these things, and the LA Times has that.
The files included details about when and how to attack the buildings to inflict the most casualties. Also the New York Times. The New York Times with their story today trying to cast aspersions on this whole story, trying to say it’s pumped up, and yet is it not true they have some of the most severe independent security of any building in New York? They have ramped up security. They have more security that they’ve bought and paid for around their building in Times Square than a lot of other buildings — in fact, than any other building — in New York. Now, if this is all trumped up and they don’t believe it, why are they doing this? Why don’t they stand down? If all this is just a bunch of political bogus hocus-pocus, why don’t they take their security efforts and ditch ’em and save a little money here. Bush is lying about it, after all.
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