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Headlines January 2001 Memo Warned Bush of Al Qaeda Threat

Jung

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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=615&e=7&u=/nm/security_clark_memo_dc
Thu Feb 10,10:09 PM ET Politics - Reuters
By JoAnne Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A newly released memo warned the White House at the start of the Bush administration that al Qaeda represented a threat throughout the Islamic world, a warning that critics said went unheeded by President Bush (news - web sites) until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The memo dated Jan. 25, 2001 -- five days after Bush took office -- was an essential feature of last year's hearings into intelligence failures before the attacks on New York and Washington. A copy of the document was posted on the National Security Archive Web site on Thursday.


The memo, from former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), had been described during the hearings but its full contents had not been disclosed.


Clarke, a holdover from the Clinton administration, had requested an immediate meeting of top national security officials as soon as possible after Bush took office to discuss combating al Qaeda. He described the network as a threat with broad reach.


"Al Qaeda affects centrally our policies on Pakistan, Afghanistan (news - web sites), Central Asia, North Africa and the GCC (Gulf Arab states). Leaders in Jordan and Saudi Arabia see al Qaeda as a direct threat to them," Clarke wrote.


"The strength of the network of organizations limits the scope of support friendly Arab regimes can give to a range of U.S. policies, including Iraq (news - web sites) policy and the (Israeli-Palestinian) Peace Process. We would make a major error if we underestimated the challenge al Qaeda poses."


The memo also warned of overestimating the stability of moderate regional allies threatened by al Qaeda.


It recommended that the new administration urgently discuss the al Qaeda network, including the magnitude of the threat it posed and strategy for dealing with it.


The document was declassified on April 7, 2004, one day before Rice's testimony before the Sept. 11 commission. It was released recently by the National Security Council to the National Security Archive -- a private library of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.


The meeting on al Qaeda requested by Clarke did not take place until Sept. 4, 2001.
A newly-released memo warned the White House at the start of the Bush administration that al Qaeda represented a threat throughout the Islamic world, a warning that critics said went unheeded by President Bush (news - web sites) until the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The memo dated Jan. 25, 2001 was an essential feature of last year's hearings into intelligence failures. A copy of the document was posted on the National Security Archive Web site at http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB147/index.htm on Feb. 10, 2005. Page one of the three-page memo is shown.
 

bigck3000

The Iron Lung
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This sorta gives me hope that the government isnt becoming this huge unified monster and that checks and balances work in a place other than Never-Never Land.

High-five, quick thinking politicians.
 

DanGeo23

Resident Conservative
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Too bad we don't know more about the terror warnings of the 90's... thanx Sandy "sticky fingers" BergLer

but we do know that the WTC was attacked in 93... it didn't fall... so it was no big deal... sounds like a big terror warning... 95... Ramzi Yousef was captured in the Philippines with plans to use commercial airplanes to blow up US federal buldings to include CIA headquarters... A task force was appointed to tighten airport security... but the White House axed its primary recommendations... hmmm big terror warning...
 

Captain 151

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There's a lot things I will rag on Bush about. Cheney and Rumsfeld the same. But when it comes to "knowledge" about the attacks on the WTC before they happened, my commen sense wont let me believe that the White House knew of the attacks, but did nothing.

I would hope that if Bush knew it was going to happen, he would have done something. He would not have just said, "Meh, I want to turn Afghanistan into a parking lot, and use it as a stepping stone into Iraq... (et al?)" and let over 3,000 people die.

I hope that is something Bush did not knowingly do.