Another year has passed since the awful attacks on 9/11. As always, we send condolences to all those who lost loved ones on that day, and praise and gratitude to all those who so readily assisted in the rescue and recovery of survivors. What other Americans rarely think of are the millions of Arabs killed by us in wars in the Arab World subsequent to 9/11 with 9/11 being mistakenly cited as the reason those wars had to be fought. We also join with the rest of America in condemning the attacks and fervently hoping similar incidents never happen again.
And the latter, friends, is the most important. The problem is, we cannot ensure similar incidents will not happen unless and until we know what happened this time. And clearly the American people do not know yet what really happened on September 11, 2001.
In a bombshell op-ed in The New York Times this week, Kurt Eichenwald, author of "500 days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars," revealed the previously unknown specificity and frequency of warnings the Bush administration received about a terror attack by Osama bin Laden in the period leading up to the 9/11 attacks.
From still classified presidential briefings, Eichenwald reveals that on May 1, Bush was told that there was a cell in the U.S. planning an attack. He took no action. There was a subsequent briefing that predicted the attack, and yet another briefing that said the attack had been delayed but was still going to happen. No action was taken by the Bush administration.
Instead, the Bush administration decided to blame the CIA. We have been told the CIA was to blame, that the CIA did not give sufficient warning and intelligence to the president about the attack. In testimony to the 9/11 Commission, then-National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said if the intelligence had been there, if the administration had been told the attack was imminent, they would have done something. Well guess what. There were many such warnings.
At one point, Eichenwald reveals, the CIA, knowing they were going to take the blame for the whole mess, wanted to resign en masse.
Referring to critics who are calling Eichenwald a crazy conspiracy theorist, he says he cites classified presidential intelligence briefings and subsequent Bush inaction and if people want to say that means the government engineered the affair, then that's their conclusion based on facts.
Most importantly of all, this history must be corrected. Why? As MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said this week on her show, we have been living as a nation for 12 years with the planted misconception that lack of intelligence was to blame for the tragedy of 9/11. Decisions on how to prevent a recurrence are thus based on this misconception.
This is how our civil rights are being slowly taken away from us. If the government admitted they were at fault for 9/11, they would lose the power to do whatever they want to us.
So let the truth prevail and our rights stand.