Contrary to popular perception, President Bush has been weak, not strong, in leading the war on terror. Faced with a major al-Qaeda threat from the very inception of his Administration and a build-up of unprecedented warnings, the President did nothing to reduce the threat or the nation’s vulnerability to it. Worldwide intelligence had urgently warned the President of an attack and suggested airplane hijacking as a distinct possibility. The President could and should have called in heads of agencies, put the government in a crisis mode and demanded special protection for commercial aviation.
Since 9-11 the President has been too cowardly to accept any responsibility, has instituted the most massive cover-up in history and has allowed others to bear the brunt of his mistakes. For reasons explained in a special section of this article, the 9-11 commission chose not to assess responsibility at top government levels.
Instead of leading a worldwide effort to remove the al-Qaeda threat, the President insisted on invading a country that had no connection to either 9-11 or al-Qaeda, nor represented a threat. As a result, al-Qaeda continues to attack around the world and remains a major threat to the United States.
Because of the President’s mistaken war in Iraq, our military continues to suffer loss of life and many thousands of injuries. He has no workable exit strategy. This article lays out a flexible one that can be adapted to changing circumstances on the ground.
Strong advice and warnings on terror not confronted
When the Bush Administration took office, al-Qaeda was already a major threat to this nation.
The President was warned, during transition, that al-Qaeda would be his “greatest” and “gravest” threat. These warnings came directly from President Clinton and CIA Director Tenet. As a result of earlier attacks, Clinton had (1) prosecuted those responsible for the first World Trade Center attack, (2) authorized missile strikes on al-Qaeda and (3) instructed the CIA to capture or kill al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden. He also undertook multiple diplomatic efforts, received a pipeline of daily reports on al-Qaeda and exercised extreme precautions at the turn of the century to prevent further attacks.
Following the former President’s warnings, a U.S. Commission on National Security warned President Bush of an impending domestic catastrophe. They urged him to reorganize the government to set up a Homeland Security Department. The President did not act on advice from either source and, actually, downgraded the White House anti-terror unit. That unit no longer had access to the President or to agency heads.
During the spring of 2001, terrorism warnings surged dramatically and by that summer they had reached a crescendo: "most of al-Qaeda is anticipating” a U.S. attack, "something very, very, very, very big is about to happen," "something spectacular.” Frantic with concern, the CIA Director warned the President of a “significant attack in the near future.”
The President received 40 CIA briefings mentioning al-Qaeda or bin Laden before 9-11. In the infamous briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, the CIA informed the President of al-Qaeda’s determination “to attack within the United States" and mentioned the possibility of aircraft hijacking. On vacation in Texas, the President did not take control, call agency heads together or go into a full crisis mode. He did not warn the public.
Vice-President Cheney also received special briefings from (1) former Clinton aides on the gravity of the al-Qaeda threat and (2) the CIA confirming al-Qaeda’s responsibility for the USS Cole attack. During his campaign Bush said “there must be consequences” for the USS Cole. Also, Afghanistan had been told it would be held responsible for any further al-Qaeda attacks. The President took no action to respond to the USS Cole attack or against Afghanistan.
National Security Advisor Rice also was briefed by Clinton aides on the al-Qaeda threat. This briefing included a plan (used after 9-11) to attack the al-Qaeda network. But, not-invented-here raised its ugly head. Bush’s people could not buy into an analysis of the Clinton Administration. Demoting the anti-terror unit had slowed down decision-making — there was no sense of urgency. Terrorism was not discussed in any national security meetings until September.
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Wolfowitz simply were preoccupied with other perceived threats, and were obsessed with a national system for missile defense. In fact, in a meeting with the deputies of other agencies, Wolfowitz said: “Well, I just don’t understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden.” Meanwhile, Rumsfeld threatened a presidential veto, if Congress shifted $600 million in missile defense money to counter-terrorism. The Defense Department did not have a mission to counter al-Qaeda. Joint Chiefs Chairman Shelton told the Commission the Administration did not show much interest in military options.
Attorney General Ashcroft flatly rejected a $50 million request for an FBI counterterrorism program and, according to the bureau, asked that he not be briefed on this subject any further.
The Commission confirmed that the briefing to the President on Aug. 6, 2001 was not "historical" in nature, as purported, but instead revealed al-Qaeda’s intentions to attack the United States. This briefing said that al-Qaeda had operatives residing in the U.S. and that the FBI had found "patterns of suspicious activity consistent with preparations for hijacking." The CIA considered the Aug. 6 briefing an opportunity to tell the President that the bin Laden threat was “both current and serious.”
The 9-11 Commission also confirmed that our intelligence did know there was a possibility that hijackers might fly into targets such as the World Trade Center. Both the history of terrorism and frequent intelligence suggested hijacking.
Exact knowledge of the targets or timing of the attack was not required -” as the White House contends. All the Administration had to do was protect against hijacking of commercial aircraft — just that one thing. Yet, nothing was done to fix airline vulnerabilities or prepare for suicide hijacking. As the Commission concluded, domestic agencies never mobilized a response, got direction or had a plan. The public was not warned.
The horrible 9-11 tragedy might have been averted if the President had maintained or increased the priority of the previous Admini-stration, responded against al-Qaeda and Afghanistan for the USS Cole attack, mobilized homeland security protection and responded to the extraordinary warnings received during the spring and summer of 2001.
These things didn’t happen, and we haven’t been told why. Was the President preoc-cupied with his own agenda, or was he overly concerned with the impact of a fearful public on a sagging economy, or as a special report said:
“-¦many of those in the know — the spooks, the buttoned-down bureaucrats, the law-enforcement professionals in a dozen countries — were almost frantic with worry that a major terrorist attack against American interests was imminent. It wasn’t averted because 2001 saw a sys-temic collapse in the ability of Washington’s national security apparatus to handle the terrorist threat."
— Time Magazine, “The Secret History,” Aug. 12, 2002
The 9-11 cover-up
The President’s attitude on cooperation with the 9-11 Commission has been just the opposite of what it should be. As Commander-in-Chief, he should have worked with the Commission to get at the heart of the problem, with the idea of preventing future attacks. Instead, for a year, the White House resisted the investigative commission and then stonewalled it for another year.
As commissioners have acknowledged, they suffered from lengthy delays, maddening restrictions and disputes over access to sensitive documents and witnesses. As just one example, the Commission (after months of denial) finally got limited access to Bush’s intelligence briefings, but only after threatening him with a subpoena. A group of the 9-11 families working with the commission (the Jersey girls) said “-¦ it was President Bush who thwarted our attempts at every turn.”
Where the Commission report differs from this article
The Commission’s report contains excellent findings and recommendations concerning the intelligence community, FBI, immigration, Congress, etc. — but, no findings on the White House, its priorities, or presidential leadership. Why didn’t the Commission connect the dots?
The five Republican and five Democrat party members on the 9-11 Commission were faced with a difficult situation during an election year — either (1) don’t address top-level responsibility and come out with a unified, bipartisan report that would be acted upon or (2) assign some degree of responsibility to the President and his advisors and have a divided report that would gather dust. The Commission firmly believed that “in order to have a strong public impact the report had to be unanimous.”
Was 9-11 preventable?
The Commission says opportunities were missed, but all those mentioned were at the operational level — none at the very top levels of government.
This article says the President did not act to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to the threat or respond to either strong advice or serious warnings. Any of those actions might have prevented 9-11.
Presidential understanding of threat
The Commission says the President did not have a complete picture of the threat or an understanding of its gravity.
This article says there was full understanding of the threat and its gravity, as documented in Time Magazine’s "Secret History," in Richard Clarke’s book, "Against All Enemies," and in the Commission’s report itself. For example, the Commission’s chapter, “The System is Blinking Red,” discloses compelling evidence of an impending catastrophic attack demanding immediate presidential action.
To illustrate, the chapter shows that the number and severity of reported threats were unprecedented and that many officials knew something terrible was planned. Warnings were in terms of “catastrophic proportions” and “on a calamitous level, causing the world to be in turmoil.”
Desperate to get top level attention, the head of the White House anti-terror unit asked “decision makers to imagine a future day when hundreds of Americans lay dead.” Two officials in government considered resigning in order to go public with their concerns. Two weeks before 9-11, the head of the FBI office for national security in New York resigned in frustration. He took charge of security at the World Trade Center. He did not survive.
Responsibility for 9-11
The Commission says senior (unnamed) officials across government share in the responsibility and that our national leaders could have done more. It lays much of the blame on intelligence, FBI, immigration, Congress, etc.
This article says our national leaders should have done more to reduce the nation’s vulnerability. Undoubtedly, senior officials in operations would have become much more responsive to the threat had the President led the way, called in the heads of their agencies and shared information with them and the general public.
The Commission’s omission of top level responsibility has already been challenged by two book reviews of its report (David Ignatius, Wash. Post and Elizabeth Drew, The New York Review of Books) and by Richard Clarke in a New York Times op-ed piece. Ignatius concluded:
"The Bush team … didn’t get serious about bin Laden … In truth, nothing would have prevented the national security advisor -¦ from mobilizing anti-terrorism policy against al-Qaeda in the months before 9-11. That’s what makes this story a tragedy — that existing institutions of government might have averted the disaster, if they had taken action."
In an extensive analysis that included interviews with commissioners and key staff members, Elizabeth Drew concluded:
“In an effort to achieve a unanimous, bipartisan report, the commission decided not to assign ‘individual blame’ and avoided overt criticism of the President himself. Still, the report is a powerful indictment of the Bush Administration for its behavior before and after the attack of September 11”.
The defect in the Commission’s analysis
The Commission focused on a question that was too narrow and nearly impossible to answer: Could 9-11 have been prevented? To answer that question either way could be construed as self-serving and would encourage the use of 20/20 hindsight.
The broader, more appropriate question was: put yourself in the shoes of the President in the months leading up to 9-11 — what would a reasonable and prudent person do in the same situation — irrespective of the result? In other words: What would any president do when confronted with an al-Qaeda declaration of war, a history of earlier attacks, strong advice on the gravity of the threat and serious warnings of impending attacks?
It would be nice to know exactly where the new attacks might take place and their timing. However, the only reasonable alternative for any president would have been to put the country in a crisis mode and take immediate action to defend the nation. In the end, the measures taken should have shown a government in action, anxious to protect its people and determined to make it difficult for terrorist attacks to succeed. That’s all we can expect — but no less.
President Bush presided over the greatest national security failure in our history. We may never know for an absolute certainty whether 9-11 could have been prevented. The critical issue is Bush’s inattention to the subject, his lack of response to repeated warnings, his absence of leadership when it really counted and the White House cover-up since then.
Although the politically-divided Commission on 9-11 could not bring itself to assess responsibility at top levels of government, the information is there in its report for anyone who wants to get the facts and draw their own conclusions. When the report was released, the scapegoats came from lower ranks and middle management — the upper echelons must have breathed a huge sigh of relief.
The most incredible thing is that Bush has exploited the disaster by using it to support a war in Iraq, gain control of Congress and further his own reelection campaign. Traditionally, the Republicans should have lost rather than gained seats in the mid-term elections. A constant drumbeat of an impending war turned the tide.
Had Bush prevented the terrorist attacks, the increase in his popularity would have been short-lived. He didn’t prevent them, however, and his neglect before 9-11 is now the reason he has a serious chance for reelection. New York City -¦ a Democrat citadel -¦ was chosen to host the Republican Convention (near ground zero). The slogan was “Stay Safe: Reelect Bush.”
Bush’s diversion of our military power to Iraq has made us less safe. Al-Qaeda is still alive and well, and our unprovoked invasion has inspired a whole new generation of terrorists. According to an independent survey, al-Qaeda’s ranks have swollen to 18,000 spread over more than 60 countries. They periodically attack around the globe and remain a constant threat to us.
A bolder U.S. terror strategy of global proportions is long overdue. Bush’s idea that we can cope with each and every country that supports or harbors terrorists is foolish (cowboy) bravado and impossible to achieve. Ridding the world of terrorism is a shared respon-sibility, demanding worldwide resources and leader-ship from all heads of state. Each country should have a mandate to rid itself of terror-ism and to ask other countries for military and other assistance, as needed. Such a world-wide endeavor must be reinforced with head of state progress meetings.
We certainly cannot stamp out terrorism and hatred solely with military force. America needs to sponsor a high level UN commission to iden-tify fundamental changes that would reverse the root causes of organ-ized violent behavior in this world. People everywhere need hope that one day we will return to more peaceful ways, without a fortress mentality.
THE DETOUR TO IRAQ
The initial success of the President’s response to 9-11 soon evaporated with a detour to the war in Iraq. During the build-up to the war, President Bush and Vice-President Cheney consistently por-trayed intelligence data as solid fact, when any reasonable person in their positions would have known they were dealing with intelligence estimates of uncertain reli-ability. After all, Cheney had served in Congress and several administrations, including the White House chief of staff and Secretary of Defense.
The President did not do the responsible thing — have CIA and other data checked out by the 250 UN inspectors then on the ground in Iraq. The inspectors (repre-senting 60 coun-tries) were experts on each WMD category and were in a position to obtain the actual facts — if they had been given the time. Our own experts were invited to participate but the Administration declined. The inspections ended only when they were preempted by Bush’s decision to go to war.
Pressure from above to justify the war
As Bob Woodward pointed out in his book, “Plan of Attack,” Bush had decided on a path to war at least a year before the invasion. At Bush’s direction, the CIA participated in the war planning and sent a team to Iraq nine months beforehand to lay the ground work for the invasion. While arranging for their covert entry into northern Iraq, the CIA Director personally told local Iraqi leaders that the United States was serious — the military and the CIA were coming.
Knowing the President had practically made up his mind, his top officials put pressure on by seeking and selectively using raw intelligence data, without expos-ing it to the vigorous scru-tiny traditionally followed in the intelli-gence community. (Bypassing this scrutiny is known as "stovepip-ing.") This raw data included some from defectors and exile groups who were promoting an American invasion of Iraq.
According to CBS news, people inside the CIA were “disheartened, dispirited, and angry.” One senior CIA official put it this way, “Information not consistent with the admini-stration agenda was discarded and information that was (consistent) was not seriously scrutinized.” The CIA chief weapon inspector, David Kay, said:
"Anything that showed Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction had a much higher gate to pass because if it were true, all U.S. policy towards Iraq would have fallen asunder."
Over 100 articles have challenged Administration statements leading up to the war. None of the reasons, cited in the congres-sional authorization for war, have proven to be true. None of the 20-odd claims in Secretary Powell’s UN presentation have been borne out. In a film, former experts from the CIA, Pentagon and Foreign Service tell the public how they were misled into war (www.truthuncovered.com). Finally, an Army War College report sums up the situa-tion this way:
– Saddam was deterred and did not present a threat.
– Taking him down was a distraction from the war on terror.
– The anti-terror campaign is unfocused and threatens to dissi-pate U.S. military resources.
– The U.S. Army is “near the breaking point.”
Ill-conceived attempts to justify the war
1). Saddam eventually would have convertedfacilities from civilian to weapons production and would have reconsti-tuted his former programs.
There are four problems with this Administration scenario.
First, the President got America’s support on the grounds that Iraq was concealing lethal weapons and was an imme-diate threat to the United States and the region. Clearly, that support would not have been given had the President’s case for war been based on assumptions of some remote threat in the future. In fact, an authorization would not even have been submitted by the Administration or approved by Congress.
Second, having information from scientists on Saddam’s payroll and presuming future conversion of facilities are not sufficient reasons to justify war. In fact, war could be started on this basis anywhere around the world.
Third, Iraq was not committing acts of terrorism on the United States and had no operational connection with al-Qaeda. CIA analysts were ordered, repeat-edly, to redo intelligence assessments but refused to alter their conclusion that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda. The 9-11 Commission confirmed the same thing. However, the Administration is still in denial. To admit the truth would be political dynamite in an election year.
Fourth, the President’s claim that Iraq would have “secretly” passed illegal weapons to al-Qaeda has no foundation. Dr. Kay’s team in Iraq found no evidence of transfer of any illegal weapons to terror-ists.
2). Iraq is now the central front forthe war on terrorism.
Fighting Iraq had little to do with terrorism, until we made it so by invading a Muslim nation — based on false claims. There were rumors of an al-Qaeda training camp in the north but that part of Iraq was not under Saddam’s control.
3). If we don’t fight the terrorists in Iraq now, we will have to fight them one day in the streets of American cities.
This is pure conjecture. How do we know that the terrorists who have entered Iraq entertained any idea of coming to America? It is far more likely that a unilateral invasion of a Muslim country provoked and inspired both resistance and entry of terrorists.
4). Saddam treated his people brutally.
The Administration constantly refers to major incidents of brutality which took place years ago. Most of these inci-dents were well known to earlier admini-strations. Nevertheless, he was treated as a valuable ally until the Gulf War. The incidents are entirely unrelated to the war on global terrorism. Instead of a unilateral war, Saddam should have been subject to prose-cution by a world court tribunal for crimes against humanity.
5). The war was justified “because we removed a regime that did have these weapons and gave us no reason to believe they had eliminated them.”
“Did” is the operative word. In order to avoid a preemptive war, does a country have to prove a negative? Poor Iraqi bookkeeping (documenting weapon destruction) does not excuse the war. Given time, UN weapon experts on the ground could have discovered the truth.
6). The world is a safer/better place without Saddam.
Actually, he had been defanged and containing him had worked. His regime was slowly crum-bling under UN sanctions.
7). Congress and other countries also believed Saddam had WMD’s
Congress and other countries relied on U.S. intelligence and numerous unqualified statements of the President and Vice-President. Other countries, by comparison with the U.S., spend only a pittance on military matters. Opinions of others do not excuse an unnecessary preemptive war. Instead, President Bush should have relied on actual facts available through continued UN inspections.
8). We need to spread democracy throughout the Mideast.
This is the Administration’s latest “reason” for the war. However, the President did not tell us that planting seeds of democracy would risk thousands of American lives or cost hundreds of billions of dollars. As a recent Muslim Nobel prize winner commented, democracy is a historical process and cannot be imposed militarily from the outside. Accord-ing to a Boston Globe report, the CIA, State Department and an international consulting firm all warned the Administra-tion against trying to build democracy “on the ashes of Sad-dam’s regime.”
An intimidated Congress gave a blank check to the President
When the President decided to go to war in Iraq, Congress relied on the same intelligence that he (presumably) used and gave him a blank check. Under our Constitution, Con-gress is supposed to be an equal branch and act as a check and balance on the Executive. Congress did not ask the tough questions, examine evidence or enter into a real debate. It did not seek independent informa-tion and actual data from UN inspectors.
The type of authorization the Congress should have given the President is illustrated below. It was sent by a WWII Veteran to some members of Congress before they voted.
IRAQI MILITARY AUTHORIZATION
– FIRST PROVE WHETHER USEABLE WMDS ACTUALLY EXIST IN IRAQ AND POSE A THREAT
– IF SO, DISARM AND REMOVE SADDAM WITH INTERNA-TIONAL AND REGIONAL SUPPORT
– CITE “KENNEDY” MODEL FOR MAXIMUM DIPLOMACY AND MINIMUM LOSS OF LIFE ON BOTH SIDES
– MAKE DISMANTLING AL-QAEDA THE FIRST PRIORITY – (Al-Qaeda, not Saddam, attacked us brutally and continues to threaten us.)
PS. Can you pass this test — would you support Bush’s war if Iraq was not a 5th rate power or if members of your own family were going to be on the firing line?
Most in Congress fell into lockstep with the President without calling in outside experts to get both sides of the story. Members relied on Administration witnesses and top level officials. In effect, Congress ceded its constitutional war-making power to the Presi-dent. Congress abandoned the all-important system of checks and balances that our founding fathers had so carefully built into our democracy.
A subservient media
The media is supposed to act as our watchdog. It is the only way for the public to find out more than the government chooses to tell us. As our main information source, the media is the lifeblood of our democracy.
The media marched to the drumbeat of the Administration and sent its own people to join military units to report from there. They also did not ask the tough questions or examine evidence. For example, if banned weapons of the magnitude claimed by the President actually existed, where was the proof of at least a few — or even one?Or, more obvious, why didn’t the Administration use UN experts on the ground to verify its intelligence?
The media’s tendency was to rely on high-level sources sympa-thetic to the Administration and on Iraqi defectors and exile groups, rather than to do their own independent evalua-tions. The coverage of many newspapers was highly defer-ential to the White House. There were some notable excep-tions, such as the Knight Ridder newspa-pers, but they do not receive national attention.
The New York Times periodically reported that the threat from Iraq’s weapons programs was real and ominous. In May 2004 and again in July 2004, the Times published (to its credit) an apology to readers for running numer-ous stories containing misinformation and for not challenging the Presi-dent’s assumptions. The Times Ombudsman said:
– The Times reporting relied on exiles and anony-mousadministration sources.
– The Times was used to further a cunning cam-paign to promote WMD stories.
– When these stories broke apart, The Times readers never found out why or who were the mistaken sources.
The Washington Post ran a major editorial in support of the war. Its editorial assumed facts not in evidence. As Bob Woodward pointed out in his book on the war, his newspa-per downplayed contrary evidence from its reporters by putting their articles on back pages. An investigative report of his own newspaper by Howard Kurtz is most revealing. The Washington Post has not yet apologized to its readers for having misled them.
Nevertheless, both newspapers have some of the best reporters in the business. They have done much in the post invasion period to keep the public informed.
The bottom line
As mid-term elections approached, Bush intimidated Con-gress into passing an open-ended authority allowing him to use force in Iraq. He manipulated our nation into an unpro-voked and costly conflict. International law does not permit installing a democracy by force.
By staging a unilateral, preemptive war based on bad infor-ma-tion, the Administration has opened Pandora’s Box. We have set a horrible precedent, and America’s good name is under attack from all over. It will take at least a decade to repair America’s credibility and rebuild trust in our Govern-ment.
Bush is ducking responsibility for the crisis his Administra-tion created. He, alone, is responsible for his words, deci-sions and the people he appointed. The buck stops at his desk.
The reader should wonder whether some of the recent terrorist attacks around the world would have happened if the United States had conducted an all out war on al-Qaeda, instead of divert-ing our military power to Iraq.
Public hearings are needed to inquire into media independence. Among the issues are media concen-tration and conflicts of interest with ownership.
An independent congressional investigation of the war is in order — not just concerning intelligence but, more broadly to question the necessity for the war, its legality, and how it was justi-fied.
A STRATEGY TO EXIT IRAQ
Our continued presence in Iraq is causing most, if not all, of the resistance and acts of terror. From the enemy’s perspective, we’re the crazed foreigners who invaded their country, and who are stealing their oil and killing many thousands of civilians — including women and children. The head of the UN says there can not be credible elections if the current unrest continued. He also maintains the war is illegal.
The Iraqi people should determine their own destiny. It was always a fallacy that we could force our way of life on another country with a different background and culture. Once the occupiers leave there should be no serious security problems of a continuing nature. Self-government is the key; they will not attack themselves.
The majority of the military believe the war in Iraq is a disaster. Never have there been such bad feelings between the military and civilian leadership in the pentagon. It would be unreasonable and inhumane to expect our military to absorb further losses due to mistakes of the Bush Administration. Nor can we expect other nations to exchange their losses for ours. While other nations surely want a stable Iraq, their citizens won’t stand for sending their family and loved ones to near certain death or injury in Iraq — particularly after we ignored their advice.
In any event, internationalizing the effort will not work as long the U.S. remains a part of it and/or masterminds it. An American president would be widely acclaimed here, in Europe, in Iraq and in Muslin countries if he would urge:
– Withdrawing our military but maintaining about 60,000 along the borders (with a quick response capability) until a peaceful election can be held and a new government installed.
– Allowing any willing and able country to participate in reconstruction.
– Continuing and accelerating U.S. reconstruction, but only if Iraqi (and perhaps other Muslim) security forces maintain safe conditions. Failure to do this would terminate U.S. participation.
This is not "cut and run" as Bush would like to say. It’s simply a practical way to extricate ourselves from an impossible situation that the President has led us into and still give Iraq a good chance at democracy.
– “The Secret History,” Time Magazine, Aug. 12, 2002.
– “9-11 and a Lack of Presidential Leadership,” The Humanist, Mar/Apr, 2003.
– “Where the Blame Lies,” Intervention Magazine, Dec. 11, 2003.
– Stonewalling the 9-11 Commission, Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2003; Wash. Post, Sept. 24, 2003; NY Times, Oct. 26 and Nov. 8 2003.
– “September 11: Will Terror Panel’s Report Be an Election Issue?” News-week, Jan. 14, 2004.
– “What’s Bush Hiding from 9/11 Commission,” Working for Change, Jan. 22, 2004.
– “Sept. 11 Commission Faces Fight Over Deadline Extension,” Gov Exec, Jan. 24, 2004.
– “White House Holding Notes Taken by 9/11 Commission,” Wash. Post, Jan. 31, 2004.
– Voices of September 11 Newsletter, Feb. 9, 2004.
– “9/11 Panel Threatens to Issue Subpoena for Bush’s Briefings,” NY Times, Feb. 10, 2004.
– “The White House: A New Fight Over Sept. 11,” Newsweek, Feb. 10, 2004.
– “9-11 Panel to Accept Summary of Briefings,” Wash. Post, Feb. 11, 2004.
– “Failure of 9/11 Commission to Subpoena the White House,” Voices of September 11 Newsletter, Feb. 11, 2004.
– “White House Noncommittal on Testimony,” Palm Beach Post, Feb. 13, 2004.
– “President Agrees to Meet (Part of) Panel Privately About Sept. 11 Attacks,” Palm Beach Post, Feb. 14, 2004.
– “Investigating the Investigation,” AlterNet.org, Feb. 17, 2004.
– “Bush Plays Bait-and-Switch with 9/11 Panel,” Newsday.com, Feb. 19, 2004.
– Statement of 9-11 Families on commission access to presidential daily briefings, extension of its deadline and request for Senate hearings on progress, Feb. 20, 2004.
– Bush Administration had several chances to wipe out Zarqawi terrorist operation, NBC Nightly News, Mar. 3, 2004.
– “Weak on Terror,” NY Times, Mar. 16, 2004.
– “Bush and 9/11: What We Need to Know,” Time, Mar. 17, 2004.
– “Against All Enemies,” Inside America’s War on Terror, Richard A. Clarke, 2004.
– “Needed: A New and Bolder Strategy for the War on Terror,” Humanist, July/Aug, 2004.
– 9-11 Commission staff and final reports, 2004.
– "The Book on Terror", Reviewed by David Ignatius, Wash. Post, July 30, 2004.
– “Pinning the Blame”, The New York Review of Books, Elizabeth Drew, Sept. 23, 2004.
War in Iraq
– John Dean articles dissecting the President’s State of the Union speech. Find Law’s Legal Commentary, June 6 and July 18, 2003.
– “CIA Officer: Bush Ignored Warnings,” Knight Ridder, June 13, 2003.
– “10 Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq,” AlterNet, June 27, 2003.
– “20 Lies about the War,” Independent.co.uk, July 13, 2003.
– “Pattern of Corruption,” Paul Krugman, NY Times, July 15, 2003.
– Howard Dean’s website — 16 questions about the Administration’s truth-fulness, Deanforamerica.com, July 18, 2003.
– “Ex-Spies: CIA Workers Outraged,” CBS news.com, July 19, 2003.
– “Ten Questions for Cheney,” TomPaine.com, July 22, 2003.
– “Not Enough Swords to Go Around,” Richard Cohen, Wash Post, July 27, 2003.
– Full-page ads in 3 major newspapers challenging the honesty of the Bush Administration. (e.g. NY Times, July 27, 2003)
– “The Bush Administration’s Top 40 lies About War and Terrorism,” CityPages.com, July 30, 2003.
– “Scientists Still Deny Iraqi Arms Programs,” Wash Post, July 31, 2003.
– “Questions Grow Over Iraq Links to Qaeda,” Boston Globe, Aug.3, 2003.
– “Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence,” Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus, Wash Post, Aug 10, 2003.
– “U.S. Justification for War: How it Stacks Up Now,” Associated Press, Seat-tle Times, Aug 10, 2003.
– “AP Staffer Fact-Checks Powell’s UN Speech -¦ Key Claims Didn’t Hold Up,” Editor & Publisher, Sept. 9, 2003.
– “Kay Report/No WMD, No Case for War,” Star Tribune, Oct. 4, 2003.
– Time Magazine Iraqi survey, Oct.6, 2003.
– “Ex-Aide: Powell Misled Americans,” CBSNEWS.com, Oct. 15, 2003.
– “The Stovepipe,” Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, Oct. 27, 2003.
– “Medical evacuations from Iraq near 11000,” United Press Interna-tional, Dec. 19, 2003.
– “Iraq’s Arsenal Was Only On Paper,” Wash. Post, Jan. 7, 2004.
– “White House Distorted Iraq Threat,” Financial Times, Jan. 10, 2004.”
– “Study Published by Army Criticize War on Terror’s Scope,” Wash. Post, Jan. 12, 2004.
– “New WMD Report Slams Bush White House,” AlterNet.org, Jan. 13, 2004.
– “Needed: A New and Bolder Strategy for the War on Terror,” Humanist, July/Aug, 2004.
– “Where Was the Media?” Center for American Progress Report, Feb. 11, 2004.
– Dr. Kay’s testimony and public statements, Jan/Feb. 2004.
– “The Use of Intelligence,” Boston Globe, Feb. 6, 2004.
– “Bush, Aides Ignored CIA Caveats on Iraq,” Wash. Post, Feb. 7, 2004.
– “Meet the Facts,” Center for American Progress Report, Feb. 9, 2004.
– “British spy wrecked peace move,” Guardian Unlimited, Feb. 15, 2004.
– “NY Times Fails to Acknowledge Its Role in WMD Hype,” Editor & Publisher, Feb. 19, 2004.
– “Bush Wanted War in 2002,” Guardian Unlimited, Feb. 24, 2002.
– “Hans Blix Says Iraq War Was Unfounded,” Guardian Unlimited, Feb. 24, 2004.
– “Now They Tell Us,” The New York Review of Books, Feb. 26, 2004.
– “The Hollow Army,” James Fallows, The Atlantic, March 2004.
– “Nobel winner says U.S. cannot impose democracy,” Reuters, June 3, 2004.
– “Plan of Attack,” Bob Woodward, 2004.
– “CIA Felt Pressure to Alter Iraq Data, Author Says,” Common Dreams New Center, July 1, 2004.