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Saturday, April 10, 2004
More PDB Reaction

By Steven Taylor @ 10:09 pm

Not surprisingly, Kevin Drum sees the PDB as potentially giving serious clues to the NYT attacks.

He is also not impressed with the content, style, length or writing level of the document itself. I am not sure what he was expecting.

In a second post he wonders

Even giving them every benefit of the doubt, don’t you think they could have connected these dots beforehand? They were afraid of an al-Qaeda air attack in Genoa and an al-Qaeda airplane hijacking in America. Doesn’t it make sense to put the two together and wonder if Osama might also be contemplating air attacks in America?

Just something to think about. It makes me wonder what kind of questions Bush asked when the PDB was presented to him and what kind of actions he authorized. Maybe the commission will ask about that when he and Dick meet with them.

To which I would state: let’s try to be rational, non-partisan and realistic here for a moment: prior to 911 the idea of hijacing did not conjure flying plane loads of passengers into buildings, it conjured someone wanted to go somewhere, or maybe wanting to steal the plane. There is no way a reasonable, fair-minded person could expect the President (andy President) to have read that PDB prior to 911, even with other pieces of information, and starting asking “Hey! You think they might want to fly some planes into the WTC and Pentagon?”

Again, all of these interpretations are coming about with the benefit if hindsight.

And if we are going to try and assign blame, let’s be equal opportunity: it isn’t like some of this information doesn’t date back to the prior administration.

Filed under: War on Terror
  • Signifying Nothing linked with XRLQ does the PDB
  • Insults Unpunished linked with The August 6th PDB Is Declassified
  • Outside the Beltway linked with PDB Roundup

Click here to go to the main page.


  1. To which I would state: let’s try to be rational, non-partisan and realistic here for a moment

    Ummm… You do realize who you are replying to huh?

    Comment by Paul — Saturday, April 10, 2004 @ 10:53 pm

  2. Challenge for Mr. Drum:

    Up until the point where the 9/11 hijackers killed an airline attendant, what law did any of the violate that could have allowed us to arrest them before the act was committed?

    9/11 was the work of four separate groups of hijackers. We would have had to arrest at least one from each flight (and although we apparently did, it still didn’t prevent one group from hijacking with only 4 people). Had that happened, amidst (if I remember correctly) a flurry of stories about racial profiling on the roads, folks like Kevin Drum would have been pooping in their pants over how repressive and racist the Bush administration was.

    Comment by John Lemon — Saturday, April 10, 2004 @ 11:11 pm

  3. prior to 911 the idea of hijacing did not conjure flying plane loads of passengers into buildings

    Kevin’s point, which apparently eluded you, was that planes being flown into buildings was EXACTLY what they were worried about in Genoa. When you add in the noise about hijacked planes, I really don’t think that it’s unreasonable to, well, connect the dots, and guess that hijacked planes might be flown into buildings.

    Comment by neil — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 1:05 am

  4. To John Lemon: You’re making several unreasonable assumptions here. First, there were actually several reasons to arrest these folks much more reasonable than racial profiling. Second, there would have been several ways to thwart the plan other than by arresting the hijackers, from installing lockable cockpit doors, to having armed fighter planes ready to shoot down hijacked planes, and who knows what else in between. These would have been reasonable measures to take, if the dots had been connected as referenced in Kevin’s post.

    Your final point is such a cheap, flimsy strawman argument that it does not deserve to be acknowledged.

    Comment by neil — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 1:11 am

  5. Congratulations Neil- Your post is so moronic I got a whole blog post out of it.

    And you REALLY think that on 9/10 the President of the Untied State could decree that from now on hijacked planes would be blown out of the air by fighter jets????

    Tell me you really don’t believe that.

    Comment by Paul — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 2:55 am

  6. Why isn’t anyone talking about the second document that the White House released on Saturday?

    Comment by Gen. JC Christian, Patriot — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 3:20 am

  7. Neil:

    If you read Kevin’s post and the BBC story he links to, they were worried about “air attacks"-which does not suggest suicide flights of a plane specifically, but a gamut of possibilities.

    Comment by Steven — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 7:08 am

  8. Neil:

    Do you honeslty think that pre-911 anyone would have gone along with the dea of shooting down passenger jets full of innocents? I think not.

    Comment by Steven — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 7:08 am

  9. Hey Lemon Head

    In my quest for the pillow last night at 3am I was remiss in not giving you your due for a tad bit of inspiration for that post… Happy Easter to you and Misses Head.


    Comment by Paul — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 9:16 am

  10. Thanks, but she prefers Mrs. Lemon.

    Comment by John Lemon — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 6:02 pm

  11. Computer security recourse: SecureRoot

    Comment by Hugh — Friday, May 21, 2004 @ 4:40 pm

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