That Presidential Daily Briefing was not a smoking gun, I thought, and yet Bush is managing to turn it into an incredible liability all on his own by making some ridiculous claims — claims that are blown to bits by the PDB. Either he thinks that we can’t read and parse English, or he can’t. From David Sirota:
President Bush said yesterday that a memo he received a month before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not contain enough specific threat information to prevent the hijackings and “said nothing about an attack on America.” “I am satisfied that I never saw any intelligence that indicated there was going to be an attack on America — at a time and a place, an attack.”
– Washington Post, 4/12/04
In a single 17-sentence document, the intelligence briefing delivered to President George W. Bush in August 2001 spells out the who, hints at the what and points toward the where of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that followed 36 days later.
– NY Times, 4/12/04
Not only is Bush lying, but he’s making a ridiculous argument: he’s essentially saying that because he did not know terrorists would attack at a specific time [and] place, he is absolved from his gross negligence in failing to ratchet up homeland security and counterterrorism before 9/11. It is like saying that while you know a car accident can kill you and your family, it is OK to not strap yourself and your kids in because you don’t know exactly when and where you might get into an accident.
Among his other claim/fact postings, David also points out this little tidbit:
“John Kerry’s backward-looking approach would return us to the failed policies of treating terror as a law-enforcement matter.”
– Bush campaign statement, 3/27/04
“This was a domestic airplane that was operated by people who were in the United States against a United States target, which makes it a law enforcement [issue]…We’ll leave [terrorism] to the FBI and the FBI was basically law enforcement. They’re the people who when someone breaks the law they go out and stop them.”
– Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 3/25/04