We continue from Part 1.
Another defense exhibit from the Moussaoui trial was a declassified report.
The report had been classified Top Secret, and was the product of a February, 2002 joint inquiry by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. One part of the report addressed pre-9/11 information on the use of aircraft as weapons:
A key finding was that going back at least to 1994, it was known to the US Intelligence Community that terrorists had been contemplating using aircraft as weapons:
These types of operations were mainly associated with Islamic terrorists, especially with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network...
...although not all of the reports had been disseminated within the Intelligence Community. (Notice the classification at the top, crossed out upon release of the document for the Moussaoui trial.)
It should be noted that both Condoleeza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz had indicated that they were not aware of this possibility.
The report indicated that "Even within the Intelligence Community, the possibility of using aircraft as weapons was apparently not widely known."
This would seem to support the statement made by Condoleeza Rice:
However, Rice's statement strains credibility in light of the committee's discovery that at least a dozen times such a threat had been reported within the US Intelligence Community:
Here is the list for your consideration (note again the crossed-out classification):
Many of these reports, most of which dealt not just with Islamic terrorists, but specifically with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, found their way to FBI Headquarters:
(Some of the warnings even made their way to the FAA.)
Condoleeza Rice should have heard of at least one of these reports, yet she denies this.
Was she that incompetent?
Or were the people surrounding her that incompetent that she was never briefed on this?
Did anyone get fired as a result of this?
Indeed, Condoleeza Rice has since been promoted, from National Security Advisor to Secretary of State.
What about the FBI?
FBI Headquarters 1) received some of these reports about the plans of terrorists -- especially Osama bin Laden & Co. -- to use aircraft as weapons, and then 2) sent a tasking to all field offices specifically seeking information about Sunni extremists and their long-term plans.
We are to believe that FBI Headquarters then failed to understand the significance of the Phoenix Memo when it pointed out that suspicious individuals who were associated with Osama bin Laden were congregating in the civil aviation industry, "individuals [who] will be in a position in the future to conduct terror activity against civil aviation targets."
Was FBI Headquarters so incompetent, as well?