Bush Continues to Mislead About 9/11

by The Daily Mislead
A Project of MoveOn.org
Thursday, Mar 11, 2004
Link to Original

As President Bush visits a memorial for victims of the 9/11 attacks today, he continues to refuse to clarify dishonest comments he and his national security adviser made denying they had any warning that a terrorist attack was imminent before 9/11. (1)

In May 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice claimed, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that [Al Qaeda] would try to use an airplane as a missile.” (2) Similarly, President Bush denied having any idea about the threat, saying on 5/17/02, “Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people.” (3)

The problem is that these denials contrast sharply with warnings the White House did receive prior to 9/11. Specifically, the Administration was warned before 9/11 that Al Qaeda was planning to use airplanes in an attack against the United States and that the terror group had recently considered using airplanes as missiles. ABC News and Dateline NBC reported that White House officials acknowledge that U.S. intelligence officials delivered a one-and-a-half page document to President Bush on August 6th that warned that “bin Laden’s terrorist network might try to hijack American planes.”(4), (5), (6)

Those warnings came at the same time that U.S. and Italian officials were warning that “Islamic terrorists might attempt to kill President Bush and other leaders by crashing an airliner into the [July 2001] Genoa summit of industrialized nations.” (7)

These warnings came at the same time top Administration officials were being told to change their own personal flight plans because of “threats.” Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines and instead began “traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines” because of “what the Justice Department called a ‘threat assessment.” (8) (To this day, the details of that threat assessment have never been made public.) Similarly, Newsweek reported that the day before the 9/11 terror attacks “a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.” (9)


  1. “Bush Attends 9/11 Memorial, Fund-Raiser”, Associated Press, 03/11/2004.
  2. “National Security Advisor Holds Press Briefing”, 05/16/2002.
  3. “President Discusses Response to September 11 Attacks”, 05/17/2002.
  4. “Bush Was Warned of Hijackings Before 9/11; Lawmakers Want Public Inquiry”, ABC News, 05/16/2002.
  5. ABC News, 05/16/2002.
  6. Dateline NBC, 09/10/2002.
  7. “Italy Tells of Threat at Genoa Summit”, Los Angeles Times, 09/27/2001.
  8. “Ashcroft Flying High”, CBS News, 07/26/2001.
  9. “Bush: ‘We’re At War'”, Newsweek, 09/24/2001.